Gator by Ron Guidry with Andrew Beaton


Ron Guidry with Andrew Beaton

In this compelling first-person account Ron Guidry re-creates the chemistry, feuds and madcap antics of one of the most colorful teams in baseball history.

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Legendary New York Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry recounts his years playing for one of the most storied and celebrated teams in sports history--the world champion New York Yankees during their heyday in the Bronx Zoo years, with manic manager Billy Martin, headline loving owner George Steinbrenner, and an ego-driven all-star cast that included everyone from slugger Reggie Jackson and All star catcher Thurman Munson to Cy Young Award winners Sparky Lyle and Catfish Hunter.

Ron Guidry, known as Gator and Louisiana Lightning to his teammates, quickly rose in 1977 to become the ace of the Yankees' stellar pitching staff, helping the team regarded as the most famous and notorious in Yankee history win the World Series. In 1978, he went 25-3 with a 1.74 ERA and won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in baseball, helping to bring home the Yankees' second straight World Series championship. A four-time All Star and five-time Golden Glove winner, he played from 1976 to 1988, served as the Yankees' captain in the 1980s, and remains one of the greatest pitchers in Yankee history. In Gator, Guidry takes us inside the clubhouse to tell us what it was like to play amidst the chaos and almost daily confrontations between Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner, Martin's altercations with star slugger Reggie "the straw that stirs the drink" Jackson. He talks poignantly about the death of Thurman Munson in 1979, and the impact that had on Ron and on the club. He tells stories about players like Lou Pinella, Willie Randolph, Bucky Dent, Catfish Hunter, Chris Chambliss, and Mickey Rivers, and coach Yogi Berra (who in 1984 became the Yankees' manager) and Elston Howard.

Advance Galley Reviews

Love!!! I'm not a huge baseball fan, but this book really brought the sport, and the people behind the larger than life athletes, to life. This reads like a novel, because in some ways the truth of this team's history was stranger than fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Yankees through Gator's perspective throughout his career and affiliation.

Gator by Ron Guidry is a look into his life as the Yankees' pitcher, from the 1970s to 1980s, and his connections to the other players and the professional baseball life. The main focus of the book is his recounts of the Yankees winning the 1977 and 1978 World Series and all the ups and downs the team goes through. Guidry also entertains us with inspiring stories of the other members of the Yankees team. Unfortunately, I feel like there were times when the writing was too statistical and I had a hard time following, but I'm also not a die-hard sports fan. Either way, this was an entertaining read and I'm glad I persevered through the book.

Growing up on Long Island in the late seventies, the Yankees were my team. I collected, flipped for, and traded for those baseball cards, the most treasured being Catfish Hunter, Thurman Munson, Craig Nettles, Reggie Jackson, and of course Ron Guidry. There were so many great players on those teams. The 1977 and 1978 World Series came at the perfect time for me. I watched every inning -or at least as much as I could, constantly adjusting those damn rabbit ears on top of the TV set. The heart and soul of this book are those two larger than life years and Ron Guidry, the Ace pitcher, discusses those years in such an easy and approachable style that's it's a pleasure to read. The following year -1979- was marred by the plane crash that took Munson's life, and the book discusses 1979 and the succeeding years. Some of these books about sports often fall into the traps of either giving too much statistical detail or too much gotcha gossip. This one doesn't fall into those traps and every page is interesting, fascinating, and well worth reading. Many thanks to Penguin Publishing for providing an advance copy.

You don't have to be a Yankees fan to be a fan of Ron Guidry's book, Gator. And I'm not. But I'm a baseball fan and I remember Guidry and the Steinbrenner Yankees. Guidry's book is an entertaining, insightful and incredibly loving telling of those years and beyond. I felt like I got to know Thurman Munson (the great Yankee catcher who died too soon), Billy Martin (the irascible, annoying manager), Bob Lemon, Reggie Jackson (the Great!), Lou Pinella, Mariano Rivera and many, many more. I would highly recommend this book to every Yankee fan but also to anyone with even a passing interest in baseball. Guidry provides humor and insight into the life of a ballplayer. It's a fun read.

