-Doug Glanville with Rachel Robinson
Story by RAND RICHARDS COOPER
Special to The Cool Justice Report
Many athletes go on to become sports announcers, but far fewer have the literary chops to become writers. Glanville, whose resume includes an engineering degree from an Ivy-League school (UPenn), is that rare exception. In his 2010 book, The Game From Where I Stand, he offered readers an absorbing chronicle of the daily challenges and rewards of life as a professional athlete, while describing his interactions with such controversial stars as Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling, and Alex Rodriguez. The Game From Where I Stand garnered rave reviews; acclaimed journalist and Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger called it “a book of uncommon grace and elegance...filled with insight and a certain kind of poetry.”
Glanville’s major-league career coincided with has come to be known as “the steroid era,” and he has written about that subject with insight and candor. In a 2009 essay he laid out his own agonized decision not to take performance-enhancing drugs, a decision for which he credits his mother, who “taught me how to look at the big picture,” and whose moral grounding in life reminded him that those who did take the drugs “pay a big price for their decision” by way of hollowed-out confidence and abandoned self respect. Was Glanville tempted to augment his physique – and his stats – via such drugs? Absolutely. “But that’s when my mom would sit on my shoulder and remind me of the beauty of knowing that what you gave of yourself was authentic, and that anything that happened — successes, failures — was real.”
West Hartford had an ordinance that prohibits door-to-door solicitation. A man whom I allegedly resembled had broken this ordinance. Someone in West Hartford had called the police, and a young officer, believing he was doing his duty, had pursued the complaint to my street.
the shoveling incident was a painful reminder of something I’ve always known: My biggest challenge as a father will be to help my kids navigate a world where being black is both a source of pride and a reason for caution. I want them to have respect for the police, but also a healthy fear.... But I also want them to go into the world with a firm sense of their own self-worth.
Not satisfied with merely writing about the incident, he took action, collaborating with his Matt Ritter to craft a bill, signed into law in August 2015, prohibiting law enforcement from pursuing an offender outside the officer's precinct if the suspicious activity in question is a relatively minor infraction.
Since moving to Hartford five years ago, Doug and his wife Tiffany have been active in their community, sending their kids to Hartford public schools and working to bolster the quality of life in the city. Tiffany, a lawyer, serves on the Board of Education. Doug serves on the board of the MLB Players Alumni Association and runs a scholarship foundation he started to honor his late father, Dr. Cecil E. Glanville. A much sought-after writer and speaker, Doug Glanville is both entertaining and eloquent, a person uniquely qualified to discuss sports and the lessons they hold for life.
Cool Justice Editor's Note: Andy Thibault coordinates the 2017-18 Speaker Series at The University of St. Joseph.