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Wild Pitches [Kindle Edition]

Dirk Hayhurst
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Dirk Hayhurst writes about baseball in a unique way. Observant, insightful, human, and hilarious."
--Bob Costas

As a major and not-so-major league pitcher, Dirk Hayhurst has learned to master more than striking out batters. While waiting for his name to be called in the bullpen, he honed his gifts as a storyteller, one the New York Times calls the "best writer in a baseball uniform." In this often hilarious collection of adventures on and off the diamond, Dirk details the intricacies of pulling off an epic team prank, even if it's at his own expense;the art of creating the perfect professional baseball nickname;his comically ineffective attempts at writing romance novels;and the bizarre tale in which a bear gets punched in the face (yes, really). No matter how wild his story, Dirk proves once again he knows that it's all in the delivery.

"I find his writing both entertaining and thought provoking...unlike his fastball."
--Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays All-Star

"Dirk Hayhurst has done it again...Turns out he's a starter and a closer."
--Tim Kurkjian, ESPN

"Hayhurst delivers an entertaining story for more than just sports fans."
--Jordan Bastian,

"Hayhurst explains life in the minors and the major leagues like you've never read it before."
--J. J. Cooper, Baseball America

"Insight and humor from the pitcher's mound."

51,300 Words.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2698 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel (January 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009T9SCIK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,421 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read by Dirk Hayhurst February 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I discovered Dirk Hayhurst's first book, The Bullpen Gospels, during a summer I spent working in baseball. I was looking to learn more about what the players experienced and what the life was like, and the book was great at giving me some insight. I picked up his second book (another fabulous read) the day it was released and finished it in two days.

Wild Pitches is no different. It's entertaining and it's nice to read the parts that didn't make the cut for Out of my League. I laughed out loud frequently at his experiences and he just has an incredible way with storytelling. If you enjoyed his first two books, buy this immediately. You won't regret it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a Bit Inside February 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dirk Hayhurst's Wild Pitches is a collection of stories that will help anyone in baseball withdrawal get through the winter doldrums in a fine mettle. His ability to get established players to open up combined with his narrations of the make it or break it pressures for up and coming ballers shines a realistic light into a world of which most of us just dream.
One word of warning if you are surreptitiously reading this at work - Don't - because you will get busted by your boss when you react to the laugh out loud humor spread throughout the chapters.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wild Pitches January 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dirk Hayhurst has done it again! With Bullpen Gospels and Out of My League just barely in his rearview mirror, he's come up with another gem. This book had me laughing out loud and tearful at points. It was a great ride through some of the foibles of minor league baseball. Great read.(Did it in one sitting) Highly recommended.. Enjoy!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bull Durham on paper March 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Adorable stories tied in with a troubled life and history, this is the real insiders view without the Ball Four style name dropping. A must read for anyone who thinks baseball in the minors is all fun and games.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read November 16, 2013
By JRob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another fun read. Although some of it is from earlier books there are add ons that make this another very humorous look behind the scenes of baseball.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Random But Interesting August 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wild Pitches does not follow a story line, so it feels kind of disjointed. This book is a compilation of stories that did not fit into "Out of My League" as the author explains in his notes. It took a while to get used to the stories not flowing together, but the telling overcomes the flow issue. Hayhurst is an excellent story teller who makes you laugh with his tales of life in the minor leagues. This is a fun read, especially if you're a baseball nut like I am.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dirk has written better stuff July 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not worth picking up if you have read the other two books by Hayhurst but a reasonably good read if you haven't....
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4.0 out of 5 stars The trails and tribulations of chasing a MLB dream July 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book and a great read. Read Bullpen Gospels also and will be purchasing the third book soon. You will enjoy it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read from start to finish
Published 7 months ago by hoot6363
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Great read if you enjoyed the first two books. Doesn't work well on its own if you haven't read the first 2
Published 14 months ago by Andrew Medved
3.0 out of 5 stars just leftovers
Hayhurst is a great story-teller, with amusing insights on baseball and life. His prior books prove the point. Read more
Published 21 months ago by S. Bassin
1.0 out of 5 stars garbage
Inane, uninteresting. Leftover compilation of material from another book. Hayhurst is a good media analyst but is not an interesting person and his experiences hardly rival Jim... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Charles Gordon
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't like this one
Dirk starts off this edition by saying that these stories were taken out of his first two books. Dirk, there was a reason why the editors told you to take it out, my friend. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Joe
2.0 out of 5 stars If you buy this, you strikeout.
I pre-ordered this book in December, but got caught up in some other books before starting this book in May. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of My League: The Deleted Scenes
If you loved Out of My League, you'll definitely enjoy this book. It really is a bunch of "deleted scenes" from Out of My League, things that were cut by publishers for... Read more
Published on April 14, 2013 by Pete S.
Unlike Hayhurst's first two outings, this one just doesn't even come close to measuring up. Hayhurst, himself, confesses that this book is primarily comprised of material his... Read more
Published on March 10, 2013 by H. Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Writing
For a 2nd profession, Dirk Hayhurst is a very entertaining writer. I love all his books, and Wild Pitches is like bonus content that makes all the stories that much better. Read more
Published on March 9, 2013 by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Born in Canton, Ohio in 1981, Dirk grew up in the small town of Canton South where he attended Canton South high school, home of the Wildcats. 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 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 at, where he wrote The Non-Prospect Diaries (now The Bullpen Gospels, in connection with his book), a blog about the other side of the baseball dream. 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, The Non-Prospect Diaries became so popular he was approached by several newspapers, including that of his home town, The CantonRepository, where he began a column called The Bullpen Gospels. 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, 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. 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

"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."
--Keith Olbermann

"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

"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,

"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,

"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."

--Tim McCarver

"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."  

--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."  

--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."  

--Jayson Stark,

"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."  

--Jordan Bastian,

"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,

"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 .

 --Drunk Jays


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