The Bookshelf Conversation: Peter Golenbock

August 22, 2016 · 0 comments

There have been dozens of guys like Jimmie Reese, Birdie Tebbets, and many others who are known as “baseball lifers.” They spend their entire professional career in the game perhaps starting out as a player before moving into scouting or coaching/managing, or the front office.

I have found there are baseball lifers among authors as well. They cover the game in a variety of ways, whether it’s writing original material or co-authoring the memoirs of a player, manager, or executive.

Peter Golenbock is perhaps the best example I can think of for this job description. He has compiled oral histories about the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Cardinals, Cubs, and Red Sox. He has helped people like Sparky Lyle, Pete Rose, Ron Guidry, Johnny Damon, and Billy Martin tell their stories. (He had been working on the  recent Lenny Dykstra book, but got the boot, ostensibly because Dykstra didn’t like the way the veteran writer was making him sound.) Heck, Golenbock even wrote a novel, a controversial story about Mickey Mantle.

I asked him about the differences in producing these varied works in a recent conversation.

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