Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Doug Glanville's The Game From Where I Stand

BOM for June-July: The Game From Where I Stand: a Ballplayer's Inside View

Doug Glanville. Times Books. 2010 GV867.64.G58 2010

Doug Glanville played centerfield for the Texas Rangers and the Philadelphia Phillies and isn't a half-bad writer. This memoir of his major-league career has a true behind-the-scenes feel, and serves as a good tour guide through the life of a big-leaguer for the truly curious.

Glanville tells us about the clubhouse crew and clubhouse cook, about selecting a mitt at the beginning of the year, and about the best party town in the National League, Montreal. Apparently, you can get an invite to Tyra Banks' birthday party merely by being quoted saying you'd kiss a plate (you'll have to read the book) if it had her face on it.

Glanville's style is punchy, direct, sometimes a bit corny, too keen on jokes, which come off as superfluous. But what makes this book go is something they teach in English 101--give concrete details to illustrate every point. Many sports memoirs are stunning in their ability to not impart any illumination. This one, light fare though it may be, will give you a better idea of what it is to be a professional ballplayer than you had before you picked it up.

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