Forget the steroid-addled, overpaid, and unmotivated players: America's pastime is still alive and well and is still the heartfelt sport it's always been...in the minor leagues. And nowhere is this truer than in Kentucky, whose rich baseball history continues to play out in the four teams profiled in this audiobook. Following these teams through the 2010 season - the triumphs, struggles, and big-league hopes and dreams - the book tells the larger story of baseball in America's smaller venues, where the game in its purest form is still valued and warmly embraced.
The story begins before the season, with national anthem singing tryouts in Lexington, then tags along with players, staff, and fans at home, in the office, and on the field, offering a rare glimpse of the unglamorous reality of minor-league ball. From the front-office staff in Bowling Green planning kooky promotions to a trainer grocery shopping for a team on 40 dollars a day to a new wife coming to terms with her husband's transitory lifestyle to a father struggling to make it back to the majors and a Cuban defector blowing everyone away with a 100-plus mile per hour fastball, these are the people who live to make baseball happen in all its nitty-gritty glory.
"Provides excellent insight into just what the minor leagues mean to just about anyone involved in the game." (Baseball America)
"From the front office scheming wacky promos to trainers shopping for the team to players struggling for a shot to The Show, this nitty-gritty account puts you in that minor-league clubhouse. So well done you'll smell the bus fumes and hear that heckler over on the Bluegrass Baseball third-base line." (Society for American Baseball Research)
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On Par with books like it
It was an engaging read. I am sure they have a better name for this genre then what I call it: nonfiction real life narrative. Another good name for it is stories about real people. I enjoyed this book because it was a well written account of real people and how they get along in this industry.
The accounts of the Hispanic players on the first ball team was classic. I felt the comradery and desperation as if I was actually there.
He has a smooth speaking voice, and it lent itself well to the topic at hand. That being said, I did get this for free to review. However, I would like you to consider how many audio books I must consume to be in a position to get free ones to review. In fact I am a bit of an audio book junky, and I could find no fault with this narration. I do have a tendency to listen at a speed of 2X and higher, which may make me numb to the more subtle aspects of his performance. However, for my needs he did a great job.
The stories about the wives and girlfriends was interesting. What a rough time they face. Also, I loved how hard this life was on the players and yet they kept at it.
I used the word "comradery" above, and yet it is flagged as misspelled. I dropped it in google, and the internet seemed to think it was correctly spelled the way I have it here. If I am completely honest; I both love and hate how we write these days. It is with total confidence the systems we use will catch all the errors, and yet I am never totally sure I have a comma in the correct spot. I know the general rules, but the finer points elude me.