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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

An Interview with David Ostrowsky (New Book on Roberto Alomar)

by Paul Semendinger

February 5, 2024

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I am excited to share that author David Ostrowsky who I have interviewed before, has a new baseball book about Robert Alomar (Roberto Alomar: The Complicated Life and Legacy of a Baseball Hall of Famer) that was just released.  I had the opportunity to interview David about this book. That interview is below. I previously interviewed David in January 2021. That interview will be posted again here today at 4:00 p.m.

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David, please tell us briefly about your book:

Roberto Alomar published a short autobiography -- Second to None -- after the Jays won their first World Series in 1992. But he's never had a full-length bio of his complicated life and Hall of Fame career. I thought it was time to explore the many different teams he played for, the controversies he's been involved with, and the lives he's impacted -- good and bad. 


You have stated that Roberto Alomar might be the best second baseman in history.  There's some mighty competition there - including the great Rogers Hornsby.  Who do you consider the greatest second basemen ever?

It's such a hard question, probably one that's impossible to answer. I talk a little in the book how the Gold Glove Award wasn't even around until the mid-1900s, so for that reason alone, it's tough. But in terms of being an all-around player, there was no second baseman better than Alomar in the 1990s/early 2000s. Consider that in 1994 and 1995, he made a combined 8 errors; at the next year's All-Star Game in Philly, he was batting third for the American League. 


Roberto Alomar's most notorious event was when he spit on an umpire.  Can you tell us about that and the aftermath?

By far, that's the event brought up the most when people ask about the book.


A few things: 

1.) Without going into too much detail (because I want people to read the book!), John Hirschbeck (a real good guy) said something to provoke Alomar, something that would have made many people angry

2.) The worse part of the whole saga was how Alomar rationalized it afterwards in the clubhouse -- he brought up Hirschbeck's recent family tragedy

3.) The two men eventually made up and became friends and have remained so for the past quarter century 


Roberto's father, Sandy Alomar, also a second baseman, played for the Yankees.  What can you share about Sandy's impact on Robert's career?

Roberto idolized Sandy. He was heartbroken when Sandy called it a career in the late 1970s while with the Rangers. But most importantly, Sandy lost a lot of money with some bad business decisions, and I believe that motivated Roberto to be very frugal with his earnings, even when he started making millions in the early 1990s. 


What surprised you most about Robert Alomar in your research?

A lot but I would say the one thing that stood out was that he and Omar Vizqul really didn't care for each other. I wouldn't go so far as to say they were enemies, but they certainly weren't friends and had their fair share of squabbles. I go into the frosty relationship during the chapter on the Cleveland years. I think at the time, their double play combination was so remarkable, it was like how could the writers spill the beans on something that was fairly inconsequential. But it was still an interesting and surprising dynamic. 


Can you share your next book project?

Yes, a biography of Hall of Famer Jim Rice, likely out in late 2025. 


The Jim RIce book sounds great! Please add a note in there that I wanted Ron Buidry to win the 1978 American League MVP.


Thank you, David.  It is always a pleasure to talk with you!

2 Comments


kenkarpa
Feb 06

I have know Robbie personally for the last 13 years. This David guy has no idea whom Robbie is as a person Where does he get off writing a book without Robbie's input Don't read this bullshit

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Feb 05

The first couple of pitchers to win the MVP were traded to those teams, Fingers in '81 & Hernandez in '84. It took until I believe, Verlander in 2011 to win the MVP.

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