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Met and Yankee All-Star pitcher David Cone shares lessons from the World Series and beyond in this essential New York Times bestselling memoir for baseball fans everywhere. "There was a sense about him and an aura about him. Even when he was in trouble, he carried himself like a pitcher who said, 'I'm the man out here.' And he usually was." -- Andy Pettitte on David Cone. To Met and Yankee All-Star pitcher David Cone shares lessons from the World Series and beyond in this essential New York Times bestselling memoir for baseball fans everywhere. "There was a sense about him and an aura about him. Even when he was in trouble, he carried himself like a pitcher who said, 'I'm the man out here.' And he usually was." -- Andy Pettitte on David Cone. To any baseball fan, David Cone was a bold and brilliant pitcher. During his 17-year career, he became a master of the mechanics and mental toughness a pitcher needs to succeed in the major leagues. A five-time All-Star and five-time World Champion now gives his full count -- balls and strikes, errors and outs -- of his colorful life in baseball. From the pitchers he studied to the hitters who infuriated him, Full Count takes readers inside the mind of a thoughtful pitcher, detailing Cone's passion, composure and strategies. The book is also filled with never-before-told stories from the memorable teams Cone played on -- ranging from the infamous late '80s Mets to the Yankee dynasty of the '90s. And, along the way, Full Count offers the lessons baseball taught Cone -- from his mistakes as a young and naive pitcher to outwitting the best hitters in the world -- one pitch at a time.


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Met and Yankee All-Star pitcher David Cone shares lessons from the World Series and beyond in this essential New York Times bestselling memoir for baseball fans everywhere. "There was a sense about him and an aura about him. Even when he was in trouble, he carried himself like a pitcher who said, 'I'm the man out here.' And he usually was." -- Andy Pettitte on David Cone. To Met and Yankee All-Star pitcher David Cone shares lessons from the World Series and beyond in this essential New York Times bestselling memoir for baseball fans everywhere. "There was a sense about him and an aura about him. Even when he was in trouble, he carried himself like a pitcher who said, 'I'm the man out here.' And he usually was." -- Andy Pettitte on David Cone. To any baseball fan, David Cone was a bold and brilliant pitcher. During his 17-year career, he became a master of the mechanics and mental toughness a pitcher needs to succeed in the major leagues. A five-time All-Star and five-time World Champion now gives his full count -- balls and strikes, errors and outs -- of his colorful life in baseball. From the pitchers he studied to the hitters who infuriated him, Full Count takes readers inside the mind of a thoughtful pitcher, detailing Cone's passion, composure and strategies. The book is also filled with never-before-told stories from the memorable teams Cone played on -- ranging from the infamous late '80s Mets to the Yankee dynasty of the '90s. And, along the way, Full Count offers the lessons baseball taught Cone -- from his mistakes as a young and naive pitcher to outwitting the best hitters in the world -- one pitch at a time.

