Odd Man Out
A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit
By Matt McCarthy
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670020706, 304pp.)
Publication Date: February 19, 2009
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A Season on the Mound with Minor League Baseball's Most Unlikely Pitcher
Matt McCarthy never expected to get drafted by a Major League Baseball team. A molecular biophysics major at Yale, he was a decent left-handed starter for a dismal college team. But good southpaws are hard to find, and when the Anaheim Angels selected him in the twenty-first round of the 2002 draft, McCarthy jumped at the chance to live every boy's dream.
In Odd Man Out, McCarthy tells the captivating and hilarious story of his year with the Provo Angels, Anaheim's Class A minor league affiliate in the heart of Mormon country. He quickly discovers the dirty truths of the minors: the Americans and Dominicans don't speak to each other, the allure of steroids is ever present, and everyone puts his own stats ahead of the team's success. With a brilliant eye for baseball's character, McCarthy takes readers through the ups and downs of an antic, grueling season filled with cross-country road trips, bizarre rivalries, and players competing with cutthroat intensity for the ultimate prize-a call up to the majors.
In the spirit of Ball Four, McCarthy recounts inside-the-locker-room tales of teammates who would go on to stardom, including Bobby Jenks, Joe Saunders, and Ervin Santana. Odd Man Out is one of the great books about baseball life, capturing with rare perfection the gritty essence of our national pastime as it is played outside the spotlight.
Matt McCarthy left professional baseball in 2003 and enrolled in medical school at Harvard University. He is an intern at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.