The Bullpen Gospels – Review – ****
A man of integrity can make any profession seem heroic by how he lives while doing it.” ~ pg 359
I read this one on my brother’s recommendation (obviously), and after he sent me link after link to Dirk Hayhurst’s blog.
I’m glad he did. I’m a casual fan of baseball. I cheer on the Jays no matter how depressing it gets, and I follow a couple of my favourite players. Ever since downloading the Sports Tap ap on my phone, I even know some statistics. But I’m sure as hell not a fanatic (though few are when compared with my brother). It doesn’t matter. This book is a good read no matter what sport you’re into, or how into it you are.
For most of us (especially the ladies), we will never know the insides of a professional sports clubhouse. This isn’t exactly a reason to fold it in and die an unfulfilled and desperate death, but it does mean that books like this are an interesting behind the scenes look at the life of an athlete that you don’t get from a lot of places. Let’s face it, most athletes aren’t really known for their way with words (seriously, if I have to sit through one more pre-game show about players taking it one game at a time, I swear…).
But this book is about baseball, and for fans of that specific sport, it’s a good reminder of what we love about the game, despite the steroids, scandals, and rise in popularity of other sports that might have dampened our spirits a tad. Or, you know, the fact that Toronto teams SUCK, a fact I’ve been shouting for years only to finally be proven correct once and for all. ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Of course, another interesting thing about reading a book by a man who grew up in sports is seeing what he chooses to explain. For instance, I found it bizarre that Hayhurst felt “baseball gods” was a term that needed a two paragraph explanation, but “dip” is left to the imagination. Anyone? Dip? He says it as though it’s some sort of chewable maybe, or a thing players use on their hands? I don’t know.
Some of it is, and I am so sorry for putting it this way, really amateur writing. Sections were cheesy, and most of the emotional beats were pretty familiar. But for the most part, the prose is good, and often great – whether it’s his passion for the game, or writing talent, or a bit of both, Bullpen Gospels is a pleasure to read.
Cannonball Read III: 8/52
Posted on June 30, 2011, in 100 things in 1000 days, Book Reviews, Books, Cannonball Read 3 and tagged ****, 100 things in 1000 days, Bullpen Gospels, Dirk Hayhurst. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.