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Land of Umpires

By Jessica Schneider May 20, 2009, 16:59 GMT

Land of Umpires

Millions of American baseball fans know, with absolute certainty, that umpires are simply overpaid galoots who are doing an easy job badly. Millions of American baseball fans are wrong.As They See \'Em is an insider\'s look at the largely unknown world of professional umpires, the small group of men (and the very occasional woman) who make sure America\'s favorite pastime is conducted in a manner that is clean, crisp, and ...more

“As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travels in the Land of Umpires” is the latest title by Bruce Weber.

After having worked as a theatre critic for the NYT, he now examines the lives of umpires in this new book.

According to the AP: “Weber joins their ranks and attends an umpiring school that has the feel of a military boot camp — complete with imperious, threatening instructors. He also presides over amateur games and comes to understand the amount of skill and professionalism it takes just to call a smooth nine-inning game.”

PW notes: “Baseball fans will love the insightful, richly textured account of Weber trying to master the plate stance, monitoring each pitch and maintaining a proper strike zone in a physically demanding occupation. However, his book lifts heads-and-shoulders above other baseball tomes by putting a funny, surprising treasury of anecdotes from the sport at its entertaining core.”

Published by Scribner, curious readers can visit the AP review, where it is also noted that: “… but what comes afterward is an engaging and in-depth look at those other men on the baseball diamond.”


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