Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball

John Feinstein. Doubleday, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-385-53593-9
Seasoned sportswriter Feinstein has embedded himself with an NFL team (Next Man Up), gone behind the scenes at college basketball's Final Four (Last Dance) and traveled on professional golf's PGA Tour (A Good Walk Spoiled). Now, he turns his attention to Triple-A baseball—which either serves as the final step up to a Major League team or the first one down to what could be an arduous and frustrating journey into retirement. Feinstein chronicles the 2012 season through the lives of five players, two managers, and one umpire. Nate McLouth was an All-Star with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008 before his batting average plummeted and he was sent to the minors, Ron Johnson was demoted from first-base coach for the Boston Red Sox in 2011 after a colossal collapse and was managing the Norfolk Tides and Mark Lollo, in his 11th season of umpiring, had only worked six Major League games. Ultimately, Feinstein swings and misses this time around, with scattershot storytelling across 37 chapters of disjointed and melodramatic magazine-style vignettes. This exercise in repetition focuses on the anxieties of moving up and down baseball's ladder, the perils of tight travel schedules, the heartbreak of recurring injuries and the inevitable role aging plays in a young man's game. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
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