Knocking on Heaven's Door: Six Minor Leaguers in Search of the Baseball Dream

Marty Dobrow, Univ. of Massachusetts, $80 (368p) ISBN 978-1-55849-842-6; $24.95 trade paper ISBN 978-1-55849-843-3
Dobrow's first book is a beautifully written, meticulously orchestrated account of the families, common agents, notable triumphs, and devastating failures of half a dozen talented young men who want to play in the Major Leagues. A veteran sports writer, Dobrow reveals an insider's instinct, a high level of compassion, and finds the drama in the dream of "making it big." Minor Leaguers have to make ends meet, often for years, and learn how to embrace a wide range of intriguing styles, like "the sport's most charming and exasperating pitch," the knuckleball. The importance of the mental game is shown to be paramount: "Let it all go. Focus on the next pitch. That's all you can control." Dobrow shines a light on the fascinating personalities of minor league towns; the Reading Phillies, for instance, have "no fewer than five mascots… each circulating through the crowd all night…" The book is rife with memorable personalities, tireless mentors, and desperately devoted families, the latter perfectly illustrated by a father's response to the news that his son has been called to the big leagues. "Don't say that—you‘re lying to me!" A great read for everyone. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/06/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 323 pages - 978-1-55849-843-3
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