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Heart of the Game: Life, Death, and Mercy in Minor League America Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 12, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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“A superb storyteller. . . . S. L. Price has done a masterful job.” (Chicago Tribune )
“It’s a story of hard luck in a hard game but, in the lives of two minor leaguers, Scott Price reveals the code of baseball. This is one of the baseball books that will endure as long as the game is played.” (Richard Ben Cramer, author of "Joe Dimaggio: The Hero's Life" )
“S.L. Price has become a powerful force in giving readers a front-row seat to the spectacular. Through his unique gifts of observation and prose, the veteran journalist has painted compelling portraits of the special people, places and moments that define the games we play and watch.” (San Antonio Express-News )
“S.L. Price’s work, “Heart of the Game: Life, Death, and Mercy in Minor League America” is more than just another baseball book being released. It’s a legacy, an heirloom that can be handed from a father no longer here to his children.” (MLB.com )
“Hear the heartbeat of America and feel its breath in this beautifully-told tale of love, fate, and forgiveness. The best sports book I’ve read in many seasons.” (Robert Lipsyte, former New York Times sports columnist )
“I was reminded, as I read HEART OF THE GAME, what baseball has meant to me. The story of Mike Coolbaugh’s life and death will break your heart – and you won’t ever look at the game in quite the same way.” (Darryl Strawberry )
“[A] superbly written book . . . a story that’s both heartbreaking and uplifting, much like baseball itself.” (Dave Barry )
“The best baseball book I have ever read...Dazzling...a welcome antidote to the poisonous steroid sleaze that hogs the headlines and crams the bookshelves...If you read only one baseball book this year, make it ‘Heart of the Game.’” (Stan Hochman, Philadelphia Daily News )
“[V]eteran Sports Illustrated writer S.L. Price weaves his magic. Genuine and raw, Heart of the Game is a heartfelt work of despair, triumph, and redemption.” (Boston Globe )
Top Customer Reviews
This is a VERY intense read at times, so be prepared. I guarantee you won't put it down when you start the last few chapters. But I strongly recommend you pay the $15 or so and buy the book.
By the way, lest you think this is just a tear-jerker (and sure, it does get emotional - how could it NOT?), it's also a very deep look at the way baseball works, how the minor leagues really work, how people are identified and pigeonholed early in their careers, that sort of thing. I learned lots of things I never had thought about. And the interesting thing is, a fair part of it mentions names familiar to any Rockies fan, because of the time Sanchez spent in the Rockies organization: Hurdle, Holliday, Christian Colonel, and so on.
Having played the game it was easy for me to relate to the story of Mike Coolbaugh and his brother being taught the game by his father.
Both talented with their eye on making it. For years they could only see the light at the end of the tunnel. They were aware of other things in life that was important i.e. family and friends but their career paths were focused on baseball.
This book takes you on a in depth look at their minor league journey. The detail in the authors story is second to none. Baseball is all about the moment. It's risk vs. reward. A good day is like no other, a bad day makes you wonder what you're doing. But there's always tomorrow. Mike Coolbaugh did everything right. But luck, timing were never on his side. You can second guess everything in life except your passion for what you want to do.
The book is so well writtien, so layeredd and informative about the journey through the small towns of America that love their teams and players.
This is a tragic story, one of those endings that makes you ask why?
When you finally put the book down you can only empathisize and hope that all involved in this story can somehow pull it together and live their lives.
There's an old saying "you spend half your life trying to grip a baseball and in the end it's the other way around".
Thanks to the many fans and the class of the Colorado Rockies for taking care of the Coolbaugh family.
As the (2013) World Series commences, we're made aware of the superstars of America's favorite game and their astronomical salaries. But the real story of baseball can be found in the smaller, minor-league parks where "prospects" and "lifers" and the also-rans play the game and sometimes, tragically, die.
Get this book. It goes a long way toward explaining the hold this wonderful game of baseball has on those of us who call ourselves fans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Those who attend Triple-A baseball games might remember the name Coolbaugh. It's a rather unusual name, and sort of memorable. Read morePublished 19 months ago by WDX2BB
The story is beautiful and tells how a great family man died much too soon. I live in Little Rock and am a lifelong baseball fan, so this story was doubly tragic.Published on June 17, 2013 by C. Allen
If you think the politics in your job are difficult to deal with...try being a minor-league baseball player. Read morePublished on October 25, 2011 by Amazon Customer
Great book, & not just for sports fans!! Once I picked this book up & started reading it, it was hard to put down!! Read morePublished on June 4, 2011 by D. Wilkins
This is the best sports book I've ever read. S.L. Price tells the tragic story of Mike Coolbaugh from the perspective of his wife, family, former teammates, coaches, etc. Read morePublished on April 18, 2011 by Mark Stone
Very sad book. You can tell the author did a lot of research and it is well written.
However, if found it really boring. Read more
Simply one of the most riveting baseball books I've ever read. Could not put it down. Tears flowing... Read morePublished on January 12, 2011 by tdbearcat
Price recounts the lives and events leading to the tragic death on the baseball diamond of Mike Coolbaugh. Well researched and well documented. Read morePublished on September 3, 2010 by R. Unger
What I expected from the book was a gut-wrenching account of the events leading up to and surrounding the tragedy of July 22, 2007, an intertwining series of events spanning... Read morePublished on August 28, 2010 by Marc Matney