THE BEST SEAT IN BASEBALL. . . BUT YOU HAVE TO STAND by Lee Gutkind

THE BEST SEAT IN BASEBALL. . . BUT YOU HAVE TO STAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An umpire's life--even with the beefs it's about as drab as can be. The National League crew unmasked here--Doug Harvey, Nick Colosi, Harry Wendelstedt and Art Williams--leave few doubts about their seasonal profession--it's a hazardous (hit by foul tips; spat at with tobacco juice) grind, full of aggravation, abuse and pressure. Their lonely seven-month a year routine provides little relaxation (apart from rubbing baseballs and calling rainouts) and a minimum of satisfaction. One of the umps bemoans the fact that ""to the fans, we're just anonymous men in blue, necessary evils, machinelike--cold, calculating, and gruff."" Another one reveals that ""umpires and black people have been lifted out of the same mold. We're both outcasts. We both find comfort and friendship only with our own kind."" Unappetizing fare (call it foul). If you can't stand it, do what they do--i.e., get some arch supports.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1975
Publisher: Dial