Top positive review
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Best Sports Book I've Ever Read
on June 22, 2009
Just finished reading "Heart of the Game" by S.L. Price. This is the story of Mike Coolbaugh, the Tulsa Drillers (Rockies AA team) coach who was killed by a foul ball in 2007. I had heard it was a good read, but that's doing this book a massive disservice. This is probably the best baseball (or for that matter, the best sports) book I've ever read. It focuses on Mike Coolbaugh, obviously, but it also focuses on Tino Sanchez, the guy who hit the foul ball, and how their lives came together for that day. There are side stories of the guy who threw the pitch, and also from the team trainer who felt responsible for not being able to save Coolbaugh (although there was nothing he could have done - Coolbaugh was a dead man from the instant the ball hit him, literally).
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.