Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Man Versus Ball by Jon Hart

Recently I was sent a copy of author Jon Hart's book Man Versus Ball published by Potomac Books in 2013. I had heard of the book in a post by ballhawk Zack Hample and had been curious to give it a read so I was happy to obtain a copy for a review.

What I got when I sat down to read it was not what I had expected. I'd been anticipating blurbs about random sports adventures and what I got was much more. Instead of a series of short stories covering the same sports and the same articles we've all read, I got a chance to essentially sit at a bar rail and listen to one of the more eccentric personalities in New York talk about his meandering through the back alleys of amateur, semi-pro and professional sports. It takes a certain kind of guy to go to mascot school, play roller-basketball and be a concessions vendor in New York City all in one lifetime and Jon Hart is most definitely that guy.

Hart's book captures something every sports fan has had at some point or another, the "I wonder…" moment. Not everyone has the chance to fly across the country to play in the World Cup of roller-soccer or to spend summer afternoons in the stands of Citi Field hawking beer, but Hart took the chance and lets us take a peek at what life on the other side is like. The endless summer we all wish we could've gone wild and knocked off our craziest bucket lists is his reality. It's rarely done, not often talked about but it's all enjoyably accessible in his book.

So do yourself a favor, pull a stool up to the rail, order yourself something tasty to drink, get a copy of Man Versus Ball and enjoy the ride.

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