A GREAT view of the field at AT&T Park in Chattanooga during their pre-season open house!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book: Small-Town Heroes: Images of Minor League Baseball by Hank Davis

I picked this book up at a Half Priced Books a few weeks ago. I have read similar books before, and I could read books like this all day. I love your basic stories of players in the Minor Leagues.
The author literally travels to various ballparks around the minors, hangs out, talks to the players, fans, venue workers, etc. He is at each park for a game or so I guess, then he moves on.
Some of the book is about the players, and their desire to make it. Parts of the book describe the people who run the venues. He also discusses the cities, the teams, management, etc.

Why read it
If you are a baseball fan, this is just a fun read. I could read about ballparks and the Minor Leagues forever. I really like hearing about the parks, the fans, players, and the towns. I love road trips to towns that I don't know a lot about. I love exploring their down towns and their ballparks. I enjoy listening to others talking about their experiences doing the same.

The book really doesn't have a start or end. Its just a general book about the Minors. The author does talk in the end about the business behind the Minors. He talks about how you get attached to a player in your home town, then they get promoted, demoted or released. He also talks about the Darwinian nature of the business.

Why not read it
The book is outdated. It was outdated shortly after it came out. Many of the parks mentioned here are history. Davis mentions that some of the parks he is visiting won't be there by the time his book is published. The Minor Leagues are changing pretty constantly.
This is the kind of book that could be a classic in a decade or so though. I would love to read a similar book written in the 50s.
I did read a review on Amazon for this book. It was suggested that Davis should have made this a loose leaf book. That is a great idea. I would love a book like that that could be updated ever so often.

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