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Publisher's Summary

In the pageantry of baseball, one select group is virtually unknown in the outside world, derided by fans, faced with split-second choices that spell victory or defeat. These men are up-close observers of the action, privy to inside jokes, blood feuds, benches-clearing brawls, and managers’ expletive-filled tirades. In this wonderful memoir, Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey takes us within baseball as you’ve never seen it, with unforgettable inside stories of baseball greats such as Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Whitey Herzog.

This colorful memoir takes the listener behind the plate for some of baseball’s most memorable moments, including:

  • Roberto Clemente’s three thousandth and final hit
  • The “I don’t believe what I just saw” heroic three-and-two pinch-hit home run by Kirk Gibson in the ’88 World Series
  • The nail-biting excitement of the close-fought ’68 World Series, when Doug called St. Louis Cardinal Lou Brock out at home plate and turned the trajectory of the series

But beyond the drama, Harvey turned umpiring into an art. He was a man so respected, whose calls were so feared and infallible, that the players called him God. And through it all, he lived by three rules: Never take anything from a player, never back down from a call, and never carry a grudge.

A book for anyone who loves baseball, They Called Me God is a funny and fascinating tale of on- and off-the-field action, peopled by unforgettable characters from Bob Gibson to Nolan Ryan, and a treatise on good umpiring techniques. In a memoir that transcends sport, Doug Harvey tells a gripping story of responsibility, fairness, and honesty.

©2014 Doug Harvey (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Rick
  • Murrieta, CA, United States
  • 07-12-14

The Best? Possibly.

This one peaked my interest because of a few reasons. I lived in San Diego for many years and knew the history of Doug Harvey, I mean heck! He is in the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. And the fact that I umpired for many years making my way up to the college ranks, so I have sort of soft spot for Umpires. I was looking forward to this biography.

I struggled a bit with the over emphasis on how good Mr. Harvey said he was. Yes, he is in the BHOF, but a little bit of humble pie might make this story easier to stomach. Other than that, it was interesting to learn how Doug Harvey was brought up, how he got started, and how he lasted so many years in the Big Leagues. People like him often amaze me.

The oration was excellent! Robert Brown did a great job conveying the passion of the writer into the ears of the listener. It was enjoyable and easy to stay focused.

I recommend this book to any baseball fan or Umpire looking to get an inside view of what it might be like behind the mask, or better yet, what it is like working as an umpire and dealing with all the personalities on and off the field as well as on the home front. I think to get a better sense in that regard, one might pick up "As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travels in the Land of the Umpires." A much better book I thought which explains not only the history of umpiring, but how an umpire is made, and what life is actually like on the road in the low minor leagues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring for anyone with a passion for life

I became an even better umpire and person by listing to mr Harvey's story. A great journey by a great man a must read for anyone whom wants to be inspired especially, if you love the game of baseball. God bless you Doug Harvey I'm now a fan of yours!

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PAINFULLY BAD

What would have made They Called Me God better?

I regret having just bought the audio version. I listened to most chapters for several minutes hoping it would get better. It didn’t. Permeated with stale clichés and loaded with self aggrandizement, it’s painfully bad.The title says it all.

What was most disappointing about Doug Harvey and Peter Golenbock ’s story?

I regret having just bought the audio version. I listened to most chapters for several minutes hoping it would get better. It didn’t. Permeated with stale clichés and loaded with self aggrandizement, it’s painfully bad.The title says it all.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Narration was ok.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from They Called Me God?

The whole book should be cut!

Any additional comments?

It doesn't get any worse than than this! I'm going to get a refund.

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Some golden nuggets but really not that great

Of the books about umpires that are available on Audible, this is the one that I enjoyed the least. The best one is "Men in Blue: Conversations With Umpires" which is about 12 umpires who worked in the pros, including a couple of umpires mentioned by Mr. Harvey. These were some of his contemporaries and the confidence shows through all of them. "As They See Them" is the second best, then "Everything Happens in Chillicothe", and finally this one. I think it is the mixture of the short segments of stories in combination with the arrogance that goes beyond confidence.
There are a couple of really good nuggets that can be caught for any level of umpiring, such as handling conflict with coaches and being part of a team which are good to pick up from this. I would recommend it with considerations. Of course, he made it to the big show and ultimately the Hall of Fame so he did something right but I know his style is not how I umpire, nor could I.