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Bat Boy: Coming of Age with the New York Yankees Paperback


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Bat Boy: Coming of Age with the New York Yankees + Clubhouse Confidential: A Yankee Bat Boy's Insider Tale of Wild Nights, Gambling, and Good Times with Modern Baseball's Greatest Team
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307278646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307278647
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author, who spent two seasons with the Yankees when he was a high school student in the early 1990s, is evenhanded in describing the job's ups (hanging around the players) and downs (doing menial chores like cleaning sinks and polishing baseball spikes, and putting up with the players' egos). McGough, now a Fordham Law School graduate, chooses to dwell on the positives and tells his story without too much fawning over or dish on the players. He loved getting paid cash tips, meeting girls and becoming famous in a minor way by association. But he also had to deal with outsiders who sought to gain an "in" with players like Don Mattingly and bigwigs like George Steinbrenner by cozying up to peripheral personnel like McGough and other clubhouse workers. The teenager tried to balance all this glamour with a hectic school life, which, naturally, wasn't always easy, much to the chagrin of his parents and teachers. Since Yankee policy dictates that bat boys can work a maximum of two years, McGough matured from "rookie" to old hand in a short time, losing a degree of innocence as he learned how to take advantage of his "veteran" status, which he describes in honest and self-effacing terms. Agent, Heather Schroeder at ICM. (On sale May 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–McGough was 16 when he wrote a letter to the Yankees and asked for a position as a batboy. After persistently calling their switchboard over a period of weeks, he was finally granted an interview with the clubhouse manager. He got the job and spent 1992 and 1993 in the position. The author focuses on the positives and tells his story with immediacy, humor, and heart. While he met famous ballplayers and cute girls, he also had to deal with outsiders who sought to gain an in with such folks as Don Mattingly and George Steinbrenner by cozying up to peripheral personnel. This memoir is much more than an all-access pass to Yankee Stadium and baseball–it is an exquisitely written and observed book about growing up and the beauty of the game. The author is honest and self-effacing in his recounting–he almost failed high school when he placed his job before his studying–and he later mentions that being a batboy gave him confidence as he fulfilled his childhood dream. The book is a quick, fast read, full of amusing anecdotes involving spring training, bat stretchers, a pyramid scheme, and 50 illegal CDs.–Erin Dennington, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Matthew McGough is an author, journalist, and screenwriter. His non-fiction writing has been published in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and Slate. As a teenager, Matt was a bat boy for two seasons with the New York Yankees. He attended Williams College and Fordham Law School, then served as a law clerk to a federal district court judge in New York City.

In 2004, Doubleday published his memoir Bat Boy: Coming of Age with the New York Yankees. Matt's spoken word performance about his first day with the Yankees was selected to lead off the pilot episode of The Moth Radio Hour. His book Bat Boy became the basis of CLUBHOUSE, a primetime TV series on CBS. Matt was then hired as a legal consultant and writer for NBC's LAW & ORDER.

Matt's true crime account "The Lazarus File," published in the June 2011 issue of The Atlantic magazine, was named by Longform.org to its list of the Best Crime Writing of 2011. His latest piece of journalism, a history of the LAPD's Cold Case Homicide Unit, was in the Nov.-Dec. 2011 issue of Miller-McCune magazine. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two children.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
I didn't know I was a baseball fan until I read this book.
N. Beber
The narration is seamless, and McGough very effectively incorporates numerous aspects of clubhouse life into his book.
J. Hammer
He met players like Mattingly and Mantle and got to play baseball with his buddies at 3AM... in Yankee Stadium!
Adam Lorenzo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Johnson on May 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's a tribute to the author that I, an ardent Mets fan and Yankee-hater, really enjoyed the book. Maybe that's because, for all the funny baseball anecdotes and fascinating insider scoops, this isn't just a baseball book--it's a memoir, and the coming-of-age thrust of the narrative is quite effective. McGough manages to convey both the arrogance and insecurity that a 17-year-old boy in an infinitely enviable position--hanging out with his heroes, traveling with them, getting paid (among other perks)--must have felt.

