Kurt Varricchio redefines the meaning of a difficult childhood in his intimate memoir, Behind in the Count: My Journey from Juvenile Delinquent to Baseball Agent. Whether it was trying to fill his empty stomach with one last scoop of Ovaltine, getting tied to a tree, being punished with a wrench, or sleeping on the rooftops of local strip malls, Kurt's survival is nothing short of miraculous. After losing his father at two-years-old, his childhood commenced in a dilapidated home where physical and emotional abuse ran rampant. So, Kurt did what he had to do to survive: run. And steal. After several trips to juvenile hall and group homes across the state of Florida, law officials, prison guards, and even his own family thought his fate was sealed—right behind those impenetrable bars. Kurt was ultimately removed from his family and placed in Florida's Foster Care System just before his 12th birthday.
It would've been easy to quit, but this isn't Kurt. Even as a child, he knew he didn't want his broken past to define him. He persevered, focusing on his academic and emotional development. After graduating from high school with a 4.0 grade point average, Kurt received a full ride to Florida State University, then continued his education at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a Master's in Education. In search of a "new normal", Kurt understood that education was paramount. Eventually, Kurt obtained his law degree and has been working in professional sports since 1995, first in the NFL and MLB, then as a sports agent. Providing a first-hand glimpse of what it takes to transform a chronic juvenile delinquent into a productive member of society, Kurt reflects on his childhood with a poignant examination of the hard work required to battle when the odds are against you. No matter how behind you are in the count, Kurt reminds us that you can always mold yourself into the person you want to be.
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This is an amazing story of resilience. The author provides details about a traumatic childhood and how he overcame obstacles. I appreciated the additional insight into positive thinking.