In addition to my obsession with sports cards, I really enjoy reading. Reading helps clear my mind after a long day's work and helps fill the gaps in during the day. My wife jokes that I have ADD (there may actually be some truth to that) because at every free moment I am picking up a book and knocking off a few pages.
I enjoy many different types of books - popular fiction (Stephen King, John Grisham, James Patterson, Lee Child, Harlen Coben, etc.), history (presidential biographies, WWII) and of course sports books. I have amassed a pretty decent collection of baseball related books and check out others at my local library. I thought I would share some thoughts about the sports books I read as a part of this blog.
I recently completed Out of My League by Dirk Hayhurst. This is Mr. Hayhurst's second book chronicling his life in baseball. His first book, The Bullpen Gospels, was a NY Times best seller and chronicles his life as a minor league ball player. It was a good read and I would highly recommend either book to gain some humorous insight into the inner workings of baseball.
Out of My League begins during the off season leading into the 2008 baseball season. Dirk is coming off a solid season in AA ball and hoping to make the AAA team and eventually get a taste of the big leagues. During the off season, he meets Bonnie and falls in love. In addition to taking us through the ups and downs of the baseball season, we also gain insight into the challenges of a long distance relationship when he is on the road as a ball player. As a player Dirk makes the AAA squad out of spring training and we gain some understanding about the craziness that is minor league baseball. Late in the season Dirk gets his first taste of the big leagues and it isn't completely what he expects. Yes, there are the plush accommodations, the awesome food spreads and the amazing locker room. However he struggles with the bigger crowds, the new culture and probably most with his inflated expectations of himself.
I really enjoyed this book, I would rate it a 4.5 out of 5. It is funny, honest and provides great insight into the real inter-workings of the game and the honest emotions of a player. I would strongly recommend this book to any baseball fan.
Let me know if you have any recommendations for my next baseball book. I am thinking of going with a Thurman Munson biography but am not fully committed yet.