The story is touching without being overly sentimental, and it rings true. Best of all, this isn't one of those corny "Baseball=life" stories; McGough skillfully interweaves the two main elements of his story with humor and a light touch. I actually laughed out loud in some parts, and was genuinely moved in others.

While baseball fans will surely enjoy this book on another level than their non-baseball-loving peers, any reader with an appreciation for clever writing and hilarious tales of hubris and naivete should read this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Martin Toner on May 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
i read this terrific memoir during the first warm afternoon of the spring, and would encourage anyone to spend a similar afternoon this summer. mcgough shares some great stories from his time as a bat boy and the first-hand accounts of mingling with legends of the yankee's near and distant past have a wonderful immediacy and economy - the author deftly avoids dipping into the grab-bag of sports clichés. mcgough depicts some admirable yankees - mattingly, abbott, williams and o'neill - without lapsing into hero worship, and he has the good taste and discretion to avoid dishing whatever dirt he may have witnessed along the way.

above all though, this is not a book about baseball, or - thank god - a book about how baseball is the ultimate metaphor for american life. this is a story of one young man's experiences growing up among a group of men who are paid millions to play a child's game. mcgough seems to have acquired more maturity and wisdom through his adventures than many of the more famous inhabitants of the bronx clubhouse apparently did.

mcgough doesn't labor to make his experiences seem universal, and perhaps because of this they actually do resonate as familiar boyhood adventures - disastrous early encounters with girls, struggling to acclimatize as the youngest person at your first job, fretting over college admissions, being taken-in by get-rich-quick schemes - mcgough's anecdotes are both amusing and heartfelt.

there were various points when i laughed out loud, and almost as many where i had to pause and wonder what it must have been like to have so many terrific experiences at such a formative age. what mcgough has achieved here is a sincere and entertaining coming-of-age story that avoids sentimentality, well worth a read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Adam Lorenzo on May 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This guy got to live my childhood dream... to be a bat boy for the New York Yankees! He met players like Mattingly and Mantle and got to play baseball with his buddies at 3AM... in Yankee Stadium! And the best part is, he did it all on his own... no connections. Just perserverance and a dream.

It's an unbelievable story that flies off the page. A great summer diversion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. Beber on August 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I didn't know I was a baseball fan until I read this book. Matthew McGough conveys the beauty of the game with such humor and heart, I feel an urge to actually go to a game myself -- but even more than that, I want to read more Matt McGough! This is an exquisitely written and observed book about growing up -- elegant, hilarious, smart and assured, it's a big-hearted look at the game of life, and I laughed, cried, and stomped my feet. Now I want more. I'm back on-line to score copies for freinds and family -- this is a wonderful read for young and old, sports fans and sports phobics. It's a great book to share with a circle of people of all ages, inspiring one's own youthful memories and family tales to be told together over hot dogs, beer and lemonade. Don't miss this one -- it belongs on your shelves for generations to read over the years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anita M. Forbes on May 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Bat Boy is a compelling and entertaining book, even for someone who isn't necessarily a baseball fan. It is a story about the dreams of youth, when everything is still new and possible because we haven't yet been made timid by caution and restraint. Bat Boy is about deciding what you want, going for it, and miraculously getting it. And what is perhaps even more rare, finding that achieving and living a dream can be as good or better than the fantasy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Finn on July 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Once I started reading this book it was hard to put down. The author (Matthew McGough) takes you behind the scene of one of the most prestige franchise of any sports teams. You'll experience what it was like to be on the inside of Yankee Stadium. The star struck kid interacting with the "Stars in Pinstripes". It's a must read book for anyone who has ever dreamed of being a bat boy for a professional baseball team. Anyone who has ever wanted to know what takes place before, doing, and after a baseball game this is also a must read book. You'll also read about the "good guys" and the not so friendly guys who played for the Yankees. Find out it's not always glamorous being a "bat boy". Finally a "kudos" to his parents who made sure school work was always his priority over working Yankees games. Enjoy the adventure!

Andre' Fontenot (former bat boy San Francisco Giants 1974)
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