SAN FRANCISCO -- John D'Acquisto always could throw the high hard one. He's doing it again, figuratively speaking, by releasing his autobiography, "Fastball John," written with Dave Jordan.
This book should be entertaining for longtime Giants fans and those of more recent vintage who are curious how players behaved before cellphone cameras, Instagram and TMZ. The 1970s were a lot of fun for players, and D'Acquisto, who pitched for the Giants from 1973-76, had his share of fun. These guys played hard on and off the field, to employ a familiar saying.
"We went out and put together an honest autobiography that really told it like it was, from beginning to end," said DAcquisto, who pitched for five other teams during a 10-year career (Cardinals, Padres, Expos, Angels and A's).
Referring to the book's spicier passages, he added, "I didn't pull any punches, but I didn't throw anybody under the bus and I didn't sell anybody out. There's a lot of things I could have said, but I didn't."
D'Acquisto, 64, estimated that the 450-page book is "70 percent Giants." They drafted and developed him and, because he broke into the Majors with them, he had a wealth of experiences while pitching for San Francisco. Those experiences include receiving an invitation to big league Spring Training in 1971, which put him in the clubhouse and on the field with legends such as Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal.
"I was like the little brother who came to play with the big boys," D'Acquisto said.
Moreover, as D'Acquisto said, "I've got a story to tell on top of it." Simply put, he endured personal hell. After retiring from baseball, D'Acquisto became a registered investment adviser. In 1996, he was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for trying to pass off a forged $200 million certificate of deposit. D'Acquisto was also indicted in 1998 on charges of defrauding investors of approximately $7 million. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering, but that's not the entire tale. This book enables him to tell his side of the saga.
"People thought I was a [jerk], stealing money," D'Acquisto said. "It didn't happen that way. It took me 4 1/2 years with my attorney to figure it out."
D'Acquisto will appear at the Giants Dugout Store at AT&T Park on Thursday from 4:30-5:30 p.m. PT to sign copies of "Fastball John."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.