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They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived
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They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  126 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
The incredible memoir from the man voted one of the “Best Umpires of All Time” by the Society of American Baseball Research—filled with more than three decades of fascinating baseball stories.

In the pageantry of baseball, one select group is virtually unknown in the outside world, derided by fans, faced with split-second choices that spell victory or defeat. These men are
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Gallery Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Greg
Jan 10, 2015 Greg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As the title might suggest, this Hall of Fame umpire’s account of his career in the big leagues is wholly devoid of even trace amounts of humility. It’s little more than a self-serving defence - of the controversial calls he made (surprise! he was never wrong), and of the way he called the game (there’s never been a better ump before or since).

He also pronounces judgment on some of the players and managers of his time: if you were a polite supplicant at the altar of Harvey who never questioned
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Ted Lehmann
Apr 06, 2014 Ted Lehmann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard core baseball fans, potential umpires
They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived by Doug Harvey with Peter Golenbock (Gallery Books: Simon & Schuster, 2014, 288 pages, $27.00) is a very episodic collection of sometimes quite interesting tales of baseball which would frequently benefit from the help of quality co- (read ghost) writing superior to that provided by Peter Golenbock, although, if Harvey is to be taken at his word, he's not a man to be argued with or to negotiate on an even playing field. Harvey, who was acti ...more
P.e. lolo
This book is about Doug Harvey and him becoming a major league umpire. The first part of the book is about his early life growing up in the San Diego area and Los Angles, and the sports he played through high school and shortly in college until he broke his leg. He then goes into how he got into umpiring and the men who helped him along the way. You get a look at his life as a minor league umpire and all of the travel he had to do. All of it at his own expense and that was not easy during the la ...more
Charles M.
Perhaps the worst book I have read this year. HOFer Doug Harvey recalls his career as an MLB umpire; using bullying and intimidation tactics to control games. He also uses just about every profanity in the the book to retell his best moments and favorite baseball personalities. Not a worthy book from an individual; who claims he has been humbled by throat cancer.
Jamie
Jul 11, 2014 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff...Will have a review on KySportsStyle360.com
Paul Pessolano
“They Called Me God” by Doug Harvey and Peter Golenbock, published by Gallery Books.

Category – Baseball/Memoir Publication Date – March 25, 2014.

“Kill the Umpire”, “He’s A Bum”, and other expletives have been shouted at baseball umpires since the first pitch. Doug Harvey was an umpire for thirty-one years and umpired 4,673 games.

This is the story of how he became an umpire and the things, good and bad, that happened to him during his National League career.

It was not an easy road to the big leag
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James R
I very much enjoy watching the game of baseball. I read Harvey's book hoping to get a perspective of the game from an umpire's point of view. To a certain extent it does that. The book is essentially an edited collection of vignettes about Doug Harvey and his generally high opinion about himself, which may be well deserved. He is after all only one of nine umpires to be inducted into the baseball hall of fame. I fully give him credit for that. I just found it so self centered and self promoting ...more
Dale Stonehouse
Apr 07, 2014 Dale Stonehouse rated it really liked it
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars, given that some of Harvey's umpiring peers were my instructors many years ago. And I did enjoy it immensely; however, a book for which no fact-checking was done cannot be rated too highly. For baseball fans curious about what makes umpires love or hate their job, no one could tell it better than Doug Harvey. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010, he worked games with Hall of Famers Al Barlick and Jocko Conlan and was a contemporary of Hall of Fame memb ...more
Phil C
Apr 28, 2014 Phil C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read. Harvey is certainly a conflicted individual. Harvey mentioned his "redline" in throwing players & mgrs out was calling him a name. Then he spent 200 pages of the book calling the greats of the game names. Very odd.

