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Out of My League Hardcover – March 1, 2012
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"With razor-sharp wit and keen observational powers, Dirk Hayhurst delivers a rare gem of a baseball book. Out of My League captures both the joy and the toll of becoming a big leaguer unlike anything else before it."--Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated
"This book shows why baseball is so often used as a metaphor for life."--Keith Olbermann
About the Author
Born in Canton, Ohio in 1981, Dirk grew up in the small town area of Canton South where he attended Canton South high school, home of the Wildcats. Though Dirk now makes his home in Hudson, Ohio with his wife, Bonnie, Dirk's family remains in Canton South. Dirk holds a degree in communication studies from Kent State University, where he is also a member of the athletic hall of fame.
Dirk was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 8th round of the 2003 amateur player draft. He signed as a senior in college at Kent State University, put his communication degree on hold, and set off to the fabled Northwest League to become a mighty Eugene Emerald.
After 6 years of toiling in the minors, playing for the Eugene Emeralds, Fort Wayne Wizards, Lake Elsinore Storm, Mobile BayBears, San Antonio Missions, and Portland Beavers, Dirk emerged in the big leagues with San Diego to start against the San Fransico Giants on August, 23, 2008. His performance in that start was unremarkable, but the story between the two aforementioned dates is not, and is detailed in his 2 books, The Bullpen Gospels, and Out Of My League.
Dirk's first book, The Bullpen Gospels, came out on March 30, 2010 and was met with a surge of acclaim from all manner of key figures, such as Keith Olbermann, Bob Costas, Jayson Stark, Tim McCarver, Tom Verducci, and several esteemed print sources like, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe, and the list goes on. You can read more reviews about Dirk's book on the Book's page, or order it at all fine book sellers.
Dirk second book, OUT OF MY LEAGUE is slated to hit shelves in 2012, and it the story of how Dirk made it to the Big Leagues for the first time, and all the the trials and tribulations that came with it.
More About the Author
Dirk was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 8th round of the 2003 amateur player draft. He signed as a senior in college at Kent State University, put his communication degree on hold, and set off to the fabled Northwest League to become a Eugene Emerald.
After 6 years of toiling in the minors, playing for the Eugene Emeralds, Fort Wayne Wizards, Lake Elsinore Storm, Mobile BayBears, San Antonio Missions, and Portland Beavers, Dirk emerged in the big leagues with San Diego to start against the San Fransico Giants on August, 23, 2008. His performance in that start was unremarkable, but the story between the two aforementioned dates is not.
Dirk's literary work was first featured atÂ baseballamerica.com, where he wroteÂ The Non-Prospect DiariesÂ (nowÂ The Bullpen Gospels,Â in connection with his book), a blog about the other side of the baseball dream.Â At the time Dirk had no idea he would someday become a big leaguer, and the column was Dirk's way of keeping perspective in the midst of all the crazy things he encountered on the minor league trail. As it would happen,Â The Non-Prospect DiariesÂ became so popular he was approached by several newspapers, including that of his home town,Â The CantonRepository,Â where he began a column calledÂ The Bullpen Gospels.Â Only one year (and several thousand readers) later, Dirk was not only knocking on the door of the big leagues but in discussions to write a book as well.
Dirk's first book,Â The Bullpen Gospels, came out on March 30, 2010 and was met with a surge of acclaim from all manner of key figures, such as Keith Olbermann, Bob Costas, Jayson Stark, Tim McCarver, Tom Verducci, and several esteemed print sources like,Â The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe, and the list goes on. Out Of My League, the sequel to The Bullpen Gospels, about Dirk's 40 days and nights as a rookie in the Big leagues, was also a best seller and has earned Dirk the title of "best author to wear baseball uniform" according the New York Times. Dirk wrote a follow up to Out Of My League via an Ebook companion titled Wild Pitches. Bigger Than The Game is the 3rd book in what is now known as the Bullpen Gospels trilogy and considered by many to be his most important contribution to baseball writing.
