Book Reviews

“The Big Chair” by Ned Colletti with Joseph A. Reaves

Book review at Knup Sports

Tom examines baseball from the perspective of sitting in the chair of the General Manager of the Dodgers.

Every kid that loves baseball has played the game where they make deals about players to other kids. Maybe, it was trading baseball cards or just a fun verbal exchange of players. Either way, Ned Colletti did that as a kid growing up near Chicago.

Colletti makes no bones about the fact that he grew up obsessed with baseball and the Chicago Cubs. His love affair began early and by the time he was 14 years old, he was riding the train to Wrigley Field by himself to sit in the bleachers and track players and pitches.

Eventually, he became a sportswriter and then got a job at the lower levels working for the Chicago Cubs. He made himself seen by the management which included Dallas Green.

After years of hard work, a new set of people began running the Cubs and he moved to Philadelphia to work in hockey. That didn’t pan out for long and he was offered a job back in Chicago which he accepted because his dad was very sick.

Now he worked hard and climbed to the inside of the organization echelon and was getting close to the top. He came face to face with some of the games brightest stars in Chicago including Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins and many more. A new person was installed at the top of the chain and he wanted his own guys and let go from his job.

He was fortunate enough to get a job with the San Francisco Giants and did well there for years. He loved it in California. Then it came. A chance to apply for the job he felt was the pinnacle of baseball. It was for general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the urging of Jeff Kent and others he applied and faced a grueling set of interviews with the Dodgers owners. Frank and Jamie McCourt own the team and it was days upon end of interviews with little sleep and food. When that was done, he was named the General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now he was in The Big Chair.

He tells story after story about how it works in the big chair and how some of the things that happened along the way went down. He provides a glimpse to the “insiders insider.” The ups and downs of the times including the dislike of Bud Selig for the Dodgers owners and how the divorce of the McCourts happened after Frank fired his wife from the team. Be sure to read this book if you love baseball.

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