American Icon by Teri Thompson, Nathaniel Vinton, Michael O'Keeffe, and Chistian Red
It was an epic downfall. In twenty-four seasons pitcher Roger Clemens put together one of the greatest careers baseball has ever seen. Seven Cy Young Awards, two World Series championships, and 354 victories made him a lock for the Hall of Fame. But on December 13, 2007, the Mitchell Report laid waste to all that. Accusations that Clemens relied on steroids and human growth hormone provided and administered by his former trainer, Brian McNamee, have put Clemens in the crosshairs of a Justice Department investigation.
Why did this happen? How did it happen? Who made the decisions that altered some lives and ruined others? How did a devastating culture of drugs, lies, sex, and cheating fester and grow throughout Major League Baseball’s clubhouses? The answers are in these extraordinary pages.
American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America’s Pastime is about much more than the downfall of a superstar. While the fascinating portrait of Clemens is certainly at the center of the action, the book takes us outside the white lines and inside the lives and dealings of sports executives, trainers, congressmen, lawyers, drug dealers, groupies, a porn star, and even a murderer—all of whom have ties to this saga. Four superb investigative journalists have spent years uncovering the truth, and at the heart of their investigation is a behind-the-scenes portrait of the maneuvering and strategies in the legal war between Clemens and his accuser, McNamee.
This compelling story is the strongest examination yet of the rise of illegal drugs in America’s favorite sport, the gym-rat culture in Texas that has played such an important role in spreading those drugs, and the way Congress has dealt with the entire issue. Andy Pettitte, Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, and Chuck Knoblauch are just a few of the other players whose moving and sometimes disturbing stories are illuminated here as well. The New York Daily News Sports Investigative Team has written the definitive book on corruption and the steroids era in Major League Baseball. In doing so, they have managed to dig beneath the disillusion and disappointment to give us a stirring look at heroes who all too often live unheroic shadow lives.
Read THE NEW YORK TIMES review by Michiko Kakutani
About the New York Daily News Investigative Team:
Teri Thompson is the editor of the New York Daily News Sports Investigative Team and the paper’s Sunday sports section, both of which have won numerous awards under her direction. One of the first women sportswriters in the country, she spent 12 years as a sportswriter and columnist at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. She joined the Daily News in 1997, then left to work for ESPN as a coordinating producer for SportsCenter before returning in 2000 to lead the Sports Investigative Team, one of the only teams of its kind at a major metropolitan newspaper. She is the recipient of the New York Times Fellowship for Journalists at Columbia Law School and is a member of the Connecticut bar.
Nathaniel Vinton joined the New York Daily News Sports Investigative Team on December 13, 2007, the day the Mitchell Report was released. He has written for The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Men’s Journal, Ski Racing and Slate. From 2004 to 2007, he was based in France covering European sports. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College.
Michael O’Keeffe has been a member of the New York Daily News Sports Investigative Team since its inception in 2000. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 20 years and has covered a wide variety of topics, including crime, politics, the environment, and sports. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado.
Christian Red is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Daily News. He received a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.