About the Book
Book: Dreaming of the Majors
Author: Dick “Lefty” O’Neal
Genre: SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball / History
Release Date: April 4, 2014
By all counts, Dick “Lefty” O’Neal didn’t have a chance of playing professional baseball. However, today he holds the distinction of being the only white baseball player to pitch for two teams in the Negro Leagues that flourished throughout the twentieth century. “Dreaming of the Majors” is his account of the dream he nurtured from the age of five to play Major League baseball, the people God brought into his life who shaped the dream, and the amazing and unexpected twists and turns Dick experienced along the journey toward fulfilling the dream.
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About the Author
Lefty is currently an Adjunct Professor in Speech, Motivational Speaker, and MLB Scout. He is also a consultant for a possible movie, “Dreaming of the Majors,” which would be based on Dreaming of the Majors – Living in the Bush. He has two grown children, Amy and Adam. He and his wife Harriett have been married forty-plus years and live in Universal City, Texas.
More from Lefty
Want to hear a secret? I have never been interested in sports, particularly at any competitive level. I also have zero knowledge of how sports are played or of the jargon used in the sporting world. In the spirit of challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone by signing up to review some books that I normally wouldn’t try, however, I decided to give “Dreaming of the Majors” a go. When I saw the second half of the title (“Living in the Bush”), I honestly thought that it was referring to Australia. Seriously. I was quite confused at first and had to use Google to tell me what a bush league was. With that not-so-auspicious beginning, I was wondering what I had gotten myself into and preparing to be simultaneously bored stiff and clueless. Thankfully, though, I was neither!
Dick O’Neal uses “Dreaming of the Majors—Living in the Bush” to demonstrate how the Lord has worked in his life. Something that I noticed and appreciated right away is how, even though this book is autobiographical, the author does not only talk about himself. In many ways, this is the story of his mentors, colleagues, teammates, coaches, and students just as much as it is his own. I think that this contributes to this not being a dry book, even for someone like me who has no interest in baseball. Let’s be honest: 99% of the time I did not really understand the baseball aspect and its nuances. However, while I’m sure that someone who is interested in the sport would enjoy “Dreaming of the Majors” even more, it is definitely not exclusive for other readers and is still what I consider an overall easy read.
For anyone needing assurance that God has every detail of our lives planned and is orchestrating every moment for our good and His glory, “Dreaming of the Majors” should be on your reading list. It is truly a joy to witness how God guides O’Neal and brings things full-circle, with one event connecting to another years later. Despite not playing in the Major League, O’Neal’s dreams still come true in various ways as he lives in obedience to God’s plans for him despite apparent setbacks. Early on, O’Neal offers sage advice: “If you give your best effort at every level, you’ll be able to hold your head high, and you’ll never have to face those two dreaded words: ‘what ifs.’” I learned that he is the only white man in Negro League Baseball history to play in two professional Negro leagues in two different states, and I realized that he had to be protected because of his skin color. I love his attitude, mirroring that of God, who doesn’t see skin color but rather the state of our hearts and whether we have accepted Jesus or not. The time O’Neal spent in the military also interested me, especially living overseas for a period. Inspirational and motivational, his life story emphasizes humility and the influence that we as Christians have in other peoples’ lives.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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