Growing up playing Strat-O-Matic, waffle ball and stick ball, Doug Glanville learned to love the game of baseball from his brother.
“I give a lot of credit to my brother for teaching me the game and developing a passion for the game that I still have today,” said Glanville.
With his slight frame and athletic build, fans could easily believe that this was the same player who stole 168 bases during his nine-year major league career. Glanville will show off that speed when he takes the field along with six Hall of Famers and 20 other former major leaguers for the Hall of Fame Classic on Sunday.
But on Friday, fans got to listen to Glanville share stories from his life and career that are written in his book, The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer’s Inside View during an Authors’ Series event at the Hall of Fame.
Glanville, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an engineering degree which he finished up after being drafted his junior year of college, currently writes a column for the New York Times called “Heading Home,” works for ESPN and is on the Executive Board of Athletes Against Drugs. He played for the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers from 1996-2004.
“Heading Home” was really a human column that gained a lot of positive feedback and sparked the book deal. The book focuses on real elements like Glanville playing through his father’s illness and the transition that ballplayers make when they finish their career and go back to the real world.
“That transition is the moment you realize the game is no longer an option, or you choose to make a change form what everyone around you knows you for,” said Glanville. “I like to say it is when chasing the dream becomes running from the nightmare. And for ballplayers retirement happens at like 34 or 35, so they have to mature a lot faster in a kid’s game.”
Glanville has successfully made that transition. He will be chasing around his 3-year-old at home when he hears from friends that are still in the game.
“My challenges are a little different from Jimmy Rollins – who is trying to hit a slider,” he said.
Now, Glanville wants to see the human element come back to baseball. And on Father’s Day, he will entertain the crowd with his skills for families to enjoy.
“My goal is to share my human experience. So inspire people by being human,” he said. “That is the best thing about this game, you don’t have to be a superhero to play it – it can give everyone possibility.”
Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.