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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.
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).
Out of My League is much more than a baseball book, but the baseball parts are enough to make it a good read. Sort of a minor league version of Jim Bouton's Ball Four, Hayhurst describes well the anxiety of the AAA player who gets the occasional sniff of the Bigs, the foolishness of young men thrown together for a season, knucklehead coaches, and the day to day life in the minors.
Out of My League is a great example of George Plimpton's theory that the quality of a sport's literature is inversely proportional to the size of the ball in play. He had golf and baseball at the top and the cruder games of soccer, football and basketball in the literary cellar. The book uses a baseball life to shine light on larger issues without preaching or becoming tedious.
More than anything this is a book about growing into manhood. It touches on many of the points Hemingway dealt with from a different angle (and in a different style) and would be profitable reading for most young men. I hope that Hayhurst has more of this in him. It is good stuff indeed.
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 7 months 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 8 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 9 months ago by Bo Roberts
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 13 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 13 months ago by Barbara S.
Both entertaining and a good look at the struggles of being a minor leaguer.Published 14 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 14 months ago by Steve Eskew