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Planet of the Umps: A Baseball Life from Behind the Plate

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  76 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
"Two things nobody wants to grow up to be are an umpire and broke. Thanks to my career in baseball, I got both."

After calling balls, strikes, and outs for thirty-six baseball seasons and more than three thousand major-league games, umpire Ken Kaiser finally called it a career. From the first day he hit a minor-league catcher with a pool table to the fateful day baseball ca
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 19th 2004 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published April 19th 2003)
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Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Classic baseball autobiography by an umpire who served 13 years in the minors before a 23-year major league run that ended abruptly with the 2002 umpire lockout/strike/resignations that ended badly for some, including Kaiser.

Funny, fast-moving and full of stories, within the genre this is a classic. Kaiser was a high-school graduate (barely--as he said "I didn't know the meaning of the word intimidation. Of course, I didn't know the meaning of a lot of other words either.") joining a friend on a
Feb 08, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is fun for it's behind-the-scenes take on the game from the minor leagues to the Big Time. The problem, of course, is it's a bit out date. Still, Kaiser is a character; and his writing seems to mirror his abrasive personality (in a fun way). I lost count how many guys he throws out of the game - including spectators! - without the slightest of care.

One thing my dad and I always hypothesized about the game turned out to be true. After bad calls, managers would run out on the field to "argue"
Dec 25, 2014 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really funny book! If you enjoy Baseball, then read this book, as it gives a different perspective on things! Well written!
Feb 13, 2016 Ronald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read SOMETIME in 2006
Ed Homenick
Read this in '01 and enjoyed the reading since I was a high school umpire at the time
Cory Wentzel
I read this book a few years ago and I enjoyed it a lot. It talks about the how much power the umpires have and what it was like for Ken Kaiser coming up from the minor leagues of baseball.
Joe Kapraszewski
Dec 01, 2012 Joe Kapraszewski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, biography
Ken kept it real discussing being an ump and being one of the "other guys" on the field that we either love or hate depending on if the call went the right way. All fans should read this book simply to understand what goes on in the mind of an umpire and to see how difficult it really is.
Dale Stonehouse
It was OK only because I love to read about umpiring. Kaiser couldn't make a call right-handed so the umpiring rules had to be ignored for him. The book is better than his umpiring only because it couldn't be any worse.
Jan 19, 2009 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once I started thinking of this book as a transcription of a guy in a bar BSing about his life, I really enjoyed it. Don't look for facts or deep insight, just enjoy the tall tales Ken tells.
Michael Webb
Terrible. Very whiny. Some good stories, though.
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