We’re two weeks into the baseball season, the Giants are in first place in the National League West, and all is right with the world. That must mean it’s time to start reading some baseball books, specifically John Feinstein’s Where Nobody Knows Your Name.
Feinstein is a prolific sports writer, with nonfiction works on golf, college basketball, and professional football. He’s also written a series of Young Adult mysteries all revolving around sports. In his newest, he takes the reader through a year in the life of minor league baseball. I haven’t read it yet, but just talking to our reviewer about it, I’ve already learned several interesting tidbits about life in the minors, and baseball fans of all ages should find this fascinating.
FEINSTEIN, John. Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball. 384p. index. Doubleday. 2014. Tr $26.95. ISBN 9780385535939; ebk. ISBN 9780385535946.
Feinstein once again delivers his specialty: an inside look at a single season in a sport. In this case, it is minor-league baseball, specifically focused on Triple-A and a few teams on the East coast during the summer of 2012. Although he has stories from many players and others, the book revolves around two managers; a few players, most of who had spent some time in the majors; and one umpire. Feinstein uses comments from a variety of individuals to demonstrate the real truth of Triple-A: guys are happy to be paid to play baseball, but really, no one wants to be in the minors. He does a particularly good job of showing the minors from the point of view of the manager: of course you want to win games, but your main job is to get your players ready for the majors, which may very well mean losing your best athletes as the season progresses. The book is a bit scattered, due in part to the very nature of the minor leagues, with people coming and going all season long. Still, baseball fans will revel in the wealth of detail and the warm and funny stories about players and find themselves carefully reading the daily Transactions in the newspaper to watch who is being sent down and who is being given his shot at the big leagues.—Sarah Flowers, formerly of Santa Clara County (CA) Library