Saturday, May 12, 2007

Matt DeSalvo: Reader and Pitcher, New York Yankees

Sometimes you find readers in the strangest places. How about in the New York Yankees locker room just before a baseball game? That's not something that I, as a longtime baseball fan, would have ever expected to see but Yankee pitcher Matt DeSalvo seems to be as serious about his reading as he is about pitching for the Yanks.

Matt DeSalvo sat in silence at his Yankee Stadium locker before his major league debut on Monday, buried in the written word. It is his most comfortable position.

In his hands, he held a small book with gilded edges. It was not a scouting report, and it was not a Bible, either. It was Confucius, DeSalvo said later, and the pages were covered with circled passages and notes he had made in the margins.

“It’s just what I’m reading right now,” DeSalvo said. “I like to read different philosophies, just anything, the way I see this world. We spend a whole lifetime trying to figure ourselves out. Like I’ll read a book and try to think, what’s this mean to me? And I’ll apply it to myself.”

When he finishes Confucius, DeSalvo will cross another title off his list of the 400 books he wants to read before he dies. He is halfway through the list already, having devoured 17 books during spring training alone.
When he finishes the list, DeSalvo said, he will write another novel. His first, called “Love’s Travels,” was written three or four years ago and has been seen only by himself and an editor. Its topic, he said, is the way a person’s concept of love changes over time.
Read the rest of this New York Times article to get a feel for what makes this interesting young man tick. I'm pulling for Matt DeSalvo to make it big...and to finish the other 200 books he has on his list. At the rate he's knocking out those books I think that he will be expanding that list by several hundred before he's done reading and pitching.


  1. I'm not a Yankees fan, but as of today, I'm a Matt DeSalvo fan.

  2. Same here, bybee. I admire any athlete who's not afraid to be himself, especially a rookie like DeSalvo.

    Unfortunately, it sounds as if he will be sent back to the minor leagues in June when Roger Clemens deigns to finally make his return to baseball and joins the Yankee pitching staff.

  3. Great Article. It's a shame he's a Yankee though!! Never been a fan. Now, if he was a Cardinal.....


  4. I was a huge Yankees fan for all of the sixties, Stephanie, but none of their teams since then have measured up to the standards of those sixties Yanks, IMO. I still follow them on occasion and got quite a thrill when SIX Astros pitchers combined to no-hit them a few seasons back. I didn't think the NY papers would ever recover from that one. :-)

  5. I just came upon this article and I want to thank all of you for the kind comments about my son. His love for reading is immense. He can never get enough. I am the same way. Reading can transport you to places and times that seem impossible to visit but all of a sudden, there you are.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment on the article. It's hard for me to believe that it's been 12 years since I posted that story about Matt. I remember how much I admired him for being such an obvious reader in a culture (professional sports) that doesn't always reward that kind of behavior.

      I believe that lifetime readers are some of the luckiest people in the world. I hope Matt is doing well; I'm sure he is still reading, because that's a constant in every avid reader's life. Passing your love of reading on to Matt was the best gift you could have ever given him. It will last him a lifetime.