As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travels in the 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 pastim...more
“The impetus for this book was a visit I made in January 2005 to the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring in Kissimmee, Florida, in order to write a story for the New York Times, where I work as a reporter. I thought it would be a lark, a chance to talk baseball rules and ba...more
Their journey begins at umpire school, where Bruce Weber got to know many dreamers, as well as the more experienced umps on hand to train them. Weber, on assignment for the New York Times, visited the Jim Evan...more
Sports reporters can tend to be beautifully verbose and master of the simile, and I love all that. I've never read any of Bruce Weber's baseball writing for the New York Times, but in this book, he sits himse...more
Bruce Weber writes well and has done a good job of telling the story of the occasionally haughty and often underappreciated men (sigh, Cortesio and...more
The life of a baseball umpire, from their start at a school through their big league career is well documented here; as is the stiffly competitive environment within their profession. Terrific a...more
About halfway through the book, the focus turns to the business side of baseball and it's attitude towards umpires, including the ill-fated mass retirement in 1999. This w...more
What comes across is that umps are certainly no saints but are badly put upon by the league and generally fair game for criticism (sometimes even life threatening!) from fans and managers and pretty much anyone. The overriding question is: "Why would anyone want to do this?" Weber does an excellent job of...more
Weber ranges from his own experiences in umpire school, to the wretched lives of umpires working through the lowest levels of minor league baseball, to the compl...more
The book gives a complete description of what professional umpiring has been through in the last 30 years, and shows the pride that umpires take in their craft. It also shows the unfortunate side of how they are and have been treated (or ignored) by the baseball establishment which relies so much on their integrity to protect the game.
There is also a lot of information about the craft itself, and how umpiring changes from two- to four...more
Weber's book is as much a guidebook to this world of umpires as it is a travelogue...more
In a way, Weber is a bit of an umpire apologist, defen...more
Of course, because the baseball umpire is ubiquitous both in the pastime of the...more
What I ended up with was something else entirely. Weber does an excellent job of quickly making you realize that you don't know the first thing about umpiring....more
As They See ’Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires
Nonfiction. By Bruce Weber. Scribner, $25. Grade: B
Book in a nutshell: For the past 25 years, Bruce Weber has graced the pages of the New York Times, writing obituaries, critiquing books and theater, discussing sports and explaining, once and for all, that he’s not that Bruce Weber (the big-shot photographer).
This Weber gets behind the plate with his new book, which, just in time for...more
Parts of the book were a bit too detailed. I was hoping the author would move on and cover something else. The last chapter especially should have been broken up into a couple of chapters, or some of the umpires' stories should have been left out. For the most part though it combined...more