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Birdie : Confessions of a Baseball Nomad Hardcover – April 1, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Red Sox great Ted Williams called his late former teammate Birdie Tebbetts "one of the greatest guys I ever met," and Tebbetts, a meticulous diarist during a nearly 50-year career as a player and manager, is undeniably a class act. The "confessions," however, are few and far between; the squeaky-clean Tebbetts shares scores of anecdotes, but his workman-like narrative is not always riveting and sometimes seems a little musty (as when Tebbetts delivers a polemic about the effect of modern catcher's mitts on players' skills). Nonetheless, there are some engrossing tales here, such as the one about playing in an impromptu ballgame after a bloody battle at Iwo Jima, or being sold for a dollar by one drunk owner to another. Perhaps most revealing of Tebbetts's character is his recollection of an umpire who suffered dizzy spells following his return from the war. Afraid of losing his job, the ump asked Tebbetts, the catcher, to help calling balls and strikes, and Tebbetts tipped him off with hand signals following each pitch. Tebbetts is also depicted as a warm, open-hearted family man in the amusing sidebars, written by relatives, which are interspersed throughout the book. All in all, Tebbetts fans will be charmed, and many baseball enthusiasts will find enough lore to hold their interest.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In this delightful romp, Tebbetts discusses his six-decade-long career in professional baseball. A starting catcher with the 1940 pennant-winning Detroit Tigers, Tebbetts freely shares his impressions about such teammates as Hank Greenberg and Hal Newhouser. While he reveres Greenberg, who urged him to adopt a hard-nosed approach to contractual negotiations, Tebbetts dismisses Newhouser as a World War II phenomenon who "got into the Hall of Fame by begging to get in." Later a member of the Boston Red Sox, Tebbetts also greatly admired Ted Williams, but he does complain that the Splendid Splinter ineptly tried to tell him how to call pitches. A moderately successful manager, Tebbetts later became a longtime scout for the Mets, Yankees, Orioles, and Marlins. Recommended for general libraries.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
My only regret is that short space was given to Birdie's managing years. I suspect he was too busy then to post lengthy diary entries. Perhaps Birdie would have edited the finished product differently, had he lived, but this book will stand out with that of his Tiger teammate, Elden Auker's, as one of the best books on baseball from the '30s through the 50s.