In an untrafficked corner of the Philadelphia Phillies
clubhouse, two teammates are jawing over who's the greatest
ballplayer in the universe. "I say Doug Glanville," says
leftfielder Gregg Jefferies.
"Doug Glanville?" Third baseman Scott Rolen is stunned. "Doug
Glanville, our centerfielder?"
"Yeah, that Doug Glanville. He has more multihit games than
anybody in the National League. He's second in hits and triples,
and sixth in runs. The season's not half over, and he's already
had 14- and 17- and 18-game hitting streaks. He can steal a
base, and he can catch any fly ball in the outfield. Therefore,
Doug Glanville is the best ballplayer in the universe."
Baseball's Mr. Universe is no swaggering Schwarzenegger. He's a
lean, logical Ivy Leaguer with a fondness for logarithms and a
face that's predisposed to smile. "You have to be quiet to hear
Doug because he speaks real low," says infielder Rex Hudler.
"But what comes out of his mouth is awesome! He may be too smart
for this sport. This is a game for dopes."
At week's end, the University of Pennsylvania engineering grad
was on pace for 230 hits, which would make him the first Phillie
to reach 200 since Pete Rose in 1979. "On the field, I try not
to overthink," says the 27-year-old Glanville, 12th in the
league with a .325 batting average. "My Triple A manager said I
thought too much. I am pretty cerebral--at least I think I am."
The son of a Trinidad-born psychiatrist father and a retired
math teacher, Glanville grew up in Teaneck, N.J., playing French
horn and piano, but not cricket, his father's game. "I suspect
the reason Doug did so well at baseball was that he wanted to
outdo his older brother," says Doug's father, Cecil. This, Dad
cautions, is just a guess. "I've never psychoanalyzed Doug. Only
if a psychiatrist really wants to lose his family should he
start practicing on them."
It's one thing to probe Glanville's mind, quite another to
change it. In high school he advised major league teams not to
draft him. "I was more interested in a degree," says Glanville.
He insisted on writing his senior thesis (a 120-page paper on
the impact a new Phillies ballpark would have on traffic
patterns around the city) even after the Chicago Cubs had given
him a $325,000 signing bonus in 1991.
For a guy whose expertise is designing transportation systems,
Glanville took forever--six years in the minors--to find Wrigley
Field. Last December, after hitting .300 in his first full
season, he was dealt to Philadelphia for second baseman Mickey
Morandini. In spring training he fought the beloved Lenny
Dykstra for the centerfield job. ("It was tough," Glanville
says. "What was I supposed to do, hire Tonya Harding and take
Thanks largely to Glanville, the Phils are one of the most
improved teams in the majors, with 13 more wins than last year
at this juncture. But one thing professors never taught
Glanville was to lay off high fastballs. In a league-leading 314
at bats this year, he has walked just 14 times. Worse, the
greatest ballplayer in the universe may also be its greatest
slob. "Doug leaves a trail of clothes from the clubhouse door to
his locker," complains catcher Mark Parent. "I'll tell you
what--there's no way I'm sending my kids to Penn."
COLOR PHOTO: CHUCK SOLOMON [Doug Glanville bunting]