30 review for Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    It is halfway through the winter. My football team of choice has been out of the running for the past two weeks although it feels like much longer. This week baseball has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. A sign stealing scandal involving multiple teams has been brought to light, and three managers were fired in less than a week, as more punishments are sure to be forthcoming. Yet, with many teams holding their winter caravans and fan conventions this weekend, I find myself missin It is halfway through the winter. My football team of choice has been out of the running for the past two weeks although it feels like much longer. This week baseball has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. A sign stealing scandal involving multiple teams has been brought to light, and three managers were fired in less than a week, as more punishments are sure to be forthcoming. Yet, with many teams holding their winter caravans and fan conventions this weekend, I find myself missing baseball season more than I usually do. Whether it’s the constant of knowing that for six straight months a game will be played or the ebb and flow of the season or the feeling I get of hope springs eternal on opening day, I find myself craving baseball earlier than in other off seasons. Thankfully, my co-moderator at the baseball book club reminded me of a memoir I did not get to last year, and I was all too happy to join him in reading my first baseball book of the year. David Cone pitched primarily for the Royals, Mets, and Yankees over the course of a seventeen major league career. Growing up, he envisioned himself in the mold of Luis Tiant and Juan Marichal, two pitchers I coincidentally read about last year, and named his backyard Coneway Park and Conedlestick Park after Tiant and Marichal’s home stadiums. By age nine, Cone knew he wanted to be a pitcher. His father became his first coach and made time for all four of his children when it came to sports, even after working third shift at his job for years. Both Cone and his father were pretty unconventional when it came to teaching kids how to throw pitches, and David learned how to throw a curve ball at age twelve. Today and a generation ago the majority of kids only throw a fast ball until their bodies stop growing and they can handle the stress of spin on their elbows. Few major league starting pitchers rely on only one pitch, so the Cone family was literally ahead of the curve, albeit with one caveat: David Cone did not pitch in high school because his school did not field a team. His tutelage was learning from his father and participating in summer ball, but it was enough to earn a tryout with his hometown Royals and later be drafted by them. Cone was on his way to pitching at Royals Stadium, his childhood dream. In light of the sign stealing scandal, I was actually more intrigued by Cone’s asides in between the chronology as he discussed how pitchers develop rapport with their catchers and attempt to prevent pitches from being tipped. He explains the signals that catchers use to represent each of the four most common pitches and how signs need to be changed when the opposing team has a runner at second base. Cone pitched a decade and a half before the new wave of technology that has permeated baseball so he did not have to deal with cameras that lead to today’s scandal. He does discuss how a pitcher might accidentally tip off his pitches and what a pitcher and his pitching coach can do to prevent this from happening even if it is a minor adjustment of arm angle or facial expression. While these sections can be viewed as tedious by some, I found them fascinating as Cone examines the intricacies of the game that he and I both love. Whatever he did on mound paid dividends because he was much wanted during his career, being traded multiple times to contending teams and winning five World Series titles with the Blue Jays and Yankees. Over the course of a long career with multiple teams, Cone felt most at home in the pressure cooker of New York. Besides the tutelage that Cone provides, he gives his fair share of anecdotes as well. His time with the Mets during the late 1980s allowed from some R-rated moments, but that was the Mets image during that era, a team of misfits that managed to win one championship. I remember Cone well from his early years because the Mets competed in the same division as my Cubs so inevitably he pitched against the Cubs as many as four or five times a year. With a fast ball that most Cubs players of that era could not handle, Cone would also defeat the Cubs four to five times a year. Cone gives the most insights, however, with his time as a member of the Yankees between 1995-2000. Thriving pitching in New York, Cone was a cog on a pitching staff that helped lead the Yankees to four World Series titles during that time frame. He gives insights into what it was like to be on the Yankees, providing stories about manager Joe Torre, owner George Steinbrenner, as well as many of the Yankees household names. What was most emotional is the perfect game Cone pitched at Yankee Stadium in 1999, only a few months removed from having surgery to remove an aneurysm from his pitching shoulder. The performance was gutsy and emblematic of a career where Cone did not want to be taken out of any game. In an era just before pitch counts came into play, Cone was an indeed a warrior on the mound, and it is little wonder to me that many teams bid for his services on multiple occasions. Knowing the nuances of pitching, David Cone would have made an excellent pitching coach. It is in his blood, being coached by his father from the time he was nine years old. Yet, ten years after throwing his last major league pitch, Cone became an analyst for the YES network and is still a member of the Yankees broadcast team. Watching Yankees games with my husband, Cone is still a relevant part of baseball for me. As a club house leader and a student of the game, I was fascinated to read about David Cone’s career. He was a durable and gutsy pitcher whose career spanned seventeen years and like many former players is still part of baseball today. It is easy to miss the game for a retired player who gets antsy to be at the ball park for game time. I know I miss baseball especially in the winter months, the time period my co-moderator calls those dreadful time where no baseball is played. So until the first pitch is thrown in the spring, I will continue to read about the game that I love. It is the best tonic for me during this doldrum period with no football or baseball to be played but at least knowing that baseball season is just around the corner. 