He's an Ivy League-educated, speedy African-American outfielder who has been a columnist for The New York Times and has a connection to the Triangle. No, Durham Bulls fans, you may be surprised to learn that the baseball player in question is not your beloved Fernando Perez. Instead, meet Doug Glanville, a former first-round draft pick who had a productive nine-year career in the major leagues with the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers before retiring in 2004 and moving to Raleigh with his family. In 2010, he published The Game From Where I Stand, a candid autobiography that goes well beyond the usual as-told-to fluff. These days, you can find Glanville not only in bookstores but also on television, where he is now an ESPN baseball analyst.
Glanville's website (www.dougglanville.com) gives him the epithet "The Academic Ambassador to Baseball." So it is no surprise to see him turn up at Duke University in reverse relation: as baseball's ambassador to academia. Duke hosts Glanville for an event titled "Reflections of a Big Leaguer: A Conversation with Doug Glanville," Thursday evening from 5–7 p.m. in the Pink Parlor of the East Duke building. Surely there will be plenty of baseball talk, but don't be surprised if the thoughtful, perceptive and broadminded Penn graduate ventures off the diamond. He recently published, for example, a Time article about the New Orleans Saints' so-called bounty program. And he rarely misses an opportunity to rave about his favorite musicians: Hall and Oates. Seriously. —Adam Sobsey