The Bookshelf Podcast: Wayne Coffey

June 13, 2012

I have to admit, when I first heard that R.A. Dickey’s memoir, Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball, contained information about his sexual abuse as a child, I thought, “Here we go again. Another celebrity who has to come up with an angle to sell his otherwise average story.”

I humbly apologize. Dickey’s honest and excellent book is really about the difficulties every athlete — indeed every person — faces on a regular basis. Of course, we don’t all have to deal with the trauma of abuse, thank God, but we all have our moments of doubt and worry. Dickey’s religious faith helped him through these crises, although it is always a struggle. (My review of Wherever I Wind Up is included in my annual baseball book roundup on It also made The new York Times Best-Seller List for the week of April 29.)

Dickey is more than ably aided in his account by Wayne Coffey, a veteran sports columnist for the New York Daily News. Coffey has several sports titles to his credit, both for adult and kids. I spoke with him recently about the sensitivity needed for a project such as this, and the potential danger of having a collaborator truly tell-all.

Dickey — who is thus far having an All-Star caliber season — will be at the Yogi Berra Museum on the Campus of Montclair State University in Little Falls, NJ, on Thursday, June 21, from 6-7:30 p.m. Coffey will be on assignment covering the U.S. Olympic Trials but said he hopes to be able to make the event.

For information or to pre-order, call 973-655-2378.

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