4 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    I like baseball (specifically the Yankees) and I’ve always liked David Cone, but to fully appreciate this book “liking” is not enough. You need to be obsessed with pitching. I’m not particularly interested in the mechanics of pitching. This book had a lot of mechanics. There was also a lot about the pitcher/catcher/batter/umpire dance. It felt very repetitive to me. I wanted to know more about Cone and his teammates. There was some of this, but nowhere near enough for me. Cone did a good job nar I like baseball (specifically the Yankees) and I’ve always liked David Cone, but to fully appreciate this book “liking” is not enough. You need to be obsessed with pitching. I’m not particularly interested in the mechanics of pitching. This book had a lot of mechanics. There was also a lot about the pitcher/catcher/batter/umpire dance. It felt very repetitive to me. I wanted to know more about Cone and his teammates. There was some of this, but nowhere near enough for me. Cone did a good job narrating the audiobook.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    Most baseball fans who have seen David Cone pitch during his 20 year career in Major League Baseball will have a moment or two in which they reacted "Wow, is he good!" Maybe it was his perfect game he threw in 1999 against the Montreal Expos (on only 88 pitches). Maybe it was one of his gutsy performances in which he logged pitch counts that would be unfathomable today, such as his 166 pitch game. Maybe it would be when he was part of the celebration for the 1992 Blue Jays winning the World Seri Most baseball fans who have seen David Cone pitch during his 20 year career in Major League Baseball will have a moment or two in which they reacted "Wow, is he good!" Maybe it was his perfect game he threw in 1999 against the Montreal Expos (on only 88 pitches). Maybe it was one of his gutsy performances in which he logged pitch counts that would be unfathomable today, such as his 166 pitch game. Maybe it would be when he was part of the celebration for the 1992 Blue Jays winning the World Series. Or, maybe one knows him now as part of the television broadcast team for the New York Yankees. Regardless of what is most memorable, fans and readers of baseball books will enjoy this memoir that goes well beyond a recap of his career. There is one word that kept coming back to me throughout the book – perfectionist. That is the overall image I believe Cone was portraying himself to be. With the book starting off with Cone's failure to complete the eighth inning of game 4 of the 1995 American League Division Series between the Yankees and Seattle Mariners and continuing throughout the book, Cone spends a lot of time discussing his failures or recklessness that resulted in lessons he learned and took to heart to become an even better pitcher. As a native of Kansas City, he was elated to be drafted and making his major league debut with the Royals. Some of the recklessness mentioned above is discussed in this time in his life and it went up a level when he was traded to the New York Mets and was a part of the team when they had a famous wild reputation. He wasn't around for their 1986 championship but he did pitch in that team's other postseason appearance, the 1988 National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. His poor outing in game 2 of that series is another example where he beats himself up for his bad outing but still uses the experience to learn a valuable lesson. His time in New York with the Mets ended when he was traded during the 1992 season to help the Toronto Blue Jays win their first championship. He left the Blue Jays after that season to rejoin the Royals, who then later sent him to the New York Yankees when Kansas City decided to use younger, cheaper players. When Cone gets to the Yankees, the great stories that made up the book early on return, as Cone shares his impressions of his teammates such as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite. The stories about the latter tie in nicely with the other main topic of the book – terrific insights into the occupation of pitching. That is the subject of many stories he shares about the lessons learned. Whether Cone talks about how to throw off speed pitches, batters looking for any means of how to figure out what pitch is coming next or the art of sign stealing (something very interesting to read now with the revelation of the sign stealing scandal of the Houston Astros), Cone talks with an air of authority and experience. These were my favorite parts of the book and he credits so many people for helping him along the way. From his father to hitters telling him what he was doing to telegraph his pitchers to his encounter with Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven in a hotel bar that resulted in a lesson on throwing a curveball, these passages about the art of pitching made for some great reading. Any baseball fan who was a fan of Cone, one of his three main teams, or even just a fan of the game will want to pick up this book. Whether one reads the book or listens to the audio version – I did both, and the audio by Cone lend an air of authenticity to that version – one will learn much about the art of pitching. https://sportsbookguy.blogspot.com/20...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brig

