After decades of abuse and spittle, Major League umpire Durwood Merrill strikes back with some pretty incisive, funny, and no-holds-barred anecdotes. When his book stays in the game, it's a real hoot, light and folksy; how can you not laugh with a guy who can admit that "Folks around the American League say I've sent a few pitchers to the Hall of Fame before their time because my strike zone tends to swell like George Steinbrenner's ego"? It's his own ego, though, that has him swinging for the seats and coming up short; he's not much of a memoirist. Thankfully, like a good umpire, he keeps his personal interference to a minimum and mostly sticks to business, offering some tough prescriptions for what ails the game, and some solid dissection of the intricacies of his craft. His thoughts on Pete Rose might lead you to believe that Charlie Hustle is the book's title character. -- Jeff Silverman, Sports editor
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"By nature, umpires aren't a particularly lovable breed, but it'll be hard to dislike Merrill after reading this funny and candid memoir of his career."-- USA Today Baseball Weekly
"He's the greatest storyteller in baseball. And his stories are often metaphors for life's experiences and lessons. He's a wonderful, sensitive person, but he's also a hell of an umpire and performer. The man has a great lust for life. He's an entertainer and a real hot dog. And when I say hot dog, I mean it as a term of endearment."-- Former Umpire Steve Palermo
"Durwood, a lot of people say, is the funniest umpire in all of baseball. I happen to think he's the funniest man in baseball. Just watch him on the field sometime and your sides will hurt from laughing so much. He puts a kid's perspective back in the game, and that's what baseball needs."-- George Brett, former All Star