In his performance of Harvard Boys, Bill Dewees uses a guileless, warm, and at times authentically awestruck delivery to become the voice of John Wolff, a Harvard junior who experiences a kind of culture shock when he’s drafted by the Chicago White Sox and sent to spring training in Arizona. Interestingly, John’s father Rick had similarly been drafted out of Harvard 34 years earlier to play for the Detroit Tigers.
This audiobook chronicles John’s experience in diary-style words, while his father draws parallels to his own experience in the Minor Leagues (about which he writes more extensively in his book What’s a Nice Harvard Boy Like You Doing in the Bushes?). Dewees’s narration clearly differentiates between the two voices.
Harvard has a reputation for turning out notable lawyers, doctors, politicians, and scientists - but not exactly for producing professional ballplayers. However, in the mid-1970s Rick Wolff transferred from this major leaguer of academia to baseball’s minors, playing for the Detroit Tigers organization. Thirty years later, his son followed in his footsteps: Harvard diploma in hand, he now plays for a minor league affiliate of the New York Mets.
Baseball fans will enjoy the duo’s parallel adventures in the little-known world of boarding houses, horrible meals, long bus rides, and colorful coaches that make minor league baseball so popular and fascinating.