Impact Player (Book Review)

Impact Player: Leaving a lasting legacy on and off the Field, is an autobiography by Bobby Richardson.  Tyndale Publishers, 2012.  283 pages and a photo section.

The first book, The Bobby Richardson Story, 1965, Revell, was also a first-hand account of this New York Yankee second baseman.  It is much smaller, and now found only as second-hand books by sellers on places such as eBay and

Bobby Richardson, along with Al Worthington, was known for his clean living and excellent major league playing ability.  The two did not mix easily in the late 1950’s and into the 1970’s.  With thanks to players like Richardson and Worthington, we now have clean-living options for professional sports.  After his retirement from baseball, Richardson tells of the efforts he put into Baseball Chapel, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Those contributions are part of the book.

Impact Player is captivating if the reader enjoys baseball.  Otherwise, the book has detailed many events in Richardson’s life that could help younger athletes understand the importance of giving place to those who made a difference in achievement.  In places the book becomes tedious even to those readers, like myself, who enjoy the game of baseball.  I found myself flipping past pages (I read it on my Kindle™) of World Series play-by-play innings.

Once I found myself at the point of how Richardson was instrumental in the spiritual lives of other great Yankee players, my interest perked up quickly.  The last chapters of the book detail how Richardson was used of God to lead Mickey Mantle to saving faith in Jesus.  Richardson, himself, conducted Mantle’s funeral.  With humility and grace the book also points out spiritual struggles that the Richardsons faced in marriage and family.

I highly recommend this book to men of all ages.  It encloses challenges to men in particular.  I enjoyed it from the standpoint of my personal enjoyment of the sport called baseball.  I put this book alongside books by Dungy, and my favorite, Higher Calling by Rick Husband.  How’s that for well-rounded biography?  Baseball, football, and an astronaut!

I give this book at least four stars; let’s make it 4.8 stars just because of some of the pages I flipped past!



  1. Glenda

    It is always encouraging to read and hear of “famous” people whose spiritual lives have developed and grown. I just might have to look this one up, and even the first one!

  2. Reblogged this on The Shepherd's Presence and commented:

    In recognition of Babe Ruth’s birthday, I am reposting this from last June. In many eyes he was the best, and no doubt, he was talented. My hero, however, is still Bobby Richardson.

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