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The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View Hardcover – May 11, 2010

45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Glanville, who fashioned a solid nine-year major-league career playing outfield for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, and Texas Rangers, has lately been writing an op-ed column on baseball for the New York Times, a column that led to this longer rumination on the game. Although superbly talented—Glanville also has an engineering degree from Penn—the author presents himself as an average Joe, just passing along some thoughts: how he prepared for a game, the politics of winning and keeping a spot on the roster, the big and little things that bond teammates, the tension between playing for oneself and for the team, the distractions that steal a player’s focus, and the decline of an athlete’s skills, among many other topics. Not much headline-grabbing dirt here, just a workingman’s perspective on the national pastime. --Alan Moores


“Doug Glanville was always different from other baseball players -- in a good way. . . . He was more like one of us (regular folks) than one of them (exalted athletes). He saw himself the way you would if you made the majors: full of self-awareness and humanity, traits that are otherwise in short supply in the VIP-treated, image-conscious world of pro sports. It stood to reason, then, that Glanville’s baseball memoir, The Game from Where I Stand, would be different as well. . . . [Glanville] is a witty, insightful writer. . . . Many times during the steroids scandal, it has seemed as if the players were on one side of the battle and the baseball writers were on the other. In Glanville, finally, we have someone who is of both camps, and everyone on either side would benefit from hearing what he has to say.”—The Washington Post
“Doug Glanville is a salesman. The former Cub is selling two of the most vanishing commodities on the contemporary American slipscape -- empathetic insight and independent thought….It's an engaging and thoughtful detailing of the way a smart, feeling player processed and parried with the realities of megabyte-era Major League Baseball.”— Jim O’Donnell, Chicago Sun-Times
“Glanville has an effective knack for unveiling the usually untold story of the tricky balancing act of real life -- ill family members, love life, confidence issues, lifestyle choices, injuries -- most players are constantly engaged in with varying degrees of success. . . . Generous, perceptive, wise (he’s a Penn graduate, after all) and thoughtful, Glanville further distinguishes his career with this rich and rewarding look back at it.”--Boston Herald
“Like a player peering from dugout steps, surveying the field and the game, Glanville has a wonderful vantage.”—Cleveland Plain-Dealer
“Filled with sharp insights, keen observations, and great stories, his book is championship caliber.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Doug Glanville . . . is as adept at thinking and writing about baseball as he was at playing it.”—Men’s Journal
The Game From Where I Stand. . . . is not just a riveting read; it’s also a thoughtful and articulate examination of the game and the sometimes-fragile humans who play it.”--The Pennsylvania Gazette
“Glanville hits for the cycle with an elegantly written, up-close-and-personal, deliciously detailed, side-splitting and sad account of the day-to-day life of a journeyman ballplayer. . . . He reveals, as no one before has, what it's like to be a ‘boy of summer.’”—Tulsa World
The Game from Where I Stand is our must-read baseball book of 2010. . . . Glanville [offers] some of the most intelligent and insightful commentary on the game today.”--The Kansas City Star’s “Ball Star” blog

The Game from Where I Stand is a book of uncommon grace and elegance. That alone makes it worth reading. But the lineage of the author Doug Glanville, a former major league baseball player with an Ivy League education, puts it in a class all its own. A book about baseball unlike any I have ever read, filled with insight and a certain kind of poetry in its spare and haunting prose.”—Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights and Three Nights in August
"Most fans know us only by what they see in the highlights on TV. But as Doug Glanville knows so well, being a professional athlete doesn’t make us exempt from the world that exists outside the lines – we are very much a part of it, but we can’t let it show. (That’s not professional!) In this book Doug goes beyond the playing field to bring into view the full reality of being in the major leagues."—Jimmy Rollins, Phillies, All-Star and former MVP of the National League
"When I was a teenager, Jim Brosnan’s The Long Season changed the way I looked at baseball, but over the years I tended to read books by players and managers as studies in self-interest. Doug Glanville’s book is different. The Game from Where I Stand is an honest, thoughtful, and insightful perspective on baseball, and Glanville’s unadulterated respect for the sport and its people never wavers. This isn’t good, it is brilliant."—Peter Gammons
"Doug Glanville wants to tell fans about the texture of life—its stresses and pleasures—in the big leagues. Glanville, just your basic Ivy League-educated outfielder, has done fans a nifty favor."—George F. Will

"I have known Doug Glanville for many years and always enjoyed competing against him. Doug was a great student of the game and someone who seemed to enjoy his playing career and took a lot from it. That is demonstrated in The Game from Where I Stand. Doug paints a very entertaining and accurate picture of the game that we love. This book will make you laugh and provides wonderful insights about our national pastime."—Cal Ripken Jr.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805091599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805091595
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,034,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Doug Glanville played outfield for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers from 1996 through 2004. From 2008 to 2010, he wrote the online column "Heading Home" for The New York Times and provided baseball analysis for XM Radio's MLB Power Alley. In the spring of 2010 he joined ESPN as a baseball analyst, contributing to Baseball Tonight,, and ESPN The Magazine. He serves on the executive board of Athletes Against Drugs, the fundraising committee for Boundless Readers, and advises high school student athletes as a special consultant to the Baseball Factory. Glanville grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He lives with his family in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mark Ahrens on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Doug Glanville, ex-Major League player for the Phillies, Cubs, and Rangers, has penned a new book -- The Game From Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View. Glanville was an outfielder for 9+ seasons in The Show and, with the exception of 1999 when he batted .325, enjoyed a largely workmanlike career (.277 BA). However, Glanville's keen observations of the game, brought out vividly in his new book, are far more impressive.