    This book is literally fantastic. Don't skip this. It's up there with "Cubs Way" as one of the greatest books on baseball you'll ever read. Part autobiography and part pitching lecture series. The stories shared strike a perfect ballance of fan interest and nostalgic chronicling. Any baseball fan would enjoy this book. Its hyper-smooth delivery is a major credit to both Cone and Curry, their editing team, etc., as it never waivered for a moment. This book is literally fantastic. Don't skip this. It's up there with "Cubs Way" as one of the greatest books on baseball you'll ever read. Part autobiography and part pitching lecture series. The stories shared strike a perfect ballance of fan interest and nostalgic chronicling. Any baseball fan would enjoy this book. Its hyper-smooth delivery is a major credit to both Cone and Curry, their editing team, etc., as it never waivered for a moment.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    This is really more a book about pitching, as told through moments in Cone’s career, than it really is a memoir. It definitely highlights how Cone blends sabermetrics with the human aspects of the game, which makes him one of my favorite YES broadcasters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin baschinsky

    Great insight into pitching and the mechanics. Many great anecdotes. Brutally honest, Cone brings it the same way he threw a pitch. His best effort .

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael G

    Although Roger Angell’s “Innings: A Pitcher’s Story” about pitcher David Cone was entertaining, Cone and Curry’s “Full Count” deserves 4 stars for really educating the reader on the art of pitching. I’ve loved baseball my whole life, but learned much more about the game in this book than I’d ever imagined. For sure, it would help players who pick it up. And, yes, lots of fun stories, especially on the Yanks and Mets...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Taro

    From the late-1980s to early-1990s, David Cone was the de facto ace of the Mets pitching rotation loaded with great talents like Dwight Gooden, Frank Viola, Sid Fernandez, and Ron Darling. I fondly remember that Cone's explosive stuff and dynamic pitching style among such colorful pitching staff in part drew me into the Queens, not Bronx, side of New York baseball. To a Mets fan it was sad to see Cone getting embraced more by the "wrong" side with which he himself has eventually identified deepe From the late-1980s to early-1990s, David Cone was the de facto ace of the Mets pitching rotation loaded with great talents like Dwight Gooden, Frank Viola, Sid Fernandez, and Ron Darling. I fondly remember that Cone's explosive stuff and dynamic pitching style among such colorful pitching staff in part drew me into the Queens, not Bronx, side of New York baseball. To a Mets fan it was sad to see Cone getting embraced more by the "wrong" side with which he himself has eventually identified deeper, and that shows in this autobiography. That said, Full Count is a satisfying book even for those who maintain aversion to the Evil Empire, as it follows Cone's stellar pitching career in its entirety, from when he was a kid learning to pitch from his dad and becoming an elite Big League pitcher, to days when he lost stuff to aging. The book is also full of stories about teammates and other baseball personnel which help to put Cone's baseball career in context. However, it has been over 15 years since Cone retired and it shows. While he is a very analytical type, his playing career spanned years well before the sabermetric revolution. As such much of his insights on pitching sounds quite ordinary and old school by now. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, I wonder what Cone would had become as a pitcher, had he been infused with the new data and knowledge that are now widely available but not exposed in his days. It is also interesting to learn that Cone appears to think young Darryl Strawberry was a superior talent than young Mike Trout. Is that just Nostalgia?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bennett Sciacca

    If you have ever watched a Yankee game on the YES Network, then David Cone's baseball intelligence will come as no surprise to you. His wit and accumen translate seamlessly from the broadcast booth to this book, and the reader really feels like they're talking shop with Coney one on one the whole way through. I enjoyed the general chronology of his career threaded in with various anecdotes and lessons. From setting the record straight on some of those crazy Mets years to recounting the magical ru If you have ever watched a Yankee game on the YES Network, then David Cone's baseball intelligence will come as no surprise to you. His wit and accumen translate seamlessly from the broadcast booth to this book, and the reader really feels like they're talking shop with Coney one on one the whole way through. I enjoyed the general chronology of his career threaded in with various anecdotes and lessons. From setting the record straight on some of those crazy Mets years to recounting the magical run with the Yankees. Mixed into those tales are in-depth discussions of situational pitching, arm angles, creating spin on the ball and more. You will learn something from this book whether you are an aspiring youngster, current pro pitcher, or a fan looking to continue to grow their knowledge of the game and watch baseball in new ways.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    The single best baseball book I have ever read. Cone is brutally honest but not once harsh. He and Curry have crafted an incredible book of instruction on pitching and not once is it complicated or boring or too technical. It may very well be the one book on pitching I have waited years for but never knew I needed until after I started reading it. Such a gift to one who loves to read and loves baseball.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Danny Knobler

    Great insight on pitching Some books you just know you’re going to like. Between Jack Curry’s writing and David Cone’s ability to discuss and dissect pitching, this was always going to be a great book. It doesn’t disappoint.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I really liked it, but you need to be a real baseball fan. There were just so many things relating to pitchers and others on the field that had never occurred to me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Panichella

    Reading this book was a joy it felt like David Cone was in the room talking to me about baseball & his life in baseball.Jack Curry did a fantastic job writing this for Cone the stories were great.For anyone who is a true baseball fan especially a true Yankee fan this is a must read,you will not be disappointed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jim Savastio

    Many of the baseball books I read can be enjoyed by non-baseball fans. This is bit more of a technical look at the art and science of pitching. As a Yankee fan and the father of a college pitcher I enjoyed reading this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Steve

    I love David Cone and I enjoyed this book. True to the title, it does delve quite often into the intricacies of pitching. I skimmed over these parts. I also found the structure of the book mildly distracting - it was not chronological, so it would go from 1985 to 2001 to 1993 to 1987 to 1996 (for example), depending on the particular topic being addressed. Overall, it is definitely a book worth reading - especially if you are a David Cone fan like me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Don Heiman

