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Have Glove, Will Travel: Adventures of a Baseball Vagabond [Kindle Edition]

Bill Lee , Richard Lally
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

It was 1982 when Bill Lee was famously booted from the Montreal Expos after he went AWOL in protest of another player’s mistreatment by management. His reputation for antics both on and off the field guaranteed that no other club would pick him up. The Ace from Space had landed on professional baseball’s blacklist, and so it was that one of the most popular major-league pitchers of our day was fated to pack his bags and wander the globe searching for a ball game.

Have Glove, Will Travel is the chronicle of an amazing odyssey that began more than twenty years ago and continues today. Unable to live without baseball, Lee went anywhere he could find a game, beginning in the dank and dreary locker room of a Canadian hockey team that later became a softball team. We follow him around the world as he competes in pickup games, town tournaments, senior leagues, and fantasy camps, barnstorming like a modern Satchel Paige around the United States, South America, China, Cuba, Russia, and every province in Canada.

At the heart of this story are the rollicking, colorful characters Lee meets during his travels, and the mishaps that befall him whether he’s sober or stoned. There’s the eccentric Latin pitching master Lee plays with in Cuba, who once struck out Ernest Hemingway. And a hilarious story that takes place in the backwoods of a British Columbia timber town, where Lee and Hall-of-Famer Ferguson Jenkins go fishing and end up being chased back to their pickup truck by a 450-pound black bear.

Have Glove, Will Travel is so much more than the average baseball book. Lee’s humor, keen eye for detail, and extraordinary pitching intellect are always on display, but in the end this book is a love story about a middle-aged maverick who refused to stop pursuing his passion for a boy’s game long after the grown-ups told him he couldn’t play on their team anymore. Readers who loved Lee’s bestselling The Wrong Stuff, also written with Richard Lally, will find the long wait for this rich and wonderful sequel well worth it. Those who haven’t yet encountered the literary Bill Lee have a great treat in store.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lee was considered one of Major League Baseball's biggest flakes in the 1970s, a freethinker who defied nearly every manager or owner who tried to control him. Although Lee, who pitched for the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox, was removed involuntarily from the pro ranks for his controversial statements and attitudes (e.g., suggesting pot smoking as a way for pitchers to better concentrate), he never lost his love for the game and played whenever and wherever he could, at first with the hopes of returning to the majors, later simply for the enjoyment of it. He picks up where his 1984 memoir The Wrong Stuff left off, recounting his travels playing with myriad amateur and semipro baseball and softball teams in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Russia, Cuba and Venezuela. Lee's anti-establishment attitudes—he writes candidly, humorously and unapologetically of his drug and alcohol abuse—also drew him into alternative politics, as the 1988 presidential candidate for the Rhinoceros Party. For all his antics, however, Lee speaks eloquently of the connection between baseball and male bonding, especially between fathers and sons. This is a thoughtful and droll journal of an itinerant journeyman, content to ply his trade for whatever he can get out of the experience.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This is an odd hybrid of a book, proceeding where Lee's popular Wrong Stuff left off some 20 years ago. Unceremoniously released by the Montreal Expos in 1982 at the age of 35, Lee began a second career traveling the world--Russia, Venezuela, Canada, Cuba--in search of a place to play ball. With coauthor Lally, Lee recounts his adventures at far-flung ballparks, his friendships with players (Ted Williams, Ferguson Jenkins), and his lively encounters with the locals. And always, at least until the birth of his daughter recently, there are the drugs--Lee arguing, for instance, that he could pitch effectively on a marijuana high: "Hitters could not think with me because of the simple fact that I had ceased thinking." Lee is at his best, though, when he talks pitching. He gives a clinic on the subject when he tells how he pitched 64 innings four years ago at a weekend tournament in Pennsylvania while throwing only 320 pitches, or about 5 per inning. A book probably best enjoyed by the armchair-traveling baseball fan with a long memory. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 465 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400054087
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XU8DS8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,531 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bill Lee Has A Genuine Love For The Game February 19, 2005
I was going to rate this book three stars, but the book rallied in the last few chapters. I was not interested in reading about Bill Lee's adventures around the world as it applied to drugs and other hell-raising escapades. He was put on baseball's black list after going AWOL during a game with the Montreal Expos when a friend of his was unfairly, according to Lee, released. There is a wonderful chapter on the conversation he had with Ted Williams. Williams, of course, claims he made a living off of dumb pitchers. However, Lee challenged Teddy Ballgame by saying he could tell him one reason Williams was such a good hitter that Ted wasn't even aware of. The skeptical, but curious, Williams decided to hear what Lee had to say. After having Williams conduct a simple experiment involving his eyes, Lee made a believer of Williams in regard to which of Williams' eyes was the dominant one. Lee genuinely loves the game of baseball as has previous generations in his family. In fact, his aunt, Annabelle Lee, was a professional ballplayer for nine seasons as the ace left-hander for several women's baseball teams during the 1940's. Her uniform hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. For Lee to continue playing wherever a ballgame can be found shows he has a genuine love for the game. There are some very funny anecdotes that will be fun to pass on to others. I give the book four stars rather than five, due to a lot of the aforementioned mischief stories involving drugs and alcohol. The last forty pages, however, make this book a worth while read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hemingway Couldn't Write A Better Book March 6, 2005
This book is extraordinary. First, it may be the most literate baseball memoir ever written. It reads like an excellent novel with some passages that moved me to tears, not because they were poignant, but because they were so beautifully written. Second, you will never read a more candid self-portrait. Mr. Lee writes honestly and insightfully though humorously about his many shortcomings. But what struck me is that this is a great piece of travel writing, something like a cross between Bill Bryson and the late Hunter Thompson. Lee relates zany and amusing anecdotes about the places he's visited and the exotic characters he's met while searching the globe for the perfect playing field. Lee writes of ending a drought by hitting a homer in Saskatchewan (with an wacky but loving travel piece on the town of Lumsden), educating Ted Williams, of all people, on hittng theory, and how he got arrested three times in one day while playing in Russia. It is all great, great fun. But when he writes about how baseball helped him reconcile with his father and children or of the gift he received from an impoverished woman while visiting Cuban, Lee (and his co-writer Richard Lally) will break your heart. The passages in these sections are as moving as anything you will ever read in a baseball book or any book for that matter. This book is essential reading for anyone who loves baseball or just loves great writing. I cannot wait to see the movie. Bravo!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incorrigible Fun June 21, 2006
They called him "Spaceman" - an opinionated, wise-cracking, irreverent, incorrigible, narcissistic party animal. Bill Lee was major league baseball's redheaded step child - an unapologetic, pot smoking counter-culturist in a tradition bound profession who delighted fans while infuriating baseball's brass with his wild antics and outspokenness. His book, `Have Glove Will Travel', is a perfect reflection of his persona, and whether or not you enjoy it will depend heavily on how much you enjoy Bill Lee. Reading it you feel like you are sitting around with "Spaceman", sharing a joint and a bottle while he regales you with story after story of his experiences - some of them perhaps more tall than true, but all of them entertaining.

