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

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What if Studs Terkel wrote a book with Bill James? You'd have a book on what it's really like to make a living in the world of baseball. For everyone who ever dreamed of making their love of baseball into their vocation, Working at the Ballpark will provide a view at their lives that might have been, with interviews with more than 50 people who make a living in major league baseball. Each is asked the same questions: What is your job? How did you get into this line of work? What does this job mean to you? From ...

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Working at the Ballpark

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Overview

What if Studs Terkel wrote a book with Bill James? You'd have a book on what it's really like to make a living in the world of baseball. For everyone who ever dreamed of making their love of baseball into their vocation, Working at the Ballpark will provide a view at their lives that might have been, with interviews with more than 50 people who make a living in major league baseball. Each is asked the same questions: What is your job? How did you get into this line of work? What does this job mean to you? From peanut vendors and equipment managers to general managers and star players, from John Guilfoy, who sells sausages at Fenway, to Chris Hanson, who plays "Bernie Brewer" in Milwaukee, to Omar Vizquel, who anchors the infield at AT&T Park, this is an insider's perspective on the enormous scope of the game.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Here are insightful interviews with baseball folk-50 men and two women (a percentage well below women's still-low numbers in off-field positions). In their own words, edited slightly "for clarity and brevity," they speak about their work, how they got where they are, and what it means to them. Arranged thematically, from front office to playing positions, ballpark crew, and reporters, the resulting mixture of the personal and vernacular with the precision expertise gained only over years of devotion to the game is fascinating. Strongly recommended for public libraries.

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602392267
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Jones is a lifelong baseball fanatic. This is his first book. He lives in Sacramento, California.

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Nolan Ryan     ix
Introduction     xiii
Movers and Shakers
Peter Magowan, Managing general partner, San Francisco Giants     3
Sandy Alderson, Chief executive officer, San Diego Padres     14
Pat Gillick, Vice president and general manager, Philadelphia Phillies     20
Joe Spear, Founding senior principal, HOK Sport     29
Bob Watson, Vice president for on-field operations, Commissioner's Office     36
Bob Boone, Senior director of player personnel, Washington Nationals     44
In the Dugout
Leo Mazzone, Pitching coach, Baltimore Orioles     53
Mike Hargrove, Manager, Seattle Mariners     62
Todd Hutcheson, Head athletic trainer, San Diego Padres     71
Ron Jackson, Hitting coach, Round Rock Express     78
Steve Liddle, Bench coach, Minnesota Twins     86
Field of Play
Jeromy Burnitz, Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates     95
Doug Mansolino, Third base coach, Houston Astros     101
Eric Byrnes, Outfielder, Arizona Diamondbacks     108
Fieldin Culbreth, Umpire, Major League Baseball     113
Omar Vizquel, Shortstop, San Francisco Giants     125
Doug Mirabelli, Catcher, Boston Red Sox     131
Philip Merkord, Ballboy, Texas Rangers     136
Gary Matthews, Jr., Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim     144
Nick Johnson, First baseman, Washington Nationals     148
In the Bullpen
Rheal Cormier, Relief pitcher, Cincinnati Reds     155
Luis Issac, Bullpen coach, Cleveland Indians     165
Woody Williams, Starting pitcher, Houston Astros     170
Derrick Turnbow, Relief pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers     175
In the Stands and on the Street
Chris Hanson ("Bernie Brewer"), Mascot, Milwaukee Brewers     183
John Guilfoy, Sausage vendor, Fenway Park     189
Pete Quibell, Usher, San Francisco Giants     195
Arnie "Peanut Dude" Murphy, Peanut vendor, Houston Astros     202
Johnny "from Connecticut", Ticket hustler, Fenway Park     208
Steven Carlovsky, Beer vendor, Milwaukee Brewers     215
Eyes and Ears
Henry Schulman, Beat writer, San Francisco Chronicle     225
Jim Trdinich, Director of media relations, Pittsburgh Pirates     236
Mike Krukow, Radio and television color analyst, San Francisco     243
Bruce Wilson, Scoreboard operator, Texas Rangers     249
Howard Eskin, Radio sports talk host, Philadelphia     254
Bob Tayek, Public-address announcer, Cleveland Indians     259
Joe Moeller, Advance scout, Florida Marlins     266
Larry Frattare, Play-by-play broadcaster, Pittsburgh Pirates     271
Dan Shaughnessy, Sports columnist, Boston Globe     280
Pete D'Alonzo, Television-camera operator, San Francisco Bay Area     286
Jim Ferguson, Official scorekeeper, Tampa Bay Devil Rays     291
Jim Fregosi, Player scout, Atlanta Braves     299
Support Crew
Cy Buynak, Clubhouse manager, Cleveland Indians     309
Colleen Reilly, Public affairs assistant, Boston Red Sox     314
Mickey Morabito, Director of team travel, Oakland Athletics     322
Luke Yoder, Director of landscape and field maintenance, San Diego Padres     328
Chris Long, Director of entertainment, Philadelphia Phillies     336
Kurt Schloss, Director of merchandising, Cleveland Indians     342
Chris Fernandez, Video coordinator, Tampa Bay Devil Rays     349
Johnny Pesky, Instructor, Boston Red Sox     354
Acknowledgments     359
Author Bio     361
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    An Entertaining and Educational Book

    I read a lot of sports books, especially baseball books. This is a fabulous read. Entertaining and educational. The author did a superb job of getting people to talk about working in major league baseball. A great cross-section of interesting people who talk in their own words about the baseball lifestyle. Also, I especially enjoyed reading Nolan Ryan's Foreword. Great job!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Best Baseball Book of the Year

    Just finished this outstanding baseball book. Loved the format. Reminds me of books by Studs Terkel. Especially appreciate the candor of the players, coaches, and the umpire. Great stuff. Rarely do fans get a chance to go behind the scenes of a major league game. I enjoyed reading about the Cleveland Indians's clubhouse manager, the ticket hustler at Fenway Park, and Bernie Brewer, the Milwuakee mascot. I didn't know all the stuff that goes on with all these people who work in baseball.

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