In 2012, Dirk started his third professional career as a professional broadcaster and baseball analyst. Dirk has became a contributor for ESPN, SportsNet, TSN, the Olbermann Show on ESPN 2, and a panelist on TBS's coverage of the MLB post season. Dirk is also a regular guest of various MLB related shows around the country.
****Praise for Dirk Hayhurst's Writing****
"Sharp insights and searing honesty about depression, addiction, and baseball"
--Tyler Kepner, The New York Times.
"By writing courageously about mental health and insightfully about the rise of social media, Hayhurst has done more than take us inside our national pastime. He's provided us with a window to our national consciousness. BIGGER THAN THE GAME represents Hayhurst's thought-provoking legacy to the sport."
--John Paul Morosi, Fox Sports.
"Hayhurst's book delves deeper into what happens when a player is broken physically, but it goes a step further, detailing what can happen when a player is also broken mentally. This is a rare treat, and would be essential reading for this fact alone, even if the tale was not well conveyed. However, the book is an incredibly entertaining rollercoaster ride."
--The Hardball Times
"Dirk Hayhurst has a keen eye for finding the human side in the business-oriented world of professional baseball, something he's demonstrated in his excellent books. Largely based on his own experiences, but fuelled by the power of his observations, Bigger Than the Game gives readers a more insightful look at the game."
--Shi Davidi, Toronto Blue Jays beat writer for Sportsnet.ca
"Bigger Than The Game not only adds to Dirk Hayhurst's pedigree as a writer; it explores uncharted baseball waters with the unique, observant, entertaining eye Hayhurst is famous for. A must read."
--Jeff Blair, columnist for The Globe And Mail, author of Full Count: Four Decades of Blue Jays Baseball
"Dirk Hayhurst Cements His Baseball Legacy with Bigger Than the Game"
--Tyler Duma, Bleacher Report.
"Even more than he did in The Bullpen Gospels, Dirk Hayhurst teaches us here what happens when a 'dream career' collides with reality. There is such universality in his struggles, that if by the book's end you don't become him in your mind, there's probably something wrong with your heart."
"We all know the story of the wide-eyed rookie just happy to reach the major leagues. Problem is, there's so much more to it. Dirk Hayhurst takes us along on his journey from fringe prospect to major leaguer, with its exhilarating highs but also its punishing lows. The ride is gripping, revealing--and not at all what you'd expect. The author peels back his evolution as a person and a player, ranging far from the field yet showing compelling sides of the game that fans rarely see."
--Tyler Kepner, The New York Times
"Once again, Dirk Hayhurst brings readers into a world they rarely see: the hardscrabble world of minor-league baseball. It is a world full of political drama, financial stress and daily heartache. These are players you rarely hear about, players who rarely become rich or famous. Most, in fact, face the same kinds of struggles as the rest of us."
--Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
"Dirk Hayhurst has done it again. His second book is as good if not better than his first. Turns out he's a starter and a closer."
--Tim Kurkjian, ESPN
"Baseball is a game governed by countless rules, none bigger than this one: Don't over think it. Dirk Hayhurst takes us down the rabbit hole that is his mind, to a place where that rule is constantly violated, every decision, every move, every breath over thought. In the process, he provides a brutally honest take on life in the majors--the oversized ballparks, hotel rooms, and personalities, but also the self-doubt, loneliness, and despair. I laughed, I cried, I even learned how to doctor a baseball."
--Jonah Keri, author of The Extra 2%
"Out of My League is no mere sequel to The Bullpen Gospels. Yes, Hayhurst continues to chronicle his journey through the good, bad, absurd, mundane and often harrowing world of professional baseball, and yes his excellent writing continues to be hilarious, touching, illuminating and poignant. But this is more than a baseball book. It's the second -- and hopefully not the last -- chapter of a larger story of a man learning that it's possible to grip a baseball without it gripping him."
--Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports.com
"Dirk Hayhurst manages to bring an outsider's point of view to the baseball world, even while reaching the major leagues for the first time. It's never too inside baseball, even though it is literally from inside baseball."
--John Manuel, Editor, Baseball America
"Hayhurst has done it again. I was blown away by every page, every chapter, every twist, every turn. I kept thinking that if I could only pitch as well as Dirk can write, I might have more Cy Youngs than Greg Maddux."
--Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
"Once again, Hayhurst delivers an entertaining story for more than just sports fans. Baseball provides the backdrop, but this is about life, relationships and the sacrifices made to pursue a dream. Hayhurst's unique storytelling style makes for another memorable read."
--Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
"In Dirk Hayhurst's funny, earthy, touching new book, he finally makes it to a big-league mound. As a writer, he's been throwing strikes in the Show for a while now, and "Out of My League" is another quality start."
--King Kaufman, Bleacher Report
"The most candid portrayal of life as a professional athlete I've ever seen. Out of My League is a must for anyone who has dreamed of making the Major Leagues and has wondered what they missed."
--Michael Dolan, Editor-in-Chief, Athletes Quarterly
"Hayhurst isn't afraid to tell it like it is. He has a genuine gift for telling the stories of his life in such a way that they reveal profound truths. I find his writing both entertaining and thought provoking... unlike his fastball."
--Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays All-Star
"By the time you finish OUT OF MY LEAGUE -- which is so compulsively readable and enjoyable that it could be the same day you start - you'll feel like you've just sat with an old pal who clawed his way into the bigs and couldn't wait to tell you everything about the experience. Apparently it's not enough for him to be a major league pitcher; Dirk has to be a fantastic writer, too. This is because God is cruel and unfair. You, however, are lucky: you get to read OUT OF MY LEAGUE."
--Matt Fraction, Marvel Comics
"After many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years spent in the bullpen, I can verify that this is a true picture of baseball."
"One of the funniest baseball books since Jim Bouton reinvented the player diary by being honest in Ball Four...Hayhurst does a wonderful job of capturing the contradictory essence of life in the minors, of apprentice heroes struggling on a burrito budget, thrown together and whirled apart by an impersonal business that eats its young.."
--Jeff Nueman, Clear Channel Sports
"Bull Durham meets Ball Four in Dirk Hayhurst's hilarious and moving account of life in baseball's glamor-free bush leagues." Â
--Rob Neyer, SB Nation
"Everyone he describes you can say I played with someone just like that.Any pro baseball player can relate to his stories, but for anyone who enjoys baseball, it's a good read too." Â
--Daniel Bard, Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox
"This is the long-awaited, much-needed minor-league equivalent of Ball Four. It's eloquent. It's insightful. It's poignant. It's hilarious. Sometimes all in the same paragraph. I loved it. All of it." Â
--Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
"After THE BULLPEN GOSPELS, people will know exactly who Hayhurst is and they should see ballplayers as more than just numbers on the backs of jerseys. Much like Hayhurst and others who spend careers fighting labels, it is too simple to call this a baseball book. It is so much more. It is a book about life, with baseball as the backdrop....Hayhurst has written a big-time book. That much is clear." Â
--Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
"A highly compelling and great read...Hayhurst takes you on bus rides, in the clubhouse, and, of course, in the bullpen with in-depth descriptions and terrifically written passages."
--Ian Browne, MLB.com.
"Dirk Hayhurst has written a fascinating, funny and honest account on life in the minor leagues. I loved it. Writers can't play baseball, but in this case, a player sure can write."
--Tim Kurkjian, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine, analyst/reporter ESPN television
Bullpen Gospels is a rollicking good bus ride of a book.Hayhurst illuminates a baseball life not only with wit and humor, but also with thought-provoking introspection.
--Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated.
"Baseball is a game governed by countless rules, none bigger than this one: Don't over think it. Dirk Hayhurst takes us down the rabbit hole that is his mind, to a place where that rule is constantly violated, every decision, every move, every breath over thought. In the process, he provides a brutally honest take on life in the majors-the oversized ballparks, hotel rooms, and personalities, but also the self-doubt, loneliness, and despair. I laughed, I cried, I even learned how to doctor a baseball."
--Jonah Keri, Author of The Extra 2%
"One is torn about wanting Hayhurst's baseball career to continue versus his writing career. It would be great to have both."
