Suicide Squeeze: Taylor Hooton, Rob Garibaldi and the Fight against Teenage Steroid Abuse
By William C. Kashatus
Outstanding Academic Title for 2017 by Choice
A heartbreaking story of steroids-related suicides by two promising young amateur baseball players that mobilized Major League Baseball’s campaign against steroid use
Appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs—specifically, anabolic steroids (APEDs)—provide a tempting competitive advantage for amateur baseball players. But this shortcut can exact a fatal cost on talented athletes. In his urgent book Suicide Squeeze, William Kashatus chronicles the experiences of Taylor Hooton and Rob Garibaldi, two promising high school baseball players who abused APEDs in the hopes of attracting professional scouts and Division I recruiters. However, as a result of their steroid abuse, they ended up taking their own lives.
In Suicide Squeeze—named for the high-risk play in baseball to steal home—Kashatus identifies the symptoms and dangers of steroid use among teens. Using archival research and interviews with the Hooton and Garibaldi families, he explores the lives and deaths of these two troubled young men, the impact of their suicides on MLB, and the ongoing fight against adolescent APED use by their parents.
A passionate appeal to prevent additional senseless deaths by athletes, Suicide Squeeze is an important contribution to debates on youth and sports and on public policy.
“Suicide Squeeze sends an important message to baseball’s youth and their parents. This book is about much more than the record-breaking, money, and ethics of the steroid era. Kashatus reveals how two families endured great tragedy and fought back – not only to change the game, but also to save a generation.” – Johnny Bench, Hall of Fame catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, 1967–1983
“In telling the tragic stories of Taylor Hooton and Rob Garibaldi, William Kashatus appeals to the reader’s heart as well as to his intellect by integrating these very human stories with the most recent research on appearance and performance enhancing drugs. Suicide Squeeze is a timely and important book for parents, coaches, teachers and anyone who cares about our nation’s young people.” – Senator George J. Mitchell, Report to the Commissioner of Baseball on the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball
“Suicide Squeeze tells the compelling stories of Taylor Hooton and Rob Garibaldi and the tragic circumstances surrounding their deaths as well as how these two young men inspired Major League Baseball to join the fight against steroids and other performance-enhancing substances among our youth. Together with the Hooton and Garibaldi families, Bill Kashatus has succeeded in putting a human face on this pressing national health issue.” – Allan H. “Bud” Selig, Commissioner of Baseball, 1992-2014
“Don Hooton brought the issue of teen steroid abuse into the national consciousness after the tragic death of his son, Taylor. Suicide Squeeze reveals the moving and poignant story of how he did it. The book is a must read for all parents and anyone interested in the integrity of sport.” – Rob Manfred, Commissioner, Major League Baseball
“Suicide Squeeze: Taylor Hooton, Rob Garibaldi and the Fight against Teenage Steroid Abuse is a chilling account of undetected teenage steroid abuse that subjected two families to the greatest pain and horror any parent can imagine. It’s a must read for parents who need to fully understand that teenage steroid abuse is not limited to the athletes in the headlines.” – Stephen Keener, President and CEO, Little League International
“The word gets tossed around a lot these days in political discourse, but for a baseball read that truly is ‘chilling’ turn to William C. Kashatus’ Suicide Squeeze, an examination of the very serious problem of steroid abuse by teenage ballplayers and other young athletes. To put a tragic face on this national health issue the author tells the stories of two young steroid abusers, one a high school baseball player named Taylor Hooton, and the second a college player named Rob Garibaldi; both of whom committed suicide…. (A)nyone who is a parent or coach of young ballplayers and anyone who cares about them should read this book carefully. It amounts to an irrefutable warning which must not be ignored.” – Spitball Magazine
“Kashatus, a historian, educator, and amateur baseball coach, investigates the tragic stories of two extremely talented young male student-athletes, Taylor Hooton and Rob Garibaldi, who abused anabolic steroids, supplements, and other appearance and performance-enhancing drugs (APEDs) to get bigger and stronger, and become better baseball players…. Kashatus thoroughly reviews student-use surveys, testing issues, and signs and symptoms of APED use and dependence, and makes important recommendations for parents, school administrators, legislators, and law enforcement. This work is strongly recommended for an array of readers. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” – Choice