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Have Glove, Will Travel: Adventures of a Baseball Vagabond Hardcover – February 8, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Lee was considered one of Major League Baseball's biggest flakes in the 1970s, a freethinker who defied nearly every manager or owner who tried to control him. Although Lee, who pitched for the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox, was removed involuntarily from the pro ranks for his controversial statements and attitudes (e.g., suggesting pot smoking as a way for pitchers to better concentrate), he never lost his love for the game and played whenever and wherever he could, at first with the hopes of returning to the majors, later simply for the enjoyment of it. He picks up where his 1984 memoir The Wrong Stuff left off, recounting his travels playing with myriad amateur and semipro baseball and softball teams in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Russia, Cuba and Venezuela. Lee's anti-establishment attitudes—he writes candidly, humorously and unapologetically of his drug and alcohol abuse—also drew him into alternative politics, as the 1988 presidential candidate for the Rhinoceros Party. For all his antics, however, Lee speaks eloquently of the connection between baseball and male bonding, especially between fathers and sons. This is a thoughtful and droll journal of an itinerant journeyman, content to ply his trade for whatever he can get out of the experience.
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This is an odd hybrid of a book, proceeding where Lee's popular Wrong Stuff left off some 20 years ago. Unceremoniously released by the Montreal Expos in 1982 at the age of 35, Lee began a second career traveling the world--Russia, Venezuela, Canada, Cuba--in search of a place to play ball. With coauthor Lally, Lee recounts his adventures at far-flung ballparks, his friendships with players (Ted Williams, Ferguson Jenkins), and his lively encounters with the locals. And always, at least until the birth of his daughter recently, there are the drugs--Lee arguing, for instance, that he could pitch effectively on a marijuana high: "Hitters could not think with me because of the simple fact that I had ceased thinking." Lee is at his best, though, when he talks pitching. He gives a clinic on the subject when he tells how he pitched 64 innings four years ago at a weekend tournament in Pennsylvania while throwing only 320 pitches, or about 5 per inning. A book probably best enjoyed by the armchair-traveling baseball fan with a long memory. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
In `Have Glove Will Travel', Lee tells the stories of his life after major league baseball - from the point in 1982 when he was released from the Montreal Expos and subsequently blackballed from the major leagues for offending the lords of baseball one time too many till the present. Though banished from the temple of the major leagues, baseball was in his blood, and a pitcher is what he was, so he continued his career playing for whatever semi-pro league or outfit that would have him. Playing throughout the U.S. and Canada, South America, Cuba, and Russia with teammates and opponents that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, Bill continued his baseball ways and collected these tales. From running for president on the Rhinoceros Party ticket in 1988 to teaching Ted Williams something he didn't know about his hitting ability, all of these tales are vintage "Spaceman".
Lee's book is easy reading and great entertainment. Each chapter stands alone as a complete tale, and you can read them in pretty much any order that amuses you - stopping to refresh your drink or roll a new one between stories if needed. If you love baseball for the pure joy of it as Lee does, and if you appreciate his non-conformist, screwball ways, then you will be sure to find `Have Glove Will Travel' a homerun of a book.