Man Versus Ball: One Ordinary Guy and His Extraordinary Sports Adventures

Man Versus Ball: One Ordinary Guy and His Extraordinary Sports Adventures

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by Jon Hart
     
 

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Jon Hart is not a professional athlete. His one major sports victory is a world championship in roller basketball, which is basketball on in-line skates. More than ten years ago, he started pursuing his own bucket list and embarked on a hilarious and insightful journey into the furthest reaches of the sports world.

Overview

Jon Hart is not a professional athlete. His one major sports victory is a world championship in roller basketball, which is basketball on in-line skates. More than ten years ago, he started pursuing his own bucket list and embarked on a hilarious and insightful journey into the furthest reaches of the sports world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Humane, heartbreaking and at times hilarious, here are stories of watching everything go sideways on your biggest days and still finding hope by surprise. This book will turn your definition of winners upside down.”
—DAN KENNEDY, author of American Spirit and host of The Moth Storytelling podcast

“I would never buy a stadium hot dog from Jon Hart. But I would buy his book. It’s not made from random animal parts, and more important: it’s funny.”
—A. J. JACOBS, author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Guinea Pig Diaries

“A fun, daring, and beautiful journey, Man Versus Ball delivers us into the fringes of American sports, where people still play for the love of the game, suit up even when no one’s watching, keep going because they believe. There is humanity in every one of these adventures, which is to say that Jon Hart has written about more than sports; he has written about secret dreams.”
—ROBERT KURSON, author of Shadow Divers

“Not to give Man versus Ball away, but Ball wins. But it doesn’t stop Hart—with all his heart, humor, and neuroticism—from going back to Ball. It’s a love story that hasn’t been told since Tom Hanks in Castaway. But this is much, much better.”
—JOEL STEIN, author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity

Man versus Ball gives a raw insider’s glimpse at big-time sports from the little man’s perspective. It takes us on a delightfully strange journey to the basement of The House That Ruth Built, the clod-studded fields of a semi-pro football team, and the sweat-soaked interior of a pink gorilla mascot suit. As funny as he is perceptive, Jon Hart would make Plimpton proud.”
—ALFRED RYAN NERZ, author of Marijuanamerica: One Man’s Quest to Understand America’s Dysfunctional Love Affair with Weed

“In Man versus Ball, Jon Hart takes on some of the most indomitable balls since Lucille. You’ll be very glad he did.”
—HENRY ALFORD, author of Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That?: A Modern Guide to Manners

“Jon Hart took me so far behind the scenes on his ridiculous and compelling journey that it changed the way I think about sports. From the zany vendors at Shea Stadium to the fierce competition at the U.S. Open ball boy tryouts to the humiliating injuries he suffered at wrestling school and beyond, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cringe—and often did both.”
—ZACK HAMPLE, author of Watching Baseball Smarter and The Baseball

"A good, quick read for those of you who would like a first-hand account of what it's like to be part of the "very edge" sports world."Mighty Quinn Media Machine

"A great book for readers who enjoy sports stories off the field of play and for those who enjoy humor or comedy."—Lance Smith, sportsbookguy.blogspot.com

"One of the most unique and consistently entertaining things I've read recently."—Craig Manning, Independent Publisher

"A New York writer with a unique love for all things sports, Jon Hart's book Man Versus Ball: One Ordinary Guy And His Extraordinary Sports Adventures takes the reader on his personal journey exploring the world of sports in a way that has not been attempted since the days of George Plimpton, in the 1970s. . . . He is an excellent storyteller with a keen eye for detail. In the end, he succeeds in showing a side of sports that few people ever notice. A human side, far from the bright lights and glory one associates with sports. Man Versus Ball is a good read, and one that would make a great gift for any lover of sports."—George Fosty, Box Score News

"Man Versus Ball is a raucous rollick along the frayed fringes of the sports world, where I think Hart finds more real-ness than you typically encounter in real professional sports."Blogging Joggler

"Hart enjoys laughing at himself, and he invites reader to join in. Man Versus Ball certainly will make readers smile, and in many cases, laugh out loud."—Bob D’Angelo, Tampa Bay Online

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612344157
Publisher:
Potomac Books Inc.
Publication date:
05/31/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,201,144
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

JON HART has written for the New York Times and an array of outlets that have sadly bitten the dust. He graduated first in his class from mascot school. Then again, he was the only person in his graduating class. As a U.S. Open ball boy, he was runner-up for rookie of the year. He has never been to the Olympics in any capacity, but he has done the Macarena with an Olympic gold medalist. He lives in New York City, which he hopes will not be held against him.

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Man Versus Ball: One Ordinary Guy and His Extraordinary Sports Adventures 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
Review: When one thinks of a writer who participated in a sport in order to write about, many will think of George Plimpton, who famously took the field and ice with the Detroit Lions and Boston Bruins respectively in order to write about his experiences.   Jon Hart does that and so much more in his very funny and sometimes poignant book “Man Versus Ball.”   The reference to Plimpton is appropriate here because that is Hart’s nickname in the first story in which he is a member of a semi-pro football team.  While his playing time is sparse, his stories about that season are rich with humor and personal interest stories.   That is a good foundation for the rest of the book, which has more stories of Hart’s time as a ballpark vendor, a mascot, a ball boy at the US Open (which contained the best line in the book – “No, Toto, this isn’t Court 18 anymore!”), and a participant in a game that was a cross between in-line skating and basketball.  I read that chapter twice and I still don’t understand that game. Having been a vendor at major and minor league ballparks and arenas, Hart’s stories as a vendor at both Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium struck a chord with me as I could relate to practically every situation, every interaction with both fans and coworkers and the quirks that make up the profession of the ballpark vendor.  I look back on those days fondly, and Hart’s stories about those adventures brought back some great memories.   If there is a negative about the book, it was that I just couldn’t get into the inline basketball league, but that too was a funny piece that those who are into in-line skating would really enjoy. It didn’t diminish from the quality of this book, which was excellent.  It is a great book for readers who enjoy sports stories off the field of play and for those who enjoy humor or comedy.   I wish to thank Mr. Hart for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Did I skim? No.   Pace of the book:   It read quickly as the stories were not only entertaining, they were broken up into shorter segments that made the pace of the book much quicker. Do I recommend?   This is recommended for not only sports fans, but anyone who likes to read humorous stories or memoirs.