Glanville was raised in Teaneck, NJ, a diverse and inclusive neighborhood, by parents who taught him respect and integrity. This upbringing gives Glanville a unique vantage point from which to view his baseball experience. It enabled him to deal effectively (if not perfectly) to the celebrity and spoils that come with being a Major Leaguer and to move on to see the game for what it truly is (and is not).

The book is at its best when it brings a fresh perspective to the overheated rhetoric around PEDs. Glanville understands the temptations that players were under and the choices they made, but doesn't condone them. He calls out some of baseball's more iconic players, such as Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and Clemens but also laments that, at the time, nobody really knew who was using and who wasn't. In the end, he stopped short of eviscertating these superstars; instead taking the reasoned response that he would not have chosen the same road they did.

Glanville's talent for observation also allows him to talk eloquently about baseball minutae such as sign stealing, the process that traded veterans go through to retain their old jersey number, and baseball's infamous kangaroo courts. Not to worry though, these details are enjoyable and eminently entertaining.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By ajw on May 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who watches a lot of baseball but whose own career in the game never made it past Babe Ruth league, I occasionally fantasize about what life might have been like as a professional ball player. After reading Doug Glanville's "The Game from Where I Stand", I feel like I have a much better idea about what that life would have been like. The game is filled with ups and downs, clearly and entertainingly explained by Glanville: from the seems-like-you-can't-miss first round draft pick to the uncertainty and frustration of several years in the minors; from the frustrations with one manager to the strong support of another; from the thrill of some great moments that can never be taken away to the introspection of wondering whether your career was a "success". The writing style is readable and engaging, sprinkled with humor and full of insight. You get a sense of it really still being a "game" -- big kids who compete with each other in life (girlfriends, cars) and on the field (young players trying to take older players jobs) but also a brotherhood of guys trying to support each other at the highest level of competition. I don't think I'll look at a struggling favorite player the same way again. Anyone who loves baseball will appreciate this book. (Disclosure: I played little league with the author nearly 30 years ago and rooted for his success as a pro.)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed Doug Glanville's column in the NYTimes which allowed him to comment on a wide range of issues that affect professional athletes, his experience playing baseball for money, and our perceptions as fans. He now writes for ESPN on what seems to be a narrower range of between-the-lines baseball subjects, which in my opinion is too limiting for his thoughtful perspectives.
This book is excellent and represents a lot of thought (18 years worth, since he first signed a Minor League contract), excellent preparation (Doug is well-educated, has had broad exposures and seeks/gets help from many directions) and well delivered with a stream-of-thought, cross-referenced organization, solid fact-checking and good editing {I always look for typo's and couldn't find any}.
I read A LOT of baseball books and this is the best 1st person narrative from a player's perspective I've ever read, barely nudging out the seminal "Long Season" by Brosnan, because of Glanville's introspection, intelligence, breadth of career (not an All-Star, but better than a journeyman) and mostly his perspective as a developing, transforming human being.
He puts the whole baseball player thing (uncertainty, elation and satisfaction of making "the show"; craftmanship, aura and dedication to "respecting the game", fun, frolics and financial foibles of success as a big-time athlete; tempered by being mostly a singles hitter during the age of the substance-enhanced HomeRun era; and the sadness and acceptance of coming to the end of his career) into a great narrative perspective that I could relate to.
Like, if I could run, hit, field and throw as well as he could . . . and write as well too, I could have written this book!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on May 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The dream of many kids growing up is to play professional baseball for their favorite team; preferably center field. That's the glamour position; the spot historically patrolled so well by the likes of DiMaggio, Mantle, Mays, and of course, the author of this book - Doug Glanville.

Glanville put together a very solid nine year career in the big leagues, playing a superb defensive center field, while compiling a lifetime .272 batting average. By all accounts, his time in the limelight was somewhat limited, but his recollections are downright fascinating. I couldn't put the book down.

Simply put, Glanville is a terrific writer; his words flow smoothly as he adroitly moves from one topic to the next; and his perspective goes far beyond the usual statistical mumbo-jumbo we're accustomed to reading from retired ex-jocks. This is a thoughtful piece of writing; his observations are honest, at times humorous, but above all else, compelling. He gives the reader a unique perspective about the nuances of the game, unlike anything I've ever read. His stories are honest and for the most part, non-judgmental. The few skirmishes he had with some of the other players he came across during his career were minor and quickly brushed aside. The occasional confrontations with certain overpaid prima donnas were quite amusing, and would probably come as no surprise to most fans.

As Glanville's career was ascending, it was not without a certain degree of anguish and travail. Maintaining a spot on a big league roster year in and year out is a challenging endeavor; sooner or later, the harsh realities catch up with every player, and they must make their reluctant exit from the game; often ill-prepared for dealing with the real world - and disillusioned that the fairy tale came to an end.

One senses that Glanville will be able to cope with these challenges better than most. He's obviously a very bright guy.
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