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I Don't Care if We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever Hardcover – May 6, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802122744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802122742
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

First, this book—about the authors’ successful attempt to attend an entire game in each of the 30 Major League parks in 30 days during the 2013 season—is ­moronically contrived, and at a cost of some 22,000 miles’ worth of fossil fuels. And if the banter between these two knuckleheads, one a Harvard senior and the other a recent Harvard grad, is meant to be funny, it kind of isn’t: for instance, their Yankee Stadium MVP seats were so close to the action you had a legitimate chance of being named the player of the game. Still, stacking together these 30 stadiums, one after the other, is a great way to contrast and compare the unique experience each of them offers fans. And, almost despite themselves, Blatt and Brewster make some wonderfully salient points: It made far more sense to root for the success of your favorite doctor than it did for your favorite player. A quirky book that just might draw a crowd. --Alan Moores

Review

“A fun ride that evokes the spirit of sports stunt journalist George Plimpton and the dazed road-trip fever of Hunter S. Thompson, minus the mind altering substances. . . . It’s great watching Blatt and Brewster race home.”—Boston Globe

“A cross between The Cannonball Run and The Great Race, with portions of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World thrown in for good measure. . . . The road trip—and narrative—zigzags across the country, with the authors (helped by three other drivers at times) driving 22,000 miles in 716 hours. They watched 8,913 pitches and completed their quest with a few hours to spare. . . . The dynamic and back-and-forth tension and sarcasm between Blatt and Brewster is funny. . . . Worth reading.”—Tampa Tribune

“An oblique view of baseball full of hijinks, havoc, and humor, this is fandom to the extreme.”—Daily Beast

“Consistently engaging. . . . [A] fast-moving and hysterical road trip book . . . written in a style that will fondly recall the gonzo fiction of Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the great Jack Kerouac. . . . If you love baseball, you will thoroughly relish I Don’t Care if We Never Get Back and most likely will finish it in one sitting. But even if you are not a fan, you still will be able to sink your teeth into the non-stop witty banter that hits a bullseye in its description of life in America and the ever-present baseball obsession. . . . This is a unique saga that will please everyone who jumps in the backseat to ride along.”—Bookreporter

“If Catfish Hunter and Hunter Thompson mated, their grandkids would be Ben and Eric, whose gonzo baseball road trip glows with humor, insight and the Service Engine light of their Toyota RAV4.”—Steve Rushin, author of The 34-Ton Bat

“An honest and hilarious look at what it’s really like to drive across America for baseball, I Don't Care if We Never Get Back is a highlight reel of triumphs and mishaps.”—Zack Hample, author of Watching Baseball Smarter

"This is a wonderfully crazy, wonderfully stupid idea. I'm glad someone—someone other than me—did it. The result is hilarious and amazing."—Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist and The Ridiculous Race

“The road-trip memoir has become so tired that there’s almost no premise good enough to resurrect it from endless cliché, and a frenetic race to an arbitrary goal didn’t seem promising. But that wasn’t accounting for two things: Moneyball-worthy mathematical algorithms and the sharp, hilarious prose that has made Lampoon alums famous for generations. . . . Nate Silver numbers and James Thurber wit turn what should be a harebrained adventure into a pretty damn endearing one.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] fun road trip/ballpark adventure with pranks, missed exits, a misadventure with a scalper, and a sellout on the worst possible day. . . . Blatt and Brewster have definitely scored.”—Publishers Weekly

“Reads like a mix of Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, Neil Simon and National Lampoon. You’ll laugh the whole way through.”—Jersey Journal

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Customer Reviews

This is a very entertaining book.
Barry Sparks
One of their self-imposed rules is that they must be present for the first batter of each game to make it official.
Bookreporter
It was funny at times and at time couldn't wait to see what happen next.
Rickey Reynolds

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barry Sparks VINE VOICE on April 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Lots of baseball fans entertain the notion of visiting all 30 major league baseball stadiums. It's typically a goal that requires years to achieve. But, Harvard students Ben Blatt and Eric Brewster decided to accomplish the goal in June of 2013. Thirty games in 30 days in what they term "the best worst baseball road trip ever."

