BAT BOY: My True Life Adventures Coming of Age with the New York Yankees
Matthew McGough, . . Doubleday, $22.95 (273pp) ISBN 978-0-385-51020-2
The author, who spent two seasons with the Yankees when he was a high school student in the early 1990s, is evenhanded in describing the job's ups (hanging around the players) and downs (doing menial chores like cleaning sinks and polishing baseball spikes, and putting up with the players' egos). McGough, now a Fordham Law School graduate, chooses to dwell on the positives and tells his story without too much fawning over or dish on the players. He loved getting paid cash tips, meeting girls and becoming famous in a minor way by association. But he also had to deal with outsiders who sought to gain an "in" with players like Don Mattingly and bigwigs like George Steinbrenner by cozying up to peripheral personnel like McGough and other clubhouse workers. The teenager tried to balance all this glamour with a hectic school life, which, naturally, wasn't always easy, much to the chagrin of his parents and teachers. Since Yankee policy dictates that bat boys can work a maximum of two years, McGough matured from "rookie" to old hand in a short time, losing a degree of innocence as he learned how to take advantage of his "veteran" status, which he describes in honest and self-effacing terms.
Reviewed on: 03/07/2005