Saturday, January 22, 2022

Review of "Out of My League," by George Plimpton

 Review of

Out of My League, by George Plimpton ISBN 9780316284547

Five out of five stars

Plimpton tries pitching baseballs

 While he might not be the greatest sportswriter in history, George Plimpton certainly is among the best. He also was willing to put himself on the line and get on the field with the pros. In this book, he recounts his first such exploit, pitching to major league all-stars from both leagues in Yankee Stadium. This event took place in 1958, well before his more celebrated football exploit chronicled in “Paper Lion.”

 As is always the case with Plimpton, the writing is superb. Note that while the financial reward was only $1000 for the team that hit the best against Plimpton, at the time it was relatively significant cash. Therefore, the players truly tried to do well and win. Plimpton was scheduled to pitch against all eight position players of the American and National leagues, but he was tiring so quickly that he was relieved by coach Ralph Houk.

 Plimpton’s exploits on the mound are amusing, he describes talking to himself in a reasonable manner as he struggles to maintain literal and figurative control as a pitcher. Given an opportunity to do something that others can only dream about, Plimpton was able to go against batters such as Willie Mays, Frank Robinson and Ernie Banks. He was also able to sit in a dugout next to Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin.

 This book is so good that I read it in a short afternoon, stopping only to perform the physical necessities. If you enjoyed Plimpton’s other exploits, then this book will keep your attention from beginning to end.

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