Wednesday, September 28, 2005

mcgough's bat boy

McGough was 16 years old when he wrote a letter to the New York Yankees and asked for a position as a bat boy. After persistently calling the Yankees switchboard over a period of weeks, McGough was finally granted an interview with the clubhouse manager. He got the job and spent two years, 1992 and 1993, as a bat boy. McGough focuses on the positives and tells his story without turning the players into gods. While he got to meet famous ballplayers and cute girls, he also had to deal with outsiders who sought to gain an “in” with players like Don Mattingly and bigwigs like George Steinbrenner by cozying up to peripheral personnel like McGough and other clubhouse workers. McGough conveys the beauty of the game with such humor and heart that readers will feel they are actually a part of the story. This memoir is much more than an all access pass to Yankee Stadium and baseball – it is an exquisitely written and observed book about growing up. McGough is honest and self-effacing in his recounting – he almost failed high school when he placed his job before his studying – and he later mentions that being a bat boy gave him confidence as he fulfilled his childhood dream. The book is a quick, fast read, full of humorous anecdotes involving spring training, bat stretchers, a pyramid scheme, and 50 illegal CDs.