DON BAYLOR: Baseball on the Field and in the Clubh by Don Baylor

DON BAYLOR: Baseball on the Field and in the Clubh

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Baseball slugger Baylor reflects on his life in the sport (with some help from Smith, baseball columnist for the Hartford Courant). Baylor has gained notoriety for two reasons--being hit by more pitches than anyone else, ever; and being the first player to appear in three consecutive World Series on three different teams. Here, he chronicles his 19-year career, from his early days with the Orioles under Earl Weaver through his years with the individualistic Oakland A's (Hunter, Fingers, Jackson): past his stint with the laid-back California Angels and on through his time with the Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, and--again--the A's. Throughout, Baylor displays the dignity that won him respect on the field, refusing to degrade his reminiscences with locker-room lingo. Instead, he writes equally engagingly of tragedy (star hitter Lyman Bostock, killed by a shotgun blast) and comedy (Bobby Grich unwittingly propositioning the manager's wife). Meanwhile, there are character sketches aplenty (Gene Autrey "seemed like Santa Claus in a cowboy hat" compared to stingy Charlie Finley); and on contemporary players, Baylor suggests that MVP Jose Canseco still has a lot of growing up to do, while Mark McGuire is "the kid you want next door." He decries the modern penchant for making instant celebrities of hot rookies: "In this era of hype, first-year players have news conferences on their first trips into major league cities." Splashes few waves, but a classy book from a classy player.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1989
ISBN: 312-02906-3
Publisher: St. Martin's
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