I recently read a book called Working at the Ballpark: The Fascinating Lives of Baseball People- From Peanut Vendors and Broadcasters to Players and Managers by Tom Jones.
It truly was a fascinating book.Have you ever really thought about what goes on before, during and after a game? No, not just batting practice, the game, and hitting the clubhouse. There are so many elements to a baseball game, it’s almost unbelieveable that so many games go as smoothly as they do.
First of all, there’s the players and coaches. The amount of preparation that goes on behind the scenes is unbelieveable. Players are doing a lot of workouts, and a lot of studying of pitchers and hitters. All the pitchers have their own thing that they do to prepare to pitch. They also have extensive conditioning and massages. The pitchers and catchers especially have to do ridiculous research and studying of the hitters of the other team. The coaches have to know everything that is going on with their players, if any of them need a day, or how their injuries are doing. Plus they have to learn a lot about the other team as well.
Then you can broaden the spectrum a little, going to the umpires, batboys, and ballgirls. The umpires have to be ready to call a whole game. The batboys have to set up all the player’s equiptment and all the snacks and drinks.
Then you broaden the spectrum again, to the broadcasters, TV guys, scorekeeper, and scoreboard operator. The broadcasters have to know how to pronounce every player’s name, have all the notes and news from the club, and a lot of information to sprinkle into the broadcast. Same with the TV guys. The scorekeeper needs to be ready with all the information on the players like their numbers, names, and positions. The scoreboard operator has to have interesting facts and strange activities to play in between innings. He has to make sure everything is working as well.
Plus, all the writers and reporters have to be ready to write about the game. They, too, have to have all the latest notes and news from the team, the press releases. They have to attend a little meeting with the manager and try to talk to some players before the game.
Oh, man, it just goes on and on. There are hundreds of vendors who have to get their food and be ready to go out there and sell. There are lots of food stations all over the ballpark that need to be stocked. There are many, many, ushers that need to know their sections and be able to help people get to their seats. There needs to be someone to throw out the first pitch and sing the National Anthem. I’m sure I’ve missed a TON of things that happen at the ballpark every day. It’s incredible.
So, to get a better picture of the vast amount of things that happen every day, I would highly recommend this book. It was a great read. I especially enjoyed reading about some of the Padres personnel, like CEO Sandy Alderson, Head Althletic Trainer Todd Hutcherson, and Head Groundskeeper Luke Yoder. It’s a facinating book. As we go into this new season, check out this book. It is a must-read for every baseball fan.
A funny note: New York Jets quarterback Brett Farve says he’s going to retire. Again. Hahahahahahahahaha!!
(photo credit: tomjonesbooks.com)