Picks and Pans Review: Living the Dream

updated 08/25/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/25/1997 01:00AM

by Dot Richardson with Don Yaeger

By the time Dot Richardson hit the dramatic home run that won America the 1996 Olympic gold medal in women's softball, she had traveled a long way from the Florida Little League field where, when she was 10, a coach asked her to join his team provided she cut her hair and call herself Bob. Living the Dream is Richardson's low-key, appealing chronicle of her remarkable achievements. At 13, she became the youngest player ever to compete in women's major-league softball. She continued to excel through college at UCLA, medical school in Louisville and training as an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles, when she would often fly crosscountry to play with the celebrated Raybestos Brakettes. Meanwhile she coped with a teammate's death from a brain tumor, a ruptured spinal disc during Olympic tryouts, and other travails. Though some of her motivational chat about playing your hardest seems a little familiar, Richardson's book is inspirational—well worth giving to any girl considering a career in women's professional sports. (Kensington, S19.95)

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