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Ex-ballplayer, now broadcaster, Garagiola's first book since his 1960 best-seller, Baseball is a Funny Game, is another humorous compendium of funny anecdotes, witty self-deprecations, tall tales, and quotable quotes. Garagiola divides his book into chapters dealing with various aspects of the game (or his own experiences). These range from a barbed look at the changes in baseball since his playing days (especially the money: ""Don Zimmer couldn't believe it when he got $617 in meal money for a 13-day road trip. 'That's only $83 less than I made in my first year in pro ball in 1950'"") to Garagiola's own nominations for a Hall of Fame team based upon quick wit under pressure (such as Dave Henderson, who on a team flight telephoned Domino's Pizza, annoucing to his teammates, ""I'd like to see them deliver a pizza up here""). There is a chapter on baldness, on speaking for the rubber-chicken circuit, on Garagiola's experiences campaigning for Gerald Ford in 1976 (a sentimental remembrance: Garagiola embraces Ford on election night with tears of defeat in his eyes), and on Yogi Berra. This last is put in perspective by the coincidence that while Garagiola grew up at 5446 Elizabeth Avenue in St. Louis, Yogi grew up at 5447. Or, as Garagiola puts it: ""When a guy makes it to the big leagues, as I did, he's usually the best player in his town, or in his school, or at least in his neighborhood. I wasn't even the best player on my block."" Garagiola is a funny guy--and his new book a winner.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Publisher: Contemporary Books