Cobra: A Life of Baseball and Brotherhood

Univ. of Nebraska. Apr. 2021. 480p. ISBN 9781496218735. $34.95. SPORTS
The six divisional titles, two World Series championships, and nine winning seasons the Pirates brought Pittsburgh in the 1970s marked an era of success the organization hadn't seen before and hasn't approached since. Right-fielder Parker was along for most of the ride, but as he recounts early in his autobiography (cowritten with sportswriter Jordan), his baseball career almost didn't happen: a star athlete in high school, Parker intended to be a running back for Ohio State when a knee injury derailed his football dreams. After being implicated in 1985 in the infamous Pittsburgh drug trials, he bounced back with his hometown Cincinnati Reds, but his reputation had taken a serious hit. Parker discusses all the unfairness and bigotry he faced as a Black baseball player in the 1970s and 1980s, but he more often chooses to focus on the good: the comradery he found with teammates like Willie Stargell, the countless accolades he collected, and the steep odds he overcame. 
VERDICT Parker has a deep collection of stories and he tells them in a way that puts readers right in the thick of it all, from play-by-plays of the biggest playoff games to the brash and freewheeling banter that was always on tap in the Pirates' clubhouse.  
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing