Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
Must read baseball book
on March 5, 2012
Dirk Hayhurst has taken us behind the scenes in his latest book, Out of My League, and shed light on the difficult struggle of a ball player who has worked his way through the minors in hopes of one day making it to the big leagues.
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. So often in movies and books that talk about this subject, we see the athletic side of life being glorified, but we fail to see a lot of the real struggles and doubts that are also a part of being a professional athlete. Living up to 6 or 7 figure contracts are not as easy as it would seem.
We want this dream of becoming a professional athlete to be glorified. We want to dream that if, by some miracle, we were to be in these players shoes, everything would work out for us in our own lives. The reality is that it isn't easy and if we were in their shoes, we might think differently about what it is we want to do with our lives.
Don't get me wrong; this book isn't about feeling sorry for a major leaguer who is having a tough time. What it does do however is paint a complete picture of what life at the major league level is really like. There is both good and bad that comes with being at that level and we, the reader are shown what it really is like.
The other thing that makes me appreciate the book is that it helped shed light on the human nature side of baseball. Ever since Moneyball came out, stat heads have had an increasingly bigger and bigger impact on the game trying to make the way we look at the game as precise and scientific as possible.
What has gotten lost in all of these stats is that what we are dealing with is human beings. Sure certain players and their stats have been incredibly predictable through the years but that doesn't mean they aren't robots. Hayhurst has helped shed light on what goes on behind all this and what can affect a player during his ups and downs throughout the season.
If you would like to get a picture of what being a professional baseball player is like I can't recommend this book enough. Between this book and his first, The Bullpen Gospels, an equally compelling and well written book that focuses more on what life is like in the minors, you won't get a better picture of what life in the world of professional baseball is really like.
(This is an excerpt from a review I wrote for my website)