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A classic of sport, and the first of George Plimpton's remarkable forays into "participatory" journalism, OUT OF MY LEAGUE chronicles with wit, charm, and grace what happens when a self-professed amateur wonders how he would fare on a baseball mound in a major league game.
On an ordinary afternoon in the third-base-line seats of Yankee Stadium, Plimpton hits on what seems an inspired idea--to get on the mound and pitch a few innings to the All Stars of the American and National Leagues. What begins as a fun-filled stunt, for the "average man" to pitch in the Big Leagues, comes to a nearly humiliating end. This honest and hilarious tale features Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Whitey Ford, Ralph Houk, Richie Ashburn, and other baseball greats. What happens when America's favorite sports dilettante tries his arm against the likes of hall-of-fame baseball players recalls every young boy's forgotten dream of heroics on a baseball diamond; and for that fact alone, OUT OF MY LEAGUE remains one of George Plimpton's most beloved works.
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GEORGE PLIMPTON, the originator of "participatory journalism," is the editor of The Paris Review. His books include Paper Lion, The Bogey Man, Open Net, Shadow Box and Mad Ducks and Bears. He lives in New York City.
I stared miserably out into the locker room. Actually the room was crowded and noisy and there was nothing really in that atmosphere to inspire an attack of nerves: across the way Ashburn was getting on toward the end of This Week in Baseball; a few players were seated around their table pushing ballpoint pens slowly aacrss the horsehide surfaces of baseballs; the noise and laughter came from a tight circle of reporters and admiring surrounding a player, pumping him, and smoke lifted out thickly, illuminated periodically by the blue blink of a flash camera. No one was aware of me, or questioning my presence in a player's cubicle, and yet my knees were were quivering and I began to yawn helplessly--the thick weight of nerves draining me of energy.
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