This is the life story of Ron Guidry, aka Gator, aka Louisiana Lightning. He was a left-handed pitcher from Louisiana who spent his entire career with the New York Yankees and won the World Series with them twice in a row, in 1977 and 1978. The book focuses on his time with the Yankees and is a moving tribute to the history and culture of the Yankees team. During his time with the Yankees, Guidry got to know some of the most interesting and well-known members of the Yankee organization. He talks about working for George Steinbrenner and has several amusing anecdotes about his relationship with the infamous owner & the friendship they continued even after Guidry retired from playing. He describes playing for the fiery, demanding & unpredictable Yankee coach Billy Martin, and later playing for coach Joe Torres. During his tenure at the Yankees, he played alongside many of the most well-known Yankee players ever. Others he got to know at spring training, team events, and at the annual “Old-Timers’ Day” at Yankee Stadium. He even had the assignment of being Yogi Berra’s driver during spring training, and he remained close with Berra outside of baseball. Guidry describes, from the standpoint of a pitcher, every aspect of the game, and walks the reader through his years of baseball, focusing on the years leading up to, including, and after the World Series wins. This is a wonderful book that will make anyone a Yankees Fan. Thank you to Penguin books and the First to Read program for the opportunity to read and review this book in return for an honest review.

I highly recommend this book. As a lifetime Yankees fan, I think it describes an amazing story/journey down memory lane for Gator. My favorite part was about Yogi Berra, who didn't love Yogi? This book was very poignant and I loved it.

I grew up watching Gator. Even though I’m not a Yankees fan, I enjoyed this book as a baseball fan. My favorite part was about Yogi Berra.

I've been a baseball fan all my life. I was an avid reader of baseball history books as a kid. This was a nice nostalgic look at the Yankees of my youth and a reminder of why I loved these types of books as a kid. A must read for any baseball fan, even the ones from Boston.

Ok, I’m a Cubs fan. Before that I was a general national league fan born of growing up in an area without a major league team nearby. But above all of that I’m a baseball fan. I love the game. And the Yankees are a big part of that game. If you watched baseball from the mid 70’s to the early 80’s you watched the Yankees because they were simply one of the best teams in baseball. Ron “Louisiana Lightening” Guidry or Gator tells stories from 14 years with the Yankees, including those championship years. Stories about Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, the infamous George Steinbrenner, Catfish Hunter and many others including the great Yogi Berra make this a book any baseball fan can enjoy. I’m sure that being a Yankees fan adds an extra layer of enjoyment in reading this book but you don’t have to be a Yankees fan to appreciate and enjoy this book.

Rod "Gator" / "Louisiana Lightening" Guidry takes us from 1975 to 1988 and beyond in "Gator: My Life in Pinstrips." I'm not your typical baseball fan in 1978, I'm a 12-year girl, who followed the NY Yankees on the radio in the state of VA. This book took me back to the later 1970's early 1980's, names that are so familiar to a Yankee fan - Bucky Dent, Goose Gossage, Willie Randolph, Craig Nettles, Lou Piniella, Catfish Hunter, Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson and of course their Manager, Billy Martin and owner George Steinbrenner just to name a handful. No Yankee fan will forget the one day play-off game after coming back from 14 games behind the Sox - "Louisiana Lightening" Guidry on the mound pitching and Bucky Dent's two-run homer over the Green Monster of Fenway Park then went on to defeat Kansas City Royals and the LA Dodgers in the World Series. The AL Cy Young winner and co-captain of the Yankees tells of his strong family ties to get him over the a later financial problem and his eventual retirement from playing but not retiring from the Yankees. An amazing friendship with Yogi Berra and the Yankee family. I highly recommend this book if you where a Yankee fan of this time, an amazing story/journey down memory lane. I can only hope that Mr. Guidry still attends Spring Training and enjoys his time in Pinstripes.


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