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The Umpire Strikes Back Hardcover – March, 1982


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Dell Pub Group (Trd); First Edition edition (March 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553050109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553050103
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Easy to read and very funny.
John Caltabiano
Ron Luciano's first of a series of semi-autobiographical books takes us inside the game of baseball from the umpire's perspective.
tgfabthunderbird
One of funniest books I have ever read.
Norma winston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
THIS IS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST BOOKS I HAVE READ. MR. LUCIANO IS HILARIOUS IN HIS RETELLING OF MANY ENCOUNTERS WITH EARL WEAVER, BILLY MARTIN, AND MANY OTHERS. JUST READ THIS BOOK AND IT WILL HELP BREIGHTEN UP YOUR DAY WITH HIS WIT AND HUMOR. VERY VERY RECOMMENDED.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eric Kelley on March 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Being an umpire myself, I truly enjoyed reading how one mancould turn his job into something he really enjoyed. I saw Ron Lucianoump several times when I was a kid and didn't totally understand his antics on the field. In his book, he details his career as the umpire everyone loved to watch; everyone except Earl Weaver. You will love hearing how he ejected Earl even before the first pitch of the game and how Earl literally "stole" second base. You will enjoy hearing how he played third for one player as he umped the game and how rookies would beg him not to "shoot" them out at firstbase. This book is full of stories from one of the men who helped make baseball America's most entertaining past-time.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Randy Given on June 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book about umpiring. A lot of it is irreverent, but that is Luciano -- respectful, but humorous. The book is easy to read and broken into sections that make for easy reading a couple pages at a time (ahem, for reading in the family "library"). There is a lot more here than just umpiring. You get the inside scoop on players, managers and some owners. Interesting reading that is a little off the beaten path.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on July 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm too young to remember Ron's umping days; so naturally I was skeptical that a book by an umpire would be that funny. But, believe me, folks, this is one of the funniest books you will ever read. His story about how he got Harmen Kilibrew picked off second made me laugh so hard I almost choked. Not only was he a funny person, but he was also a great writer and had a very clever style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Wyzard on August 16, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Compared with other decades, the 1970s do not rate high on baseball's scale of "golden ages". In spite of the classic 1975 World Series and the many Hall-of-Famers that passed through the portals, the 1970s are considered kind of bland and colorless as baseball decades go. With the birth of free agency in 1975, it was the last time when players could be admired as down-to-earth, blue-collar heroes, even to the point where bench-warmers and utility infielders would file for unemployment benefits during the off-season to make ends meet. Into this tableau stepped Ron Luciano. He was certainly not major league baseball's first celebrity umpire, but rather its first umpire to become a well-known media figure. His relatively brief career on the field (1968-79) will prevent him from ever being enshrined in Cooperstown, but he will be remembered by all who saw him in the same way that John Madden will be remembered as more than just a football coach and color commentator. Both transcended their respective sports.

This is the first of Luciano's five books and the only one you really need. Nobody was more surprised at its success than Luciano himself, so of course he used all his best stories in this book, not knowing there would be a demand for more. In his later books, he portrays himself as "baseball's great storyteller" and spends most of his time recounting events he was not a part of. No matter how well a tale is told, it loses something without the authority of being an eyewitness, and we never know if his co-authors are just relating great baseball lore in the Luciano persona.

Did I mention this book is funny? His Lettermanish sense of humor was way ahead of its time and landed him in a lot of trouble with his contemporaries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert F. Wasserman on April 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ron Luciano, a former major league umpire, does a wonderful job of conveying some of what goes on inside the major leagues. His stories are humorous and occasionally hysterically funny. This book is a must for any baseball fan with a sense of humor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jimmy P on March 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I must admit I was skeptical before I started to read this book. I figured a book written by an ex-umpire would be boring. In fact, it was quite interesting and fun to read. If you grew up watching baseball during the late 60's and early 70's you should read this book. There are many entertaining baseball anecdotes about the players from that era. However, at times Mr. Luciano becomes a bit pompous. Especially regarding his feud with Earl Weaver. Overall, it was a diverting and enjoyable baseball book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. HARMON on February 10, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Without hyperbole, this must be one of the greatest sports books, indisputably best of books about baseball, ever written. Honest, poignant, hillarious, heart-touching and just down-write enjoyable. Many professional comedians cannot come up with lines as genuine and funny as this man. His perspectives on his career and on living are relevant to everyone, not just baseball fans.

As I read this book for the first time, I laughed so much and so hard, that my father insisted I let him read it once finished. My father laughed so much and so hard, that my mother borrowed the book to read. She also laughed audibly at times and acknowledged that it was very enjoyable... and she is not that much of a fan of baseball.

It is tragic that Mr. Luciano's life ended as it did, but not completely unexpected. Most people with such a sense of satyrical and sarcastic wit often struggle in the modern world with depression. In Heaven, may there always be a fast game filled with balls either way off the plate or strikes right down the middle.

Thank you Ron Luciano for giving baseball all that your life could give... and thank you for giving us baseball fans everything for which we love about baseball. You belong in the Hall of Fame!

John W. Harmon
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