I've never been much of a spectator when it comes to sports. I'd much rather be out there throwing the ball around, or playing with my kids as opposed to parking my butt in front of a tv to watch games all day. That changes when I have the opportunity to watch greatness. I know most people love to root for the underdog, and I do appreciate a good upset, or come from behind story. But even more than that, I enjoy watching the athletes that set themselves apart by playing on an almost entirely different level than the professionals around them. I was never much of a basketball fan, but I knew that if Michael Jordan was playing, there would be a chance to witness greatness. That he might do something that almost defies logic. If Tiger Woods was playing golf on a particular weekend, I would tend to tune-in for the last few holes on a Sunday afternoon to watch how he would put a tournament away. Lance Armstrong (doping debate aside because everyone he beat also doped) was still exciting to watch as he dominated time-trials and mountain stages for years.
     When I first read about Bryce Harper as a sixteen year-old in Sports Illustrated, it was another story of an athlete playing at a level far above those around him. The Last Natural: Bryce Harper's Big Gamble in Sin City tells the tale of this true prodigy and his journey from being the best high school player in the country as a sophomore, through his one year at a junior college and on to the professionals. It's a close-up look at what he goes through as just a teenager with the spotlight of the sports world following his every move, and how he is able to continue to astound people with his abilities. Stories of 570 foot home-runs. Playing 170 games a year for different travel and US teams. Choosing to play in a wood-bat league to show that the power he had at just 17 wasn't a result of the technology in today's metal bats. He had more home runs than any other player in the country, in any collegiate division, with a wooden bat, at a time when he really should have been playing his junior year of high school.
     What makes this book even more enjoyable is Harper's constant belief that everything he does is possible through God. His family and his faith are a recurring theme throughout the book, and it is evident that having that support is what makes his journey possible. Luke 1:37 Nothing is impossible with God He puts it on his baseball bats. He often signs autographs with the verse under his name. It is clear that he understands that He put him here to play baseball, and to let people know who is responsible. It certainly sets him apart from those other athletes I mentioned early on in this review. The only problem with the book is that it was nearly impossible to put down. If you want an enjoyable read, and like hearing tales of greatness, I strongly encourage you to pick this book up. Click here to purchase from our website.

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