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YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE BALLS TO MAKE IT IN THIS LEAGUE by Pam Postema

YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE BALLS TO MAKE IT IN THIS LEAGUE

My Life as an Umpire

By Pam Postema (Author) , Gene Wojciechowski (Author)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-671-74772-X
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 Major-league memoir from former minor-league umpire Postema. Unceremoniously released in 1989 after 13 seasons (seven at the Triple A level), Postema, the most successful female umpire to date, understandably has some axes to grind. And grind them she does, hilariously and virtually unquotably, but with an evenhandedness, candor, and feeling that lift this book (coauthored with Wojciechowski, Pond Scum and Vultures, 1990) far above the usual ``inside''-sports level. Entering the field at her mother's suggestion, Postema persisted in the belief that ``as long as you could do the job, then it shouldn't matter what sex you were''--a remarkable stance considering such indignities as the manager who kissed her at home plate, the player who left notes in her underwear, and the time the San Diego Chicken pulled a bra out of her shirt. Although she gives due credit to such ``good guys'' as the late A. Bartlett Giamatti, Postema has far more fun skewering the likes of ``weasel'' former manager Larry Bowa (``Mr. Despicable'') and pitcher Bob Knepper, who publicly labeled her choice of profession an affront to God. Told frequently that she would ``have to be twice as good as a man to make it to the majors'' (and never claiming to be anything but as good), Postema, who gained enormous satisfaction from her work and still misses it, was forced to conclude that the present hierarchy of baseball (``the exact opposite of what America stands for'') will never deem a woman worthy of that standard. Hence the message, addressed primarily to young women, but well worth the attention of their parents and brothers, that ``you can't break down male-built barriers by pretending they don't exist.'' Then again, as this blinding fastball of a book proves, you can give them some good strong kicks. (Eight pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)