Scoring a baseball game requires paper, something to write with, following the action on the field, and knowing what to write on the score sheet. We enjoy everything related to baseball, not just watching and playing. We indulge in baseball books, poems, music, and films. In reviewing them we cannot use a normal 1 to 10 ratings system. Even this we must make about baseball.
Here is our ratings system to understand our opinions about our previous reviews and moving forward.
- Golden Sombrero
- Hit By Pitch
- Home Run
- Grand Slam
- Walk-Off Grand Slam
The is no wrong way to score a baseball game, so long as you can read and understand what happened in the game. (The Winning Run/ BL)
Here are our past reviews and ratings.
- The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond by Jeff Silverman (Single)
- The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches by Zack Hample (Double)
- Ball Four by Jim Bouton (Home Run)
- A Day in the Bleachers by Arnold Hano (Home Run)
- Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero by Leigh Montville (Double)
- The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH by Shawn Green and Gordon McAlpine (Double)
- Ballplayer by Chipper Jones and Carroll Rogers Walton (Double)
- They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived by Doug Harvey and Peter Golenbock (Grand Slam)
- The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse by Molly Knight (Home Run)
- Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game by Dan Barry (Triple)
- The Only Rule Is It Has To Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller
- The Unforgettable Season by G.H. Fleming (Double)
- The Mick: An American Hero, The Legend and the Glory by Mickey Mantle and Herb Gluck (Triple)
- Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season by Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King (Triple)
- 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports by Kostya Kennedy (Home Run)
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (Triple)
- My Oh My by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Single)
- The Green Fields of the Mind by Bart Giamatti (Grand Slam)
Moving forward we will use this ratings system in our reviews. We do not always agree, but the scoring is the opinion of the reviewer. Everyone wants to hit a Walk-Off Grand Slam, but not everyone will. Hopefully we find our own versions of Bill Mazeroski off the diamond.
Every umpire, regardless how long they have been calling games, wants every call to be correct. Perfection is the unattainable goal. Knowing the rules is only half the battle, umpires must enforce the rules, often quickly, otherwise a baseball game can descend into a night at the fights. Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey might be as close to a perfect umpire that baseball has ever seen. He quoted rules by verse like a theologian. It is little wonder he earned the nickname God. In his book, They Called Me God, written with Peter Golenbock, Harvey recounts his path to and his long tenure in the major leagues. The ups and downs along the way, both on and off the field.
Doug Harvey was born to be an umpire, no one ever doubted that. (The Doug Harvey Collection)
Harvey, like so many umpires, fell in love with the game and umpiring was a way to stay in the sport long after his playing abilities ran out. His ability to call baseball, and basketball, games at the highest level left no doubt about his abilities. The Called Me God reads like a best practices handbook for all umpires, but especially those early in their careers that are working hard to improve. Harvey not only talks about making the time to study the rule book, but he also shows how those long hours of studying the rule book over and over again makes you a better umpire. The ability to cite rules, such as the balk rule or the legality of the third to first move enabled Harvey to handle a manager who was trying to argue that Harvey made a mistake. Once Harvey turned the tables on the manager few ever questioned his authority again. Harvey’s dedication to his craft meant players and managers had little choice but to give him the respect he demanded. Doug Harvey also expected professionalism from everyone on the field and he exuded professionalism. Harvey earned the nickname God from his near infallible judgement on the field, his mastery of the rule book, which caused few people to question his calls; plus the draining of a flooded dugout essentially parting the waters helped too.
The Called Me God is an easy read for everyone. There is excellent information and insight for those who umpire, yet the information is accessible to everyone who loves the game of baseball. Reading the rule book is necessary to understand how to properly umpire a game, but Harvey wrote a case book that takes you out of the rule book and onto the field for real life application. It is this honest story telling that engages the reader and draws them in, leaving them wanting to know more. Harvey tells the good with the bad, he does not sugar coat the toll umpiring takes on the individual physically and emotionally, as well as their family. The long hours at the ball field, the late nights followed by the early mornings push people to exhaustion before they even step onto the field to be judge and jury. Umpiring is demanding, and for those who dedicate themselves to the craft the game of baseball will provide them with love and memories for a lifetime. If umpiring has taught me anything it is how little I know about the game of baseball. So who better to learn about calling the game than God himself?