Friday, June 27, 2008

Working at the ballpark

My husband just got back from a week in New York City, where he squeezed in 4 baseball games (he saw the grand-slam homer by Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez), a tour of Yankee Stadium, a visit to the Mets hall of fame, and a trip to the site of the old Brooklyn Dodgers stadium. So it seemed appropriate to put our new book out on the shelves: Working at the Ballpark: the fascinating lives of baseball people - from peanut vendors and broadcasters to players and managers by Tom Jones. Jones did the ultimate baseball fan tour, traveling all over the country and speaking to people at dozens of different ballparks. The fifty interviews contained in this book drive home one message: people work at the ballpark because they truly love baseball. Whether they are major league baseball players or people with ordinary day jobs who moonlight at the stadium, they all reap the benefit of being closely involved with the national pasttime. In leafing through this book, it's fascinating to read about the supporting cast involved with a game: vendors, scalpers, batboys, media relations, scorekeepers, ushers, scouts, trainers, mascots, public-address announcers, sportswriters, travel arrangers, landscapers and camera operators. My favorite has to be Johnny Pesky, the 88-year-old "Instructor" for the Boston Red Sox. His job, from what I gather from his interview, is to be the reminder of Bosox history for the rest of the team. What better indication of the reverence people have towards baseball, than to pay someone to be a living legacy?

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