    The 2019 David Cone and coauthor Jack Curry book, “Full Count: the Education of a Pitcher” is amazing. It is a book that educates fans about the inner life of major league players who are driven to excel and make a mark. The pitch-by-pitch chapter about the sixth inning of game 3 of the 1996 World Series between the Yankees and Braves is reader-education at the highest level. Thank you David for allowing me to walk-in-your cleats! You have taught me well. (P)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    The most insightful book on pitching I've read. How to throw X's - on the corners and on the low and high ends of the strike zone; pitch sequencing; the grips needed for each pitch flavor; how to communicate with your catcher; what to do when your velocity drops in your 30s; working with the strike zone the ump is giving you; not tipping pitches; disguising signs; goading hitters into getting themselves out; staying confident in your arsenal, but showing the will to adapt when the game plan does The most insightful book on pitching I've read. How to throw X's - on the corners and on the low and high ends of the strike zone; pitch sequencing; the grips needed for each pitch flavor; how to communicate with your catcher; what to do when your velocity drops in your 30s; working with the strike zone the ump is giving you; not tipping pitches; disguising signs; goading hitters into getting themselves out; staying confident in your arsenal, but showing the will to adapt when the game plan doesn't pan out. David Cone was one of the 5 best pitchers in baseball from ~'88 - '94 and showed up big for the Yankees with a 2.12 World Series ERA. He was also the worst player on the Yankees 2000 title team, and for such a dynamic pitcher he sure got traded a lot in his prime. I don't believe everything written here - Cone claiming to only do coke once when apparently half of NYC was addicted to it - and even when accepting blame for things gone wrong, Cone seems eager to qualify or excuse it. On the other hand I got some good analysis on two of my favorite lefties - Glavine & Pettitte - and saw a bit of the behind the scenes stories on what may have the greatest team in the modern era - the '98 Yankees. (I had totally forgotten they started off 1-4 and that Torre was feeling some heat over it. Oh well, they won 125 games that year, including the playoffs, so it all seemed to work out.) The book also reinforced my belief that catcher is the hardest position to play by a considerable margin. You've got to call the game, know what your pitcher has that day, stand in as his friend, colleague, psychologist, and mom, all the while keeping the running game in check, blocking balls in the dirt, and occasionally taking 100 MPH+ foul tips off your groin. Sign me up! Cone really does well walking us through a single inning, and all the thought that went into each pitch in a battle against the heart of the Braves order, as well as what he did on the day he was perfect. It helps if you're a Yankee or Met fan, but really I would recommend this for anyone who's a fan of pitching, and what's required to be great at it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    “Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher” by David Cone and Jack Curry A phenomenal and well written memoir about David Cone’s journey to become a Major League Baseball pitcher, something he desired since his youth. He takes the reader on his path from learning pitching from his father, how he learned and utilized three main pitches, as well as the challenges he had in developing and utilizing them effectively. Cone takes us on his journey through the minor leagues to the major leagues. How each e “Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher” by David Cone and Jack Curry A phenomenal and well written memoir about David Cone’s journey to become a Major League Baseball pitcher, something he desired since his youth. He takes the reader on his path from learning pitching from his father, how he learned and utilized three main pitches, as well as the challenges he had in developing and utilizing them effectively. Cone takes us on his journey through the minor leagues to the major leagues. How each experience, each team, each coach and several players affected his pitching experience. He is honest and truthful about his personality, his challenges, his beliefs, his goals, achievements and disappointments. I found the memoir riveting and one that held my attention long into the night. I read it twice through since it is so thorough and interesting. I wanted to ensure I didn’t miss any part of it. (It was worth it and just as wonderful the second time through.) Cone and Curry teamed up and wrote an honest, open, and extremely interesting journey of David Cone’s history to become a professional pitcher and how, upon retirement, he has taken that experience into other aspects of his life. Something that comes through, not just in the novel, but as a broadcaster. A must read for anyone interested in David Cone, but more so about the thoughts and experiences any pitcher goes through. Cone and Curry utilize the experience of other pitchers throughout the memoir to explain these further and in greater detail, which just adds to the read. Filled with quotes and insight from other players, this is a truly mesmerizing journey of one pitcher, the personal and general experiences he encountered throughout the years prior, during and after his career as a MLB pitcher. Rating: 5.0 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ken Heard