In `Have Glove Will Travel', Lee tells the stories of his life after major league baseball - from the point in 1982 when he was released from the Montreal Expos and subsequently blackballed from the major leagues for offending the lords of baseball one time too many till the present. Though banished from the temple of the major leagues, baseball was in his blood, and a pitcher is what he was, so he continued his career playing for whatever semi-pro league or outfit that would have him. Playing throughout the U.S. and Canada, South America, Cuba, and Russia with teammates and opponents that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, Bill continued his baseball ways and collected these tales. From running for president on the Rhinoceros Party ticket in 1988 to teaching Ted Williams something he didn't know about his hitting ability, all of these tales are vintage "Spaceman".

Lee's book is easy reading and great entertainment.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THREE CLASSIC BOOKS BY SPACEMAN April 19, 2005
First came The Wrong Stuff, a classic of its genre; then the hilarious The Little Red Sox Book, a revisionist Red Sox history (Curse Reversed edition now available in paperback) and now Have Glove Will Travel. Lee is the Hemingway of baseball players.

Pumpsie Greenberg
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Lee, A Great Baseball Ambassador January 17, 2007
Great book, could not put it down or stop laughing. Loved his insights and sense of humor, and brutal honesty towards himself. He was right on the money about Rodney Scott and Bernie Carbo (from his previous book). Saw highlights of the 1981 playoff series with Montreal and LA. Rodney Scott was a great basestealer and very quick. Could see how he made opponents nervous when on the basepaths. Being more of a fan of American League baseball, never got to see him play until the highlight film. Without a doubt, Bernie Carbo might have made a difference in the 1978 playoff game with Boston vs New York. Gossage got most of his outs against right hand batters that day (George Scott, Butch Hobson, Bob Bailey, Dwight Evans, Jim Rice).

Playing the game of baseball for as long as he has proves that Bill Lee played for the love of the game and has done his best to promote it in different parts of the globe. It seems as if todays player forget why they began playing baseball, it was not for money, but for love of the game.
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