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

DON BAYLOR: Baseball on the Field and in the Clubh

Email this 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
Review Posted Online: