Inside Pitch: Life inside Professional Baseball

Overview

Twenty-four years after his own final road trip with the Detroit Tigers' organization, former minor leaguer and anthropologist George Gmelch went on the road again with a busload of players, this time with a pen and pad to record the details of life lived around the diamond. Drawing on over one hundred interviews with major and minor league players, coaches, and managers, he explores players' experiences throughout their careers: being scouted, becoming a rookie, moving through or staying in the minors, preparing...
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Overview

Twenty-four years after his own final road trip with the Detroit Tigers' organization, former minor leaguer and anthropologist George Gmelch went on the road again with a busload of players, this time with a pen and pad to record the details of life lived around the diamond. Drawing on over one hundred interviews with major and minor league players, coaches, and managers, he explores players' experiences throughout their careers: being scouted, becoming a rookie, moving through or staying in the minors, preparing mentally and physically to play day after day, coping with slumps and successes, facing retirement. He examines the ballplayers' routines and rituals, describes their joys and frustrations, and investigates the roles of wives, fans, and groupies in their lives. Based on his own experience as a player in the 1960s Gmelch draws perceptive comparisons to a previous generation of players.
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Editorial Reviews

Allen St. John
Did you hear the one about the anthropologist and the relief pitcher? If George Gmelch's Inside Pitch reads like an academic paper, it's because it is. Gmelch, a former minor leaguer, is a professor at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and he was clearly wearing his professorial tweeds while he was doing his, um, fieldwork for this project.

The result is a book that would do an admirable job of explaining the game to his counterparts at the University of New Delhi, to whom a baseball clubhouse would be as foreign as an Inuit village. However, much of the information in Inside Pitch will be old news even to casual fans.

But for readers patient enough to sift through Gmelch's often leaden prose, Inside Pitch contains some interesting snippets of oral history, such as Frank Robinson's harrowing account of the first days of his retirement.
&#15l; The Washington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588340153
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Llc
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: American Studies
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
1. Talent for the Game
2. Breaking In
3. Learning the Culture
4. Moving Up the Ranks
5. Making It
6. The Mental Game
7. Rituals of Uncertainty
8. Baseball Wives
9. Groupies
10. When the Cheering Stops
Reflections
Appendix
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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