    Bleacher Report ranked David Cone as the 20th best New York Yankees pitcher of all time, but I'd argue that at his prime, Cone may have been one of the top 20 pitchers of all time. He began with a less than stellar Kansas City team and then helped anchor the Toronto Blue Jays to its first World Series win in 1992. His years with the Yankees are the example of his prime and he went 8-3 in playoff games during his career. He was great in key games (See: Game 3, 1996 World Series vs. Atlanta). So, C Bleacher Report ranked David Cone as the 20th best New York Yankees pitcher of all time, but I'd argue that at his prime, Cone may have been one of the top 20 pitchers of all time. He began with a less than stellar Kansas City team and then helped anchor the Toronto Blue Jays to its first World Series win in 1992. His years with the Yankees are the example of his prime and he went 8-3 in playoff games during his career. He was great in key games (See: Game 3, 1996 World Series vs. Atlanta). So, Cone has credibility. And his book shows that. With a combination of biography, game recounts and pitching tutorials, Cone has put together an interesting read. He admits to being pretty intense, arguing with managers and fighting with teammates during tense game situations. But that intensity fuels his drive to win and he analyzes the drive in Full Count. I am impressed with his memory of pitches, recounting what he threw to opposing players during key games. He explains why he chose to throw a slider rather than a fastball at a 3-1 count and he does it in interesting detail. He also shows his development as a pitcher from a child to the 1999 perfect game against Montreal which adds to the depth of why he chose certain pitches. When the casual fan watches baseball, he or she just sees the pitcher throw. But there is so much more going on with the pitcher trying to exploit the batter's weaknesses, trying to guess what the batter is expecting as a next pitch and trying to think a pitch or two ahead. Cone shows all that thinking that goes on on the mound. It's really an insightful look into the psychology and planning of a game. This a well-written book that delves into what one of the better pitchers thinks about while playing the game. A must read for all fans.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tom Gase

    A really good autobiography on a very good pitcher, David Cone, who threw for the Yankees, Mets, Blue Jays, Royals and briefly the Red Sox over the course of about 15 years in MLB. When Cone first came up with the Mets in 1988, I didn't like him because of comments he said in the papers during the NLCS against my favorite team, the Dodgers. But in this book he admits he was young and what he did was stupid. In fact, Cone comes across as a very smart person and pitcher, although maybe too competi A really good autobiography on a very good pitcher, David Cone, who threw for the Yankees, Mets, Blue Jays, Royals and briefly the Red Sox over the course of about 15 years in MLB. When Cone first came up with the Mets in 1988, I didn't like him because of comments he said in the papers during the NLCS against my favorite team, the Dodgers. But in this book he admits he was young and what he did was stupid. In fact, Cone comes across as a very smart person and pitcher, although maybe too competitive at times. But I really liked this book, helped out by Jack Curry, as it's not your traditional autobiography for a pitcher. Yes, there are the classic games, including his perfect game in 1999 that he talks about, or a big inning he threw in the 1996 and 2000 World Series. However, Cone also really takes you inside the mind of a pitcher, and this book is as much instructional as it is a reflection. Good stuff and although I absolutely love Roger Angell, this book was better than that author's book on Cone. (Everyone gets one bad one, Angell is still GOD when it comes to baseball writers).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark Simon

    This book does exactly what it sets out to do - gives you a look inside the brain of a major league pitcher in many different situations. It's an interesting psychological study in how a pitcher has insecurities in his job, just like you or I might in our jobs. What's great is that David looks at a lot of the things that happened in his career (on and off the field) with the perspective of someone now considerably older and wiser. You get a description of the action and then his reaction to the This book does exactly what it sets out to do - gives you a look inside the brain of a major league pitcher in many different situations. It's an interesting psychological study in how a pitcher has insecurities in his job, just like you or I might in our jobs. What's great is that David looks at a lot of the things that happened in his career (on and off the field) with the perspective of someone now considerably older and wiser. You get a description of the action and then his reaction to the moment both when it happened and well after the fact. I'm slightly biased here in that I've interviewed David a few times and very much enjoyed talking to him. But if you're a baseball fan into the thinking that goes into the game, I'm pretty sure you'll like this book. Props to co-author Jack Curry for knowing how to get the most out of David. Added bonus, if you like this sort of thing: He does a lot of talking about pitch grips. A good complement to Tyler Kepner's K, which I just read and also recommend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    STEVE HOLLEY

