Working at the Ballpark: The Fascinating Lives of Baseball People—from Peanut Vendors and Broadcasters to Players and Managers

Tom Jones, Author, Nolan Ryan, Foreword by . Skyhorse $17.95 (361p) ISBN 978-1-60239-226-7

For his first book, baseball fan Jones has collected 51 interviews he conducted during the 2006 and 2007 baseball seasons. Presented in a q&a format preceded by short bios, the interviews cover all the bases: owners, general managers, managers, coaches, players, umpires, media, vendors and ushers. The talks are fairly uniform, as speakers discuss how they reached their current positions, what their jobs entail and what it means to them to work in baseball. Many of the players and execs play it pretty close to the vest, but a few recognizable names open up to Jones. For example, MLB’s VP for on-field operations, Bob Watson, chats candidly about a host of colorful topics including how the Yankees overpaid when they traded for Chuck Knoblauch, who could “have been had for, maybe not a broken bat, but a good bat.” But it’s the small nuggets of information that epitomize this book: how much does a ballboy make? what’s Omar Vizquel’s preferred bat? where does Boston’s Sausage Guy go to the bathroom? As Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan writes in the book’s foreword, just “skip through the pages” and find someone that interests you. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
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