May 31st, 2014
“John Rosengren extraordinarily depicts how two men long since retired taught the world a valuable lesson -- that it is okay to forgive.”
-Andre Dawson, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
The moment is immortalized by an iconic photo: Juan Marichal’s bat poised to strike John Roseboro’s head.
But that moment is merely a flashpoint in an extraordinary story about fierce baseball competition and culture, an era of great conflict and change, and two men who were determined to turn an ugly incident from their past into a beautiful friendship.
One Sunday in August 1965, when baseball’s bitter rivals, the Giants and Dodgers, vied for the pennant, the national pastime reflected the tensions in society and nearly sullied two men forever. Marichal, a Dominican anxious about his family’s safety during the civil war back home, and Roseboro, a black man living in South Central L.A. shaken by the Watts riots, attacked one another during a fight -- uncharacteristic of either man -- that linked the two forever and haunted both.
In The Fight of Their Lives, award-winning author John Rosengren explores the American culture of the time. Through interviews with Roseboro’s surviving family and Marichal himself, contemporary and remembered accounts of teammates like Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays, and dogged research, Rosengren unpacks a story that transcends the game. Listen in...
John Rosengren is the award-winning author of eight books, including Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes. His articles have appeared in more than 100 publications, ranging from Reader’s Digest to Sports Illustrated to the Utne Reader.