You’re a baseball fan. If I encouraged you to read a book by a player, you’d probably want to know what he’d done in his career. If I said he was a college star, spent several seasons in the minors but never made The Show, you’d probably ask what’s so special about the guy? Well, the first clue is the book’s title: Born Into Baseball. The author, Jim Campanis Jr. is true baseball royalty—son of former major league catcher Jimmy Campanis and grandson of former major league player and executive Al Campanis. The other thing that makes the book a great read is Campy’s love for the game, for having fun, and for life itself. It’s clear he reveled in the joy of playing the game, being part of a team, experiencing the ups and down of life on the road, dealing with umpires, fans, and all that went with the baseball life. Imagine yourself meeting a cheerful, funny guy at the neighborhood bar who can reel off one fun, interesting story after another. That’s “Born Into Baseball.” Read it if you love the game. You won’t be disappointed.
Many of the lessons written about from his perspective as a player can be internalized by readers of all ages and appreciated on many levels. I believe I could 're read this book in 5 years and get just as much out of it as I did the first time. A truly enjoyable read
Jim "Campy" Campanis, Jr. re-awakened my love for the game. If you like a fast, breezy read about inside U.S. professional baseball through the eyes of a third generation lover of playing the game, this book is for you. What fascinated me was how close Campy came to going to the "bigs" and how, along the way, what he learned about being the on-field manager as he became a seasoned catcher. I wish I had that information when I played at the game as a kid, and as a Yankees fan. This book, I think, is ideal for the family of a budding player. Campy names names and evokes famous historical heroes of the game too, much to my delight. I am thankful to long term pal, Tom Barsanti, who recommended this non-fiction tome.
This book tells a really good story of a minor league player born into a baseball family. His grandfather was the VP of the LA Dodgers. He taught Jackie Robinson how to play 2nd base, and was Jackie's roommate on the road when they player Triple A ball in Montreal.
When you read Born Into Baseball, by Jim Campanis Jr., you feel as though you’re sitting in a bar with a former ballplayer listening to him tell old baseball stories. The book is written in a conversational style that keeps the reader engaged and entertained.
Campanis’ book is unique in that he shares stories from so many different perspectives. Campanis is the grandson of longtime Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis, and son of former Dodgers, Royals and Pirates catcher Jim Campanis, Sr. The author played baseball at USC, as well as six minor league seasons in the late 80s and early 90s. This allows Campanis to tell captivating stories he heard from his grandfather and father about legends such as Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, while also telling first hand stories about Reggie Jackson, Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey, Jr., Tony Gwynn, Vin Scully, and many other well-known baseball names.
Campanis describes what it’s like growing up in a baseball family, choosing what college to attend, playing in the NCAA baseball tournament, and experiencing the MLB draft. Perhaps one of the most intriguing parts of the book is when Campanis describes life in the minor leagues. Many of the stories sound like they came straight out of a Bull Durham sequel. The minor league tales are hilarious, but he also shares the many hardships that come with playing minor league ball, as well as the pleasures and difficulties of playing winter ball in Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Another fascinating part of the book is when Campanis shares some of the secrets of how a catcher calls a game, frames pitches (he learned from the best, Bob Boone,) and how pitchers tip pitches. These stories are not only entertaining, but also educational for the baseball fanatic. Campanis does not shy away from the controversy that surrounded his grandfather when he left the Dodgers after the infamous Nightline interview. He discusses the effects the event had on both him and his grandfather.
I highly recommend this book for both the casual fan and the more passionate baseball fan. As someone who has read many baseball books, Born Into Baseball kept me entertained, and taught me many new things about the game and the men who play it.
Brian Frank The Herd Chronicles [...] @HerdChronicles
Funny, historical and sentimental experiences written by Jim Campanis Jr. You will have a hard time putting it down. An easy read that makes you laugh and some cry. Jim "Campy" Campanis gives the reader an insight what it would be like growing up in a family who's family business is professional baseball. Don't miss the ride of ups and downs as the author writes about his true life experiences. A true piece of literature art for those who love baseball, family, and friends.