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Pouring Six Beers at a Time: And Other Stories from a Lifetime in Baseball Hardcover – April 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Giles is very frank and upfront in his opinions, but never stoops to a tabloid tell-all style. Some of my favorite sections of the book discuss the camaraderie of the Phillies and how they worked their way up to the World Series. There is also a section on the economics of the game, and how salaries and expenses have changed over the years, and what lead to superstar salaries.
For fans of the game, the book is filled with anecdotes about your favorite players (Pete Rose, Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt), the Commissioners of Baseball (and Giles rates 'em like a report card!), and some of the more nailbiting games that the Phillies played throughout their checkered past.Read more ›
The first half of the book, particularly Giles' stint as the public relations director with the Houston Astros under owner Judge Hofheinz, was very interesting. I tended to forget how the Astrodome helped to change baseball and the features it introduced to the game. Baseball was much different when the Astrodome opened in 1965.
Although much of the second half of the book will be very familiar to Phillies fans, I thought Giles was fairly honest in his appraisal of players, trades, clubhouse atmosphere, and events. Phillies fans will enjoy Giles' account of the playoffs and World Series as well as his remembrance of players.
Giles says Mike Schmidt wouldn't have made a good manager; that he fired Phillies manager Pat Corrales because he hated all of his players; that releasing Steve Carlton was the toughest thing he ever had to do; and Astros manager Paul Richards had a questionable moral compass.
Let's start with the good stuff. Giles' perspective on birth of the Astros and the 1970s era Phillies was stellar. Some great insight and information there, particular when it comes to his promotional efforts at Veterans Stadium. I also enjoyed the details on luring Pete Rose from Cincy to Philly. His suggestion that Paul Richards, while working for the Astros, was getting kickbacks on bonuses paid to amateurs, was eye opening.
But the book is weighed down by some dreadful fact checking. Here are a couple of examples:
1. Giles father worked for the Reds for many years and the younger Giles' grew up around Gabe Paul, one of his father's colleagues in Cincy. In talking about Gabe Paul successes, Giles' credits him with signing 'Negro League stars Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson.' Big problem - neither player played in the Negro Leagues.
2. After entering a game in a tough situation to face Tony Perez, Tug McGraw is credited with telling reporters that what happened against Perez won't matter in 10,000 years when the planet is a 'big ball of ice.' Giles claims that happened 'in the heat of the pennant race in 1980.' No it didn't. Perez was playing for the Red Sox in 1980 and didn't face McGraw all year since inter-league play had yet to be born.
3. There's a story about Turk Farrell's night time activities in which Giles states he saw Farrell leave the team's Philadelphia hotel at 2 AM on Saturday night and, after Farrell invited him to tag along, Giles' joined him. They got back to the hotel at 6 AM. Farrell, after answering a 9 AM wake up call, pitched a four hitter for a 4-1 win. Those details don't match up with any specific game.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Educational, entertaining and enthusiastic. This book is unusual in that it is an interesting, baseball executive's view. Read morePublished on October 1, 2013 by Tim Williams
Bill Giles has seen it all, from early on w/Dad (Warren Giles, NL President) to helping to start expansion franchise (Houston Astros) to bringing longtime struggling franchise... Read morePublished on August 19, 2013 by E. Alton
Bill Giles is all about making people happy, has spent virtually his entire life in baseball, has realized his dream of running a big league ballclub, and has witnessed all of the... Read morePublished on May 1, 2011 by John B. Lord
I had heard that Giles' bio was a surprisingly decent read, so despite my revulsion for the man's baseball acumen, I gave it a try when I found it at a library book sale recently. Read morePublished on December 5, 2008 by David Hewitt
As a lifelong baseball man, Bill Giles had the chance to write something profound, something with the depth and insight of 70+ years living and breathing the game. Read morePublished on August 22, 2007 by Bryan Littel
A wonderful book, filled with stories of Bill Giles' lifetime in baseball. Baseball fans in general will enjoy it, Phillies fans in particular will love it. Read morePublished on July 6, 2007 by Raven
This book is like a history book for sports fans.Giles wrote this book in a great way.Published on May 28, 2007 by Daniel Monroe
FANTASTIC book for ANY baseball fan! Having grown up in Cincinnati during the 75-76 era of "the Big Red Machine" and living now in Red Sox Nation, I have a deep appreciation for... Read morePublished on April 17, 2007 by HRH