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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“I Told You I Wasn't Perfect” is an autobiography written by Denny McLain, a former All-Star controversial pitcher, with Eli Zaret. Retired in 1972, he spiraled down throughout the 80s and 90s, in and out of prison for several criminal charges. Then on December 20, 1996, he and Roger Smiegel were convicted on five counts of money laundering, mail fraud and theft from the Peet Packing pension fund, a now defunct meat packing company in Michigan, Detroit. McLain shares his tale of triumph and downfall from a popular public image to a criminal that was linked to Gotti.
My lack of knowledge of baseball and its stars actually made my reading much more interesting as I got to know the sport through the eyes of one of its former stars, Denny McLain. In fact, I learned so much as I got to know McLain as a person. He looked back to his harsh childhood, where he and his brother Tim grew up with an alcoholic father and a miserable mother. He shares his highest plateau in the major leagues and his low point when he was suspended for gambling. After finishing this book I am uncertain as to whether I should be sympathize with or dislike McLain. As in the case of most of us, McLain is a mixture of good and bad leaving this reader with conflicting emotions. There was a clash of ego and grief in his story - his daughter’s death due to an accident was a sad tragedy. Nevertheless, an entertaining read but for baseball fans, this book could be highly debatable.