"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 called him out on a strike, Kaiser was one of the game's most popular and colorful characters. And in this autobiography--written with the coauthor of Ron Luciano's classic bestseller The Umpire Strikes Back--Kaiser brings to life his wild adventures from the pro-wrestling arena to the baseball diamond.
This is the hysterically true story of four decades of baseball as lived and loved on the playing field, from Ted Williams and Billy Martin to Derek Jeter and Mark McGwire, from one-eyed umpires to space-age technology. As he did throughout his long and sometimes controversial career, the larger-than-his-chest-protector Kaiser calls 'em as he saw 'em.
This very funny memoir offers a hilarious look into life behind the plates by the man who was voted the most colorful umpire in the American League in a 1986 Sporting News poll. After 36 years as a professional umpire, with 23 seasons spent in the major leagues, Kaiser has seen just about everything there is to see in baseball, and he recounts it all from his early hustling days in the minor leagues, surviving by trading stolen league baseballs for food and gas, to his final days risking (and losing) his six-figure income in the unsuccessful senior umpires' dispute with MLB in 1999, when he was persuaded to resign as a negotiating tactic ("one of the worst decisions made in the whole history of labor negotiations"). But the book's main strength is that Kaiser, writing with Fisher (coauthor of such books as A Lawyer's Life, by Johnnie Cochran), presents in a lively and energetic style at least one great story (and sometimes more) per page, featuring such baseball legends as manager Billy Martin ("I was as unpredictable as he was") and third-baseman George Brett ("who liked to tell me dirty jokes while the pitcher was warming up"). Kaiser offers insights into umping that all baseball fans and potential umpires should memorize: "as an umpire you can't have any favorites. You have to despise every player and manager equally."
Planet of the umps
Delightfully funny but very informative.One of the best "inside baseball " books you could read!