Man Versus Ball – Life on the Fringe

Baseball is a game full of wild and outrageous stories.  Players, coaches and even fans get in the mix.  Regardless of where these stories originate from,  on or off of the field, most of the time they are entertaining.  But what about all those people behind the scenes that make the process function.  Little people who work in the world of baseball, you may casually notice but never really give a second thought to.  What are their stories?  What are their dreams?  Today’s book takes a look at one of those people who lived his life chasing his dreams of being one of those petty functionaries who make the game happen.


By:Jon Hart- Potomac Books 2013

Before we jump into this book please keep in mind it is not 100% baseball, but contains enough about our sport that it warrants a place in my bookcase.  A trip to the stadium requires the efforts of hundreds of people behind the scenes.  Some people who you never knew existed.  Some you see right out in the open, such as vendors and ushers, but most folks don’t really think twice about them either.  Jon Hart was never a super athlete but he has fulfilled his mission to become one of those people who are part of the experience and still not a part of the actual game.  It almost feels like a personal bucket list, by taking on the jobs in sports that most of us would not relish.

The author takes on jobs at various venues and relates his experiences.  What one of us has not wished we were a vendor at Shea Stadium on a 100 degree day, or a ball boy at Wimbledon.  How about life in a mascot suit, or stair climbing competitions.  These are all things none of us go, wow that is my lifelong dream to work, but Jon Hart has made them his own.

He has taken on each of his professional challenges on the very edges of the sports world and strives to be the best he can be at it.  He has shown the struggles that are inherent with each career path as well as whatever highs can be mustered from each position.  It’s a funny book that takes the reader to a spot where they rarely will be able to go, and gives us the insight as to what really happens behind the scenes.  It shows that with a little work and some creative interpretation of what being a professional athlete really is, it is not that difficult to be a part of that world.

As I said above it contains other sports besides baseball, so all sports fans will find something in here that will interest them.  It is a fun look at one man’s personal journey through the world of sports, and will probably make you laugh out loud more than once.  It truly shows that with a little ingenuity, the world of sports is open to everyone who wants to participate.

You can check out the Author’s website at the address below.

Happy Reading



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