    Part Autobiography, Part Self-Help Guide for Pitchers I loved Cone’s telling of personal stories and remembrances from his playing days, which is what I suspect drove most people to buy this book. If it were only those stories and insights contained in these chapters, I’d give this a five-star rating without question. However, the chapters on pitching, while wholly informative for present and up and coming pitchers, can tune the average baseball fan and reader out after a while, especially as the Part Autobiography, Part Self-Help Guide for Pitchers I loved Cone’s telling of personal stories and remembrances from his playing days, which is what I suspect drove most people to buy this book. If it were only those stories and insights contained in these chapters, I’d give this a five-star rating without question. However, the chapters on pitching, while wholly informative for present and up and coming pitchers, can tune the average baseball fan and reader out after a while, especially as they are often repetitive. Nevertheless, Cone and co-author Jack Curry deserve applause for such a long, painstaking project. The insight in the book is hardly anything close to a modern “Ball Four,” but it doesn’t, nor shouldn’t, have to be. If anything, “Full Count” helps explain why Cone was such a tremendous pitcher and how that has translated into him being one of the best commentators in the broadcast booth today.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This was a fine book, especially because the audiobook was read by the author. I learned a lot about pitching despite the detailed descriptions that slowed the story down. However, there were too many “anatomies of an inning” where each individual pitch to each batter took pages and pages to describe. Too much, even for a fan like myself who watches over 100 baseball games a year. It is, perhaps, a microcosm of the problem baseball has at the moment - too long and slow. But it is clear that Davi This was a fine book, especially because the audiobook was read by the author. I learned a lot about pitching despite the detailed descriptions that slowed the story down. However, there were too many “anatomies of an inning” where each individual pitch to each batter took pages and pages to describe. Too much, even for a fan like myself who watches over 100 baseball games a year. It is, perhaps, a microcosm of the problem baseball has at the moment - too long and slow. But it is clear that David Cone is beyond smart when it comes to baseball and his book really explained his early adoption and continued love of analytics. I also wish that the story was told more chronologically because I lost the thread of his biography in the detailed descriptions of individual pitches. I would recommend this book to seasoned baseball fans but if you are a casual fan, you may want to skip it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sean O'Brien

    Ok, so, obviously I am a baseball fan. I’ve read quite a few baseball books over the years. I think my favorite is still “The Last Best League.” I did learn a lot about the inside game of baseball from Cone’s book. have always admired David Cone. In addition to being a smart, gifted pitcher, he is quite a talented communicator. Jack Curry, the co-writer, is someone I came to appreciate as a sports writer for The NY Times. I also happen to be a Yankee fan so it was interesting to hear about his M Ok, so, obviously I am a baseball fan. I’ve read quite a few baseball books over the years. I think my favorite is still “The Last Best League.” I did learn a lot about the inside game of baseball from Cone’s book. have always admired David Cone. In addition to being a smart, gifted pitcher, he is quite a talented communicator. Jack Curry, the co-writer, is someone I came to appreciate as a sports writer for The NY Times. I also happen to be a Yankee fan so it was interesting to hear about his Mets days and the talented, character-flawed teammates he had there. There are moments of self-aggrandizement in the book, but you have to have some ego to be as successful in sports as Cone was. All in all, the book held my attention. I am a rather slow reader and I got through this one quite briskly - for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jt

    Perhaps this piece of literature is purely a visceral experience. i was once a pitcher in Little League too. i related to how David's father taught him how to throw a curveball. isn't that beautiful? the way which David Cone & co-writer Jack Curry convey their love for baseball is electric, semi-cerebral and quite heartwarming. You follow his progression from high school to the minors to the big show. i couldn't have asked for a more poignant novel on the subject of baseball. it is a modern clas Perhaps this piece of literature is purely a visceral experience. i was once a pitcher in Little League too. i related to how David's father taught him how to throw a curveball. isn't that beautiful? the way which David Cone & co-writer Jack Curry convey their love for baseball is electric, semi-cerebral and quite heartwarming. You follow his progression from high school to the minors to the big show. i couldn't have asked for a more poignant novel on the subject of baseball. it is a modern classic. 5 stars. David Cone is a passionate, stubborn, obsessive yet very human thinker. he competes for 9 innings like his body is on fire. the pages are seamlessly woven. it kinda reignited my love for poetry and music. great books inspire and evoke. You don't have to be a sports fanatic to adore this memoir. Full Count leaves us longing for those extra innings in Life.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steve Carter

    Incredible insight into the mind of one of the smartest pitchers in the game. Cone takes you eloquently through his career with the Royals, Mets, Blue Jays, Yankees and Red Sox without coming across like a bland, everyday biography. Interwoven into his career highlights and experiences, are his pitching philosophies and approaches. He goes into great detail on how a pitcher should prepare and although it can get a bit technical for the fair-weather fan, he never gets overly complicated or loses Incredible insight into the mind of one of the smartest pitchers in the game. Cone takes you eloquently through his career with the Royals, Mets, Blue Jays, Yankees and Red Sox without coming across like a bland, everyday biography. Interwoven into his career highlights and experiences, are his pitching philosophies and approaches. He goes into great detail on how a pitcher should prepare and although it can get a bit technical for the fair-weather fan, he never gets overly complicated or loses the reader. I've always loved baseball and the fight between the batter and the pitcher, reading Cone's book really highlights how difficult, paranoid, strenuous pitching can be. As a Yankee fan, it was also incredible hearing his stories from being on the dynasty 90s team winning 4 World Series titles in 5 years and hearing about his headspace during his Perfect Game.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

