Hard To Grip
Book Topics
Baseball
Memoir
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chronic Illness
Minor Leagues
Pitchers
Left-handed pitchers
San Francisco
Hawaii
D-1 Baseball
San Francisco Giants
Pitching mechanics
Coaching
Millennials
Amazon Paperback
Barnes & Noble Paperback
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Indiebound Paperback
IPG Paperback
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Green Apple Books Paperback
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Hard To Grip : A Memoir of Youth, Baseball, and Chronic Illness

In 2008, after a record-breaking career as a D1 college baseball player, Emil DeAndreis' life seemed set: He was twenty-three, in great shape, and had just been offered a contract to pitch professionally in Europe. Then his body fell apart.

It started with elbow stiffness, then swelling in his wrist. Soon, his fingers were too bloated to grip a baseball. He had Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease that causes swelling and eventual deterioration of the joints, mostly targeting old people and women.

Hard To Grip tells the story of a young man's body giving out when he needs it most. It chronicles an ascending sports career, the ups and downs of life in the NCAA, and the challenges of letting go of pro baseball due to a dehumanizing condition. In a series of humorous anecdotes, Emil takes the reader on his bittersweet journey of a young man's having to grapple with an "old woman's disease." From striking out future major leaguer All Stars, to sitting in support groups; from breaking university records, to barely making it up the stairs; from language barriers with Chinese healers to figuring out how to be employed as a vegetable, this book unveils the disease with humor and fearless honesty through the eyes of an unlikely victim. This memoir is an honest, rueful and at times hilarious story about learning to come to terms with a new reality, and an inspiring account of how Emil learned to run with the disease and not from it.

Links To Reviews

90 Feet From Home interview with Emil DeAndreis
Book Topics
Baseball
Memoir
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chronic Illness
Minor Leagues
Pitchers
Left-handed pitchers
San Francisco
Hawaii
D-1 Baseball
San Francisco Giants
Pitching mechanics
Coaching
Millennials

Reviews and Comments

  • "Hard to Grip is the genuine article: A baseball story about a player and his traumatic, insane, hilarious and completely relatable love of the game - and how fragile that love is."
    Former professional baseball pitcher (San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays) and author of The New York Times Best-seller The Bullpen Gospels
  • "In his funny/sad/unfiltered memoir, Emil DeAndreis poignantly paints a picture of one young man's lost aspirations... and how to climb back on the metaphorical mound and learn new and more meaningful pitches. "
    former pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and author of Counting Coup, and Southern League
  • "Hard to Grip is a quintessential baseball story: one of talent, success, disappointment and redemption. DeAndreis writes with honesty and humor about losing the sport that was once his identity, and his struggle to find a new one."
    Author of the memoir Son Of A Gun, and winner of the 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award in Nonfiction
  • "The soul of baseball is in the stories it tells. "Hard to Grip" is an inspirational, sad and amusing tale of a real life, told right by Emil DeAndreis."
    Award-winning writer for Yahoo Sports. Co-author, with Jim Abbott, of the New York Times bestseller, Imperfect: An Improbable Life, and co-author of the forthcoming book The Phenomenon, with Rick Ankiel
  • "A vibrant depiction of a ballplayer that finds his way despite losing his ability to play the game he loves. Emil is a total gamer and a wonderful writer. Grab some time, and enjoy."
    Emmy Award-Winning Commentator For The San Francisco Giants