BASEBALL BACKSTAGE by George Sullivan

BASEBALL BACKSTAGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A behind-the-scenes view of Yankee Stadium, exploring the jobs of those whose work keeps New York's baseball players on the field and in the headlines. Sullivan presents his 12 subjects in interview format. Each has a job at a different level of baseball operations--e.g., directors of player development, scouting and media relations, beat writer, play-by-play announcer, trainer, clubhouse attendant and groundskeeper. All talk about their role with the Yankees, the difficulties of their jobs, the long hours and hard work, and the opportunities in baseball for young people who have career aspirations in sports management (all agree that opportunities are limited, with luck being a major factor). The game is presented on a human level where the hard work and dedication of these behind-the-scenes contributors are as respected as the players' on-the-field heroics. As an interviewer, Sullivan gets mixed grades. His questions are sometimes probing, with good follow-up questions; at other times, he lets people get away with evasive or incomplete answers, leaving important areas unexamined. For example, we don't learn what skills the director of player development might ask coaches to teach to up-and-coming players. Only the team's trainer supplies amusing, informative anecdotes. But overall, while the players are left waiting in the wings, the support personnel don't hold interest when put at center stage. Illustrated with photos.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Publisher: Henry Holt