Customer Reviews


40 Reviews
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Perspective on Major League Baseball
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,...
Published on May 13, 2010 by Mark Ahrens

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A pro's memoirs
I have not been a big baseball fan since my youth, but I bought this book because an economist referred to it in a podcast. Glanville allows a glimpse into the world of pro baseball, and it is often entertaining. I found the discussion of Montreal very amusing. Some books transcend their genre, but I would say this book does not quite make the leap. I may make take in a...
Published on June 30, 2012 by Peter


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Perspective on Major League Baseball, May 13, 2010
By 
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (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.

"Clubhouse justice makes everyone aware of the possible consequences of brain freezes. Of course, there are some legends of the court who, despite extensive fines and constant trips to the docket, are just absentminded professors dresse in baseball uniforms. These repeat offenders cannot be helped by any system of justice, but they serve the team well by providing comic relief during the marathon of a long season."

Glanville's book is a most satisfying new entrant in a new genre of baseball books that take a humanistic, cerebral view of the game. The Complete Game by Ron Darling and The Bullpen Gospels by Dirk Hayhurst are others of this ilk. These books take a nuanced view of the "game within the game" or explore the human side of ball players. They serve as a welcome counterpoint to the "kiss and tell" or rah, rah pulp found in many of today's sports books.

BookonBaseball Rating: Home Run (gain a new appreciation of the game's subtleties from a keen observer and writer)

Glanville has taken his writing chops to new media outlets as well. He has just ended a run with the New York Times as a columnist and has recently moved to [...]. Below is an excerpt from his most recent ESPN article--on the rising, like the phoenix, of Dback Kelly Johnson.

"There are not many places hotter than Arizona in the summer. The sun is relentless. It's not unusual for bodies to overheat and minds to suffer the kind of delirium that is an incubator for bad decision-making. Even though it was December when the Diamondbacks signed free agent Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal, many fans and pundits wondered whether the team's front office had been in the sun too long. Were the D-backs seeing in him a figment of their imagination, an optical illusion of possibility?"

I thoroughly enjoy Glanville's writing and am looking forward to his [...] column.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanizing the people behind the game, May 14, 2010
By 
ajw (Central New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (Hardcover)
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.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broad insider insight on professional baseball, May 31, 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (Princeton, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (Hardcover)
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!
.
Glanville's career spans an interesting transition time for MLB and his career in both leagues for strong and weak teams, watching all sort of human beings play and watch professional baseball gave him a great view, a Centerfielder's view he would say, on "the show". His perspective as an athlete, and as a man is strong and sensitive (dance lessons!) and his writing is superb.
.
I am interested in what he chooses for an encore, because he has several books in him. This is a great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfully Eloquent Inside View, May 29, 2010
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baseball insight from a literate pro, May 25, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (Hardcover)
Doug Glanville had written a graceful generally well-written book that shows how pro ballplayers approach the game. Unlike most sports memoirs this is not filled with ESPN-ish highlights or tales of who got drunk with whom. Rather we see the day to day routines that make up a players lives and glimpse what goes on between their ears. Glanville is a good observer and creates vivid descriptions.

Weaknesses? Some chapters seem a bit brief ane one feels that he must have more to say. Occasionally, as in the section where he tries to develop the metaphor of the curve ball, there is some straining. But overall this is a fine book that elevates baseball writing. No trite cliches or forced cleverness here (are you listening Rick Reilly?).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars games people play, July 18, 2011
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (Hardcover)
Doug Glanville's book achieves something extraordinary: it manages to notch a truly fresh perspective within the over-saturated canon of baseball literature, and should ultimately go down as one of its most notable contributions. I anticipated that this would be another book about the 'inside game', or the 'game within the game', which in the hands of one as thoughtful and articulate as Glanville would still have promised to be a worthwhile read - but it turned out to be so much more.

I was as rabid a baseball fan as it's possible to be growing up, and though I've since maintained a strong interest in the game, plenty of enthusiasm has been lost upon becoming an adult as focus has increasingly shifted to lockouts, drug tests, courtrooms, salaries, corporatization, and the irritating minutiae of statistics; on the field, I've watched with disillusion as interleague play and expanded playoffs have drained nearly all traces of excitement from the All-Star Game and World Series. Whatever intrigue has carried over for me has tended to derive from the human element of watching these skilled athletes perform, the dramas and confrontations and subplots that occur within each game and season - the thin lines between success and failure, and how the players manage to deal with such constant scrutiny as they bounce back and forth between the two outcomes.