    Cone doesn't address his life in chronological order here, nor do you get really any details about his personal life beyond the most cursory descriptions of his parents but the lack of candor or detail on that front is more than made up for with the deep dive into pitching as an art. There are pitch by pitch dissections of some pretty major innings considering Cone pitched a perfect game and was the opposing pitcher in Mike Mussina's perfect game that wasn't after a 2 out hit broke it up in the Cone doesn't address his life in chronological order here, nor do you get really any details about his personal life beyond the most cursory descriptions of his parents but the lack of candor or detail on that front is more than made up for with the deep dive into pitching as an art. There are pitch by pitch dissections of some pretty major innings considering Cone pitched a perfect game and was the opposing pitcher in Mike Mussina's perfect game that wasn't after a 2 out hit broke it up in the still scoreless 9th. Add 5 World Series rings, a Cy Young award and multiple 20 win seasons and Cone's resume is impressive. So is his knowledge of pitching and co-author Jack Curry does a good job structuring it in an interesting way.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Kelley

    First let me state a couple of things. First I am a diehard Yankees fan from the 1970's and second I debated giving this book a 4 star rating because of what I got from this book which I personally was a little disappointed with. I would consider this book a partial biography even though it does cover Mr. Cones career from he was first with Toronto, his time with the hard living Mets featuring Keith Hernandez and the boys on to the Yankees and eventually with the despised Boston Red Sox. When I First let me state a couple of things. First I am a diehard Yankees fan from the 1970's and second I debated giving this book a 4 star rating because of what I got from this book which I personally was a little disappointed with. I would consider this book a partial biography even though it does cover Mr. Cones career from he was first with Toronto, his time with the hard living Mets featuring Keith Hernandez and the boys on to the Yankees and eventually with the despised Boston Red Sox. When I stated in my review headline that this is a pitchers handbook that is what disappointed with this book. When you are interested in a person in what ever field of life they are in you want to learn what makes them tick and for a pitcher or someone who wants to be come a pitcher I think this would be an excellent read as Mr. Cone goes into a lot of the mechanics of pitching and why he did what he did. I did like about the last quarter of the book dealing with his time with the Yankees as it was a little more biographical.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Schaffer

    It was pretty good. The way he mixed the pitching lessons with his own experiences worked well. Sometimes when he would just talk pitching lessons though..it wasn’t as entertaining. I liked the way he chronicled coming up with the Royals and Mets. Not much on the Blue Jays or Royals but a bit. Weird Jeter idolatry mixed in in several passages. Yes, he was the perfect rookie. The Yankees part was good but too long winded. I gather Cone was married for a time that overlapped the latter his career, It was pretty good. The way he mixed the pitching lessons with his own experiences worked well. Sometimes when he would just talk pitching lessons though..it wasn’t as entertaining. I liked the way he chronicled coming up with the Royals and Mets. Not much on the Blue Jays or Royals but a bit. Weird Jeter idolatry mixed in in several passages. Yes, he was the perfect rookie. The Yankees part was good but too long winded. I gather Cone was married for a time that overlapped the latter his career, but he never once mentions his ex-wife. Odd. Not even in an anecdote. Nothing. About 100 or so pages in I was really digging the book but then the air went out.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Don Gorman

    (1 1/2). I will be kind and mark this up to two stars because I like to listen to David so much on TV broadcasts. His insight and humor there is really good, but this book is almost beyond the reach of serious baseballs nuts. When he is talking about other players, his memories of important games etc, this book is mostly fun. But his lengthy insights into his real job, pitching, are so intricate and detailed that it is hard to stay focused. I was hoping for more fun and less instruction. Mostly (1 1/2). I will be kind and mark this up to two stars because I like to listen to David so much on TV broadcasts. His insight and humor there is really good, but this book is almost beyond the reach of serious baseballs nuts. When he is talking about other players, his memories of important games etc, this book is mostly fun. But his lengthy insights into his real job, pitching, are so intricate and detailed that it is hard to stay focused. I was hoping for more fun and less instruction. Mostly boring stuff.

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