Baseball Backstage

George Sullivan, Author Holt McDougal $11.95 (114p) ISBN 978-0-03-000758-3
This is an enjoyable account of a little-known corner of the baseball world. With today's media subjecting fans to pompous ""investigative journalism'' and exhausting reports on player and team economics, this behind-the-scenes look at the stagehands and bit players in the ``big show'' is a welcome reminder that baseball is entertainment. Each chapter introduces a different New York Yankee figure, from Clyde King, the circumspect general manager, to the scoreboard operator, who for nine innings keeps her binoculars trained on the umpire's right hand. These are real people with difficult jobs who love baseball, though they share little of the glamor that originally attracted them to the game. Joe Safety, director of media relations, loves the ``intensity of baseball'' but admits that the daily grind has killed his fan interest. More lighthearted are veteran baseball man Jimmy Esposito, head groundskeeper, who seems shocked when asked about the common practice of doctoring the infield to help the home team, and the late clubhouse attendant Pete Sheehy, who tells of preparing Babe Ruth's pre-game hangover remedy. Although Baseball Backstage perhaps goes a little too fare to avoid controversy, (the name Steinbrenner is hardly mentioned), it will certainly interest baseball fans, young Yankee fans in particular. Photos. (9-13)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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