Glanville's book is one of the few I've encountered which addresses this human side of the game - not necessarily what it's like to turn on a high, inside fastball or how this scouting report led to that catch, but instead what it's like to live life as a professional baseball player in all various stages - and just how difficult it often is to retain one's humanity and identity while doing so. The book is packed with commendable insight and excellent writing - and contrary to what you may read on other reviews, I did not find Glanville to be an author who shied away from strong opinions at the appropriate times. I would encourage every baseball fan to read this, in hopes that they will become more likely to regard the players on the field as actual people with the same fallibilities and frailities as any of the rest of us, rather than just as humanoid data spreadsheets to be jeered or exalted on a moment's whim.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate perspective on the relationships behind the game, August 18, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (Hardcover)
The Game From Where I Stand is a book for everyone, not just baseball fans. Doug effectively shares the experience of a successful MLB career through the lens of the relationships that define the game. Doug invites you to partake in the challenges, fears, obstacles, adversities, disappointments, accomplishments and celebrations that fill a decade and a half of commitment to three professional teams. In each transition, we get an in-depth glimpse of the demands required to be a part of a successful team.Team Clock: A Guide to Breakthrough Teams From his entrance to the big leagues to the trades to new teams to the inevitable curtain call, The Game From Where I Stand takes the reader into a world that few get to see. With the turning of each page, we come to learn that our idols and role models are no different than ourselves, with the same dreams and vulnerabilities that every human being shares. Thanks, Doug, for sharing your world with us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-read if you really love baseball, August 9, 2010
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (Hardcover)
Not too many Ivy League graduates make decent Major League Baseball careers, mostly because many guys go straight from high school to the pros. So I had high hopes from the Pennsylvania-educated former centerfielder, who spent 10 years in the pros with the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers. He delivered. Glanville gives an intellectual perspective on everything from breaking into the majors to road groupies to superstars to dealing with the media to racism in the game to winding down a career. Most interesting was when Glanville reminisced about the personality conflicts and changes one goes through once making the majors. He compared the majrs leagues to a big high school in a very entertaining way. This book is only for people who love baseball, but I guarantee that people who really love baseball will greatly enjoy this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insider's view of baseball -- insightful and very human, July 12, 2010
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (Hardcover)
Doug Glanville, former centerfielder for the Cubs, Phillies, and Rangers, has written an unusually thoughtful and very different sort of baseball book. So many books idolize great players (Clemente, Ruth, Williams), or recount the exploits of great teams ('75 Reds, '47 Dodgers), or tell of great moments (Bobby Thomson's home run, the Merkle incident). A few of the best, like Jim Brosnan's The Long Season and of course Lawrence Ritter's The Glory of Their Times, describe the human side of the game. To this list we can add Doug Glanville's The Game from Where I Stand, a very human portrait of the daily life -- the glamor and the grind, the joys and the pains -- of a major league ballplayer.

The strongest parts of the book capture the oscillation between confidence and insecurity. To succeed in such a competitive setting, a high degree of confidence is needed -- but behind the outward appearance of confidence is the constant concern of losing out, of failing to perform, of losing your starting job or spot on the roster, maybe to someone a bit younger or faster or stronger. In just a few years, Glanville went from the up-and-coming player, taking the starting spot from an aging star, to the veteran struggling to hang on to his job. Throughout, he was keen to the emotions of elation and anxiety. Is Glanville a more sensitive observer of the human side of baseball than most players? Probably, but that's not what sets this book apart. What makes it so good is his ability to express his thoughts clearly and gracefully, making the life of a ballplayer accessible to us. As he writes in the Introduction: "... whether or not you have picked up a bat or thrown a ball, this book could be your story as well." Exactly right. The reader feels the immediacy of the experience.

Much of the book is drawn from Glanville's columns in The New York Times, where I became acquainted with his clear prose and insightful commentary. Now, expanding on those columns and organizing them thematically, we have a unique and insightful book. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the end, coming home again, February 5, 2011
By 
This review is from: The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View (Hardcover)
In this collection of essays, Glanville never mentions the word "values," but as one reads the final passage and the author brings his baseball life full circle, it becomes clear that the book is all about the human values that inform the sport - his personal values, providing him strength throughout his career. The reader gets inside the centerfielder's head as he copes with the roller coaster ride of professional baseball.

Sure, 75 years from now, a casual reader will appreciate the walk through the major leagues, and the characters brought to life in a way otherwise inaccessible. In this way, it's a baseball version of Langston Hughes' memoirs I Wonder as I Wander and The Big Sea, in which the luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance are brought down to earth and made life size, looming all the larger for their normalcy.

But what might be most beautiful about the book is Glanville's openness about his family life. It allows the reader to understand that those powerful values that carried him through the game were transmitted by mom and dad, and to see the book itself as a powerful coda to what sounds like an honorable and fruitful life for dad.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View
The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View by Doug Glanville (Hardcover - May 11, 2010)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.