Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Doug Glanville's "The Game From Where I Stand" is a great read

Unlike some former pro athletes who have used books as a way to lash out at critics and teammates, Doug Glanville tells the story of a ballplayer who has been both a star and a bench player, and relates the ups and downs of the game to those of everyday people.

Glanville considered himself lucky to be a professional athlete and with each example he provides of how the life of a baseball player can be difficult, he follows with a grateful appreciation that he got to do something that millions dream of. Reading along, it is easy to make a connection with Glanville.

While the book isn't hard-hitting, it is an interesting read. Glanville jumps around quite a bit but tells some good stories of fellow players and continually weaves the game of baseball and real life together seamlessly. The writing is very good and, from all accounts, no ghostwriter was used. This is all Glanville, a former contributor to the New York Times and Ivy League graduate.

He eventually dips into the ever-present conversation about steroids, saying that everyone turned into a 12-year-old boy again "wanting to believe in magic" while watching Mark McGwire take batting practice. Glanville further explains an understanding for why players used performance enhancing drugs, while also disagreeing with it.

Glanville, now an ESPN analyst, tells of things like finding a new place to live when you're traded, the stark differences between the Minor Leagues and "the show," and clubhouse etiquette, especially when it relates to wives and girlfriends.

Doug Glanville's intelligence and eloquence is easily sensed throughout the pages of "The Game From Where I Stand." While there aren't any shocking revelations, it's a great read for anyone interested in seeing a different side of baseball and those that play the game.

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