Book Review: Playing with Tigers by George Gmelch
I love to read baseball books, but I have a hard time reading about the minor leagues. I find books about the minors to be dull, tedious, and unexciting. That’s why I was surprised by how much I enjoyed George Gmelch’s Playing With Tigers, a memoir about his days as a minor leaguer in the 1960s.
A former player turned Anthropology professor, Gmelch’s memoir recalls his playing days in the Detroit Tigers’ farm system. Prior to reading Playing With Tigers, I thought Gmelch’s story was going to be dull and slow-moving recollection that revealed little new insight into the minor leagues. Its slow beginning reinforced this idea. I was mistaken.
With great humor, personal insight, recollection, and research, Gmelch succeeds in taking his readers back in time. He paints a picture where minor leaguers, void of modern technology, had to lean one another for support and camaraderie. Their low salaries meant sharing cramped and humid apartments with one another while competing for a spot in the next ring up the ladder to the majors. Glemch succeeds in not only recalling the specific details of these times, but his words make you feel like you’re right there with him sweating out long double-headers, scratching your head at the division between white and black players, and reeling over heartbreaking news from your girlfriend.
Reviewed by R. Zachary SanzoneJanuary 6th, 2017
To order a copy of Playing with Tigers from amazon.com, click on the book cover image above.