Batboys and the World of Baseball

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A unique look at baseball's clubhouse culture through the eyes of batboys

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Overview

A unique look at baseball's clubhouse culture through the eyes of batboys

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
According to Isaacs (All the Moves: A History of College Basketball), a batboy's experience bridges ``the great gulf between the worlds of insider and outsider.'' In this anecdote-filled study, the author goes inside the clubhouse for a detailed look at their lives and work. It starts with getting the job, which is usually through serendipity or a family connection (jobs are often handed down from generation to generation). There are the batboy's duties, both the official ones and those that may make him the bearer of ``notes, phone numbers, room keys, and other tokens of assignation between players and their more ardent fans.'' The initiation of a new batboy is frequently via a practical joke, as when he is sent searching for a bat-stretcher or the key to the batter's box (Tom Seaver liked to send them to find some ``elbow grease''). As might be expected, many of the clubhouse pranks, however funny, are scatologicaland a batboy's education might extend to extramural activities such as a sexual initiation from a ``Baseball Annie.'' Douglas's interviewees offer a field guide to common baseball-playing species: the belligerent ``Red-Ass''; the competitive ``Gamer''; the clownish ``Flake.'' And the batboys do name names, giving the skinny on the genuine good guys (Sandy Koufax, Billy Martin, Gil Hodges, Jimmy Piersall) and the ones who forgot to tip (Dave Winfield, Mike Schmidt, Denny McLain). It's an interesting study of a job that remains a genuine piece of Americana. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Booknews
A salute to batboys, drawing on interviews with some 170 men who served as batboys in nine decades of baseball. The former batboys recall serving with such icons of the game as Ted Williams, Reggie Jackson, and Babe Ruth, and discuss the subculture of the ball park, rites of initiation and passage, and anecdotes from the field, the dugout, and the clubhouse. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878057726
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 4/1/1995
  • Series: Studies in Popular Culture Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Prologue: The Importance of Being Batboy 1
Ch. 1 The Subculture of the Ballpark 15
Ch. 2 Sacred Precincts 30
Ch. 3 Rites of Initiation and Passage 52
Ch. 4 The Calendar of Pilgrimage 82
Ch. 5 The Central Pantheon 108
Ch. 6 Ritual, Service, and Ethos 142
Ch. 7 Queer for the Yard 166
Epilogue: The Conventional Batboy's Story 187
Appendix: Firsthand Sources 199
Notes 205
Works Cited 211
Index 219
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