Armed with an alogrithm that mapped out the most efficient way to visit all 30 stadiums in 30 days, Blatt and Brewster added some rules of their own for the trip. They would drive to all the destinations (22,000 miles) and they must be at the stadium to see the first pitch or the game wouldn't count for them. They must stay the entire game (no matter how many innings) and they must be engaged in the game. This has all the makings of insanity.

The pair hit their first snag in Game 7 when they overslept and missed the start of the game in Denver. This necessitated a change in the schedule (there's goes the most efficient way to see all 30 stadiums). A rainout in Chicago (the second part of a Wrigley Field-Comiskey Park doubleheader) necessitated another change and left the pair with no more wriggle room.

A 22,000 mile trip is not conducive to getting enough sleep, eating properly, driving the speed limit or being able to relax. The pair averaged 750 miles of driving per day. The emphasis of the trip is on adventure, not baseball. This is not the type of trip where you can savor baseball or fall in love with it. Blatt and Brewster soon find themselves rooting for the quickest game possible so they could get back on the road and head toward their next destination.

Baseball fans might be surprised to find there's little discussion of the individual games, stadiums or players in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the funniest bits in the consistently engaging road trip story I DON'T CARE IF WE NEVER GET BACK is when authors Ben Blatt and Eric Brewster actually argue about the lyrics to the tune from which the title takes its name: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." In what unwinds into a dialogue reminiscent of Abbott & Costello's famous Who's On First? routine, Ben and Eric argue the usage of the term “never” vs. “ever.” They claim that different ballparks actually utilize either “never” or “ever,” with no way of finding out what is the intended or grammatically correct usage of the term.

This is just a small sample of what readers are in store for when opening up this fast-moving and hysterical road trip book. Written in a style that will fondly recall the gonzo fiction of Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the great Jack Kerouac, Ben and Eric make full use of their background as witty lampoon-style writers. They are both Harvard grads, and Eric was actually president of Harvard Lampoon.

What they set out to accomplish is quite impressive and seemingly all but impossible. They plan to visit all 30 Major League ballparks in a span of 30 days, taking in a full ballgame at each. One of their self-imposed rules is that they must be present for the first batter of each game to make it official. This supplies us with some really good breakneck speed races to make a few games under the wire.

The most ironic thing is that the pair could not be more different when it comes to the sport. Ben is a baseball superfan who fully ascribes to SABR metrics and is a student of the game’s statistics that resulted in his analytical stories being published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Eric, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about baseball.
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By Daniel J Quinn on June 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book is extremely entertaining. the wit never slackens from start to finish. and the ending leaves you satisfied and in the mood to go see america's ballparks yourself, but maybe in a bit more time than 30 days.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. What makes a book really worth 5 stars? I try to be judicious with my 5s. In the case of this book, I couldn't put it down, I enjoyed every minute and found myself really engrossed in the story.

Sure, this book is not without flaws. But in spite of them, I enjoyed it so much that I think it's a 5 anyway.

The book follows Ben and his friend Eric as they attempt to visit 30 ballparks in 30 days, driving around the country on a crazy road trip that follows an program Ben created to plan just such a trip. When he wrote the program, he never expected to use it himself, but after graduation he and Eric decided to make the trip after all.

Driving 4,000 miles and attending 5 baseball games in 5 days might not sound great to you, but it's one of the things Ben and Eric (and some of their friends) do in this story. In total, they drove more than 22,000 miles across the country and back again. The tension builds as they try to stick to their self-assigned goal of not only seeing 30 games in 30 days, but seeing every pitch of all 30 games.

Now to the flaws. I wish it was longer. I wish there was more travelogue, but as Ben admits, they drove past a lot of scenery in the middle of the night, and they didn't have time for stops, so there wasn't much to see and do. I wish they didn't jump between third person (Ben and Eric did this) and first person (I/We did this) in the same paragraph!!! That one drove me nuts.

If you love baseball and traveling, you'll love this book. It might even inspire you to try it yourself. If you're not OK with the occasional editing mistake, you might not love it, but you'll probably still enjoy it.
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