Harvey reveled in his nickname of God, mentions it was close to the truth, in his opinion. He noted how he knew the game & its rules better than anyone. Nothing got past Doug Harvey. He claimed complete ignorance when diagnosed with throat cancer after chewin
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Mike Gabor
Apr 03, 2014 Mike Gabor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, baseball
A very fast and good accounting of the life of Doug Harvey. The first part of the book recounts his childhood, how he started umpiring, and early days in the minor leagues. The rest of the book is devoted to his time in the majors. There are many interesting stories here and Harvey can be quite frank in his opinions of others. At first it bothered me a bit as I felt he was egotistical and not very gracious but, as I thought about it further I realized that was what made him a great umpire. He ha ...more
Cj Karwowski
Nov 25, 2014 Cj Karwowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was done masterfully. Doug Harvey has a clear voice throughout and is able to tell a compelling yet simple story. I found this book to be very interesting, simply because of the fact that I am a baseball fanatic and have often watched Doug Harvey ump games. And he actually was that good. He consistently made the right calls and was a fantastic guy to be around. This book really lets us as the audience really get a good view of what his personality is like and you get to know all of his ...more
Peter McCarthy
You can skip this one. There are great anecodtes in here but this book was written about 30 years too late. If you want to read about crabby and irritable 1960s National League managers and the crabby and irritable 1960s National League umpires who fought with them on a regular basis, this is your book.

Harvey's story is interesting but he doesn't get too detailed or too personal and he really sees himself as the last of a dying breed that no longer roams the Earth. It is a clean, easy read but t
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Dwight Koslowski
Dec 22, 2015 Dwight Koslowski rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The title says it all. This is the self-told story of the most pompous, arrogant, conceited man that ever walked onto a baseball diamond. Very, very boring reading of how he was the first to do this, the first to do that, and how everyone else in baseball was always wrong when he was always right.

I would have liked to have seen how the man that "never got a play wrong, never made a bad call" would have fared under the scrutiny of today's "instant replay".

This book is so boring that I would not i
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Clint
Jul 13, 2014 Clint rated it liked it
Decent saga of former National League (and now Hall of Fame) umpire Doug Harvey's career as an umpire. Easy read relates many stories, including the difficult climb into the Major Leagues, his relationship (good and bad) with several umpires but relatively little incite about players and those he thought were the best he saw in 30-plus years of umpiring. Harvey comes off as profane and arrogant but also smart and big-hearted.
Mike
May 29, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
A terrific baseball autobiography, filled with profane behind-the-scenes stories, inside information about the craft of umpiring, and the compelling life story of Doug Harvey, a man's man. I can recommend this book without hesitation and can attest that it contains the only account of Joe DiMaggio farting committed to print. I'd give this book 6 stars if I could.
Gale
Mar 31, 2014 Gale rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some potentially great baseball stories overwhelmed by Harvey's incredible ego. This is a guy who claims to never hold a grudge but would always get even.

All you need to know about him can be summed up by his feelings about being called "God" by the players...

"Well, what was I going to say?

They didn't miss by much"
Steve abrams
very interesting

The story of an umpire is never what you imagine. Harvey is arrogant, persistent, and a damn fine umpire. It's great to hear about his trials and tribulations and the writing isn't half bad. Keeps you entertained.
Jim Blessing
Feb 11, 2015 Jim Blessing rated it it was ok
Shelves: baseball
The author of this book initially claims that he had never made a wrong call and then throughout the book talked about a lot of calls that certainly seemed wrong. Interesting personality, but the book was a disjointed read.
PWRL
May 28, 2014 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2014-new
E
Lane
May 25, 2014 Lane rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
interesting story,easy read. not a lot of depth but enjoyable.
several fact errors that should have been easily corrected but seems typical of golenbock's (co-author) books.
Scott
Feb 18, 2014 Scott rated it it was amazing
The memoirs of the greatest umpire who ever lived do not disappoint. The stories he relays are memorable. Excellent read.
Linda Nichols
May 10, 2015 Linda Nichols rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As baseball books go, this is spot-on with anecdotes and other baseball stuff. The title is very off-putting, as is the man, but the information is great other than his own horn-blowing.
Benjamin baschinsky
was a great umpire, with a tremendous ego
Darlene Thomas
Darlene Thomas rated it did not like it
Nov 25, 2015
Kyle
Kyle rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2014
Lala
Lala rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2014
Mark Caddell
Mark Caddell rated it liked it
Apr 12, 2015
Chris Jaffe
Chris Jaffe rated it liked it
Apr 25, 2014
Andy Berry
Andy Berry rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2015
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