I was drawn to this title simply put, because I'm a baseball fan and was looking for something to kick-start the 2014 season. I just finished "56" and can only say...I was underwhelmed! Reading about 'Joltin' Joe just didn't do it for me. Where Nobody Knows your name peaked my interest because I've always been fascinated by the minor leagues having done my very best as a younger man to get there myself.
I'f you're not a baseball fan or have never played the game at a competitive level, you'll never know what boys will do to make it in the game and to keep the dream alive. And I'm not just talking about the players. I was an NCAA umpire for many years. In 2009 I made a trip to Tucson for Umpire camp where I had the privilege of meeting Umpire Mark Lollo, one of the people featured in the book. He was an excellent instructor and always had time to explain what he knew about officiating. You could really tell he loved the game. Feinstein does an excellent job sharing this insight along with the countless others (players) featured inside.
Though I never played nor umpired professionally, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many of those who have. A few were really good, and some, not so. But they all had the same drive to do what they had to do to stay in the game and make the dream of playing a kids game for money last as long as possible. The author is able to keep the reader turning pages with the countless anecdotes of those fortunate few. And he does a great job in narrating too!
If you are like me and are looking for a way to start the season off or you just want a very good book about the side of baseball where every player starts, but is rarely written about, then don't hesitate in adding this title to your library. Enjoy the season!
This one peaked my interest because of a few reasons. I lived in San Diego for many years and knew the history of Doug Harvey, I mean heck! He is in the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. And the fact that I umpired for many years making my way up to the college ranks, so I have sort of soft spot for Umpires. I was looking forward to this biography.
I struggled a bit with the over emphasis on how good Mr. Harvey said he was. Yes, he is in the BHOF, but a little bit of humble pie might make this story easier to stomach. Other than that, it was interesting to learn how Doug Harvey was brought up, how he got started, and how he lasted so many years in the Big Leagues. People like him often amaze me.
The oration was excellent! Robert Brown did a great job conveying the passion of the writer into the ears of the listener. It was enjoyable and easy to stay focused.
I recommend this book to any baseball fan or Umpire looking to get an inside view of what it might be like behind the mask, or better yet, what it is like working as an umpire and dealing with all the personalities on and off the field as well as on the home front. I think to get a better sense in that regard, one might pick up "As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travels in the Land of the Umpires." A much better book I thought which explains not only the history of umpiring, but how an umpire is made, and what life is actually like on the road in the low minor leagues.