--Joe Gross, Austin American Statesman
"...The Bullpen Gospels is a damn good book, and in it Hayhurst acts as a unique prism (a literate ballplayer!?!?) through which the inglorious life of minor league ball is reflected. It's a thoughtful, funny, touching memoir ... The Bullpen Gospels is an enjoyable, interesting read that will give you a new kind of appreciation for the many, many under-appreciated who make the game we love what it is. Yet at the same time, it will have you questioning the deification of the uniform--which, after all, is worn by men just like you and I (uh... unless you're a woman)--and consistently laughing along the way .
Â --Drunk Jays Fans.com
Top Customer Reviews
The book is equally funny, honest and insightful. You will laugh out loud at some of the stories Hayhurst retells. Stories about his offseason relationship with his grandma, getting hit on by transvestites while on the road, and many of the rookie hazing moments he goes through when he finally reaches the big leagues.
Even with all the funny moments, and there are plenty of them, this book focuses on so much more. The reality and struggle of what a fringe prospect goes through.
Baseball is a sport that is marked by failure. Players will always fail more often than they succeed. These failures can weigh heavily on a players psyche and in turn make them even worse as a player. It is a struggle to overcome these overwhelming obstacles and find success in a sport where the odds are stacked against you.
Hayhurst takes us behind the curtain and sheds light what it is like to be an actual baseball player and what runs through their minds in many of these types of situations.
Baseball, even with all its benefits, can be a serious grind for its players forcing them to sometimes wonder if making it to the show is worth it or not. Hayhurst openly talks about many of these struggles that he faced throughout his 6 years in the minors en route to his first appearance in the majors.
What I love most about this book is the honest approach it takes to what life is like for a major league player.Read more ›
But the book is about more than the comings and goings of a baseball player and team. The book is about spending years dreaming about something, only to find out the dream is really a nightmare when it actually happens. It is about broken homes and bad marriages, held together with fights. And it is about getting to the major league mound and forgetting the person you are. It's about changing--sometimes for the worse--to win social approval and finding the disapproval of those who matter most to you.
And the book is about failure. It's about realizing that the dream cannot be realized...whether that dream is to simply grip a ball or to become a star pitcher on a World Series Champion. Sometimes those dreams cannot be fulfilled.
Hayhurst is most interested in life's meaning, as anyone who read Bullpen Gospels should know. And he struggles with what it means to throw a baseball 85 mph in front of 30,000 fans. He struggles to find purpose and place.
Many people do. Some people think they've found their spouse only to be left at the alter, or be told no during a proposal. People can work hard and still get a pink slip. You can land a dream job only to fail at it and not do well.
The book is well written, flows nicely, and is touching in parts and hilarious in others (hint there are two transvestite conventions in the book, one in Salt Lake City and another aboard a plane where 15 of the attendees are wearing Hooter's outfits).
Dirk tells a story that, while baseball drives it, is more about relationships and feelings.
He describes baseball events that we've heard in hundreds of soundbites that say the same cliches in ways that we have never heard them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Entertaining and insightful, the reasons why men play a game that we start playing as children. A great read and well crafted I found myself on the field and in the locker room. Read morePublished 23 days ago by John Myers
I own all the books in this series. As the father of a young man who wants to play baseball at the next level, these were quite insightful.Published 2 months ago by Jay
A hilarious and deeply emotional recounting of a man trying to overcome demons of success. Some of it became so depressing (grandmother, parents, pressure of "making it to the big... Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. H. Roberts Jr.
I felt it was too long of a book. I liked it but I got bored with it. It just seemed to go around in circles and not going anywhere. Read it if you are a baseball fan. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
This was a gift for the hubby. He doesn't usually comment about the books he reads. If it is a good book, he will finish it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Barbara S.
Both entertaining and a good look at the struggles of being a minor leaguer.Published 7 months ago by Nancy Laurel OConnell
Good read, typical of Hayhurst. I will order the next in the series. He is not out of his league in writing.Published 7 months ago by Steve Eskew
Another solid outing by the ol' Hook!
Keep doing the things that you need to do.
Way to be there for your team. Read more