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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At Triple A, hope is the key, February 9, 2014
This review is from: Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball (Hardcover)
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Author John Feinstein focuses on eight Triple A individuals--Durham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo, Norfolk Tides manager Ron Johnson, pitchers Chris Schwinden, Brett Tomko and Scott Elarton, outfielder Nate McLouth, designated hitter John Lindsey and umpire Mark Lollo--during the 2012 season in Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball.

Feinstein describes his book as being about "a handful of men who run the gamut of life in Triple A; men who have been stars and have fallen; men who have been rich and then far from rich; and men who have aspired to those heights and never reached them."

Feinstein writes that no one dreams of playing in Triple A, and virtually no one wants to be there. Most everyone believes he's just "one accident away" from getting called up to the major league club. Players come and go every day and teammates compete against each other for that coveted call-up spot. The player transactions are barely noticed by the regular baseball fans, but they have a tremendous impact on those involved.

Triple A is filled with players who are pushing back the inevitable end to the playing days. They are at a point in their careers where getting to the majors or returning to the majors isn't impossible, but it isn't likely.

Life in Triple A is often an emotional roller coaster. It is filled with uncertainly, heartaches, disappointments, hope and thrills. Hope is the key.

Toledo manager Phil Nevin says, "The worst part is releasing a player because you're killing his dream. Sometimes, the biggest favor you can do is tell a player 'it's time.' They don't want to hear it, but they need to hear it."

Feinstein writes that those in Triple A all have one thing in common--a love for the game. And, as difficult as life may be in Triple A, Norfolk manager Ron Johnson says the only thing worse than playing in Triple A is not playing in Triple A.

Schwinden says, "This is a difficult life. It's that simple. The truth is if you don't like it, get better." At one point in the 2012 season, Schwinden pitched for five different teams in four different baseball organizations within five weeks.

Schwinden is just one of many interesting stories. John Lindsey played in 1,787 minor league games in 14 different cities before being called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a month in September 2010. Brett Tomko had made 25 stops in 18 years, including 10 years in the major leagues.

Although Feinstein focuses on eight individuals, one of the strengths of his book is that he interviewed many other players and managers which adds depth and perspective. He also does a nice job of pacing the book and switching back and forth from the different individuals.

This is an interesting, insightful and well-written book. It's one that should appeal to all baseball fans.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 22, 2014 8:00:56 AM PDT
Bob Barker says:
If you enjoyed this book, you should read Hammerin' Hank Fletcher by Gary Cecil. It's a wonderful baseball story with a powerful message.
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