Where Nobody Knows Your Name

Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball
Narrated by: John Feinstein
Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (302 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed number one best-selling author...a riveting journey through the world of minor-league baseball.

“No one grows up playing baseball pretending that they’re pitching or hitting in Triple-A.” (Chris Schwinden, Triple-A pitcher)

“If you don’t like it here, do a better job.” (Ron Johnson, Triple-A manager)

John Feinstein gave readers an unprecedented view of the PGA Tour in A Good Walk Spoiled. He opened the door to an NCAA basketball locker room in his explosive best seller A Season on the Brink. Now, turning his eye to our national pastime, sports journalist John Feinstein explores the colorful and mysterious world of minor-league baseball - a gateway through which all major-league players pass in their careers...hoping never to return.      

Baseball’s minor leagues are a paradox. For some players, the minors are a glorious launching pad toward years of fame and fortune; for others, a crash-landing pad when injury or poor play forces a big leaguer back to a life of obscure ballparks and cramped buses instead of Fenway Park and plush charter planes. Focusing exclusively on the Triple-A level, one step beneath Major League Baseball, Feinstein introduces listeners to nine unique men: three pitchers, three position players, two managers, and an umpire. Through their compelling stories, Feinstein pulls back the veil on a league that is chock-full of gifted baseball players, managers, and umpires who are all one moment away from getting called up - or back - to the majors.      

The stories are hard to believe: a first-round draft pick and pitching ace who rocketed to major-league success before finding himself suddenly out of the game, hatching a presumptuous plan to get one more shot at the mound; a home run-hitting former World Series hero who lived the dream, then bounced among six teams before facing the prospects of an unceremonious end to his career; a big-league All-Star who, in the span of five months, went from being completely out of baseball to becoming a star in the ALDS, then signing a $10 million contract; and a well-liked designated hitter who toiled for 18 seasons in the minors - a record he never wanted to set - before facing his final, highly emotional chance for a call-up to the big leagues.      

From Raleigh to Pawtucket, from Lehigh Valley to Indianapolis and beyond, Where Nobody Knows Your Name gives listeners an intimate look at a baseball world not normally seen by the fans. John Feinstein gets to the heart of the human stories in a uniquely compelling way, crafting a masterful audiobook that stands alongside his very best works.

©2014 John Feinstein (P)2014 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Where Nobody Knows Your Name

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Living on the Cusp of a Dream

No one is better at providing an inside look at a sport than John Feinstein. He does an excellent job at narrating his book, with a fire and enthusiasm you would not find with most of the whitebread narrators on audible who would ruin this audiobook.

He provides just the right mix of background, anecdotes and quotes. You can feel the pressure on these guys to perform, to make it to the BIGS, to THE SHOW. A lot a minor leaguers drop out relatively soon after starting; once it becomes apparent they will never make it, they decide it's time to stop playing a game and move on with their lives. This book is primarily about Triple A (AAA) minor league players and teams.

These are the guys who have been in THE SHOW and are back, or guys who have played for years and years on the cusp of a dream on the verge of either giving up because of age or injuries and moving on or playing one last year to get a shot at a slot on the expanded September MLB rosters.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves baseball (on whatever level it's played).

8 people found this helpful

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Insightful read of AAA minor leage players/coaches

I really enjoyed this book. Its focus was primarily on those at the AAA level that had a taste of the majors. The book not only included players, but also coaches, umpires, and even grounds' crew and radio announcers, but the focus was on the players. It was about guys pursuing their dream of playing (and staying) in the majors. A lot of it was bitter sweat. It's incredible the amount of heartbreak that baseball players go through to try and reach the majors. The releases. The travel. The bouncing around. And while much of one's advancement is based on performance, there is still a certain amount of "being in the right place at the right time" - injuries that allow opportunities for others, and hot and cold streaks. If you are in to baseball, this book won't disappoint.

4 people found this helpful

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A great way to start the season!

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!

4 people found this helpful

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Life in the minor leagues

What did you love best about Where Nobody Knows Your Name?

The variety of players covered from stars to people most folks have never heard of

What did you like best about this story?

The author obviously loves the minor leagues and was able to convey that through the stories of the players, managers, and umpires he covered

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was amazed at how few umpires that make it to AAA ever make the big leagues. I also never realized that if they don't get promoted in a few years they are basically fired by MLB.

Makes me appreciate what they go through to become big-league umps, just like the players.

2 people found this helpful

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HIGHLY Recommended to All

If you have any interest in professional sports --not just baseball--this is a must-read/listen. I admit I love our AAA team and follow the players to the Pirates and back, but I never really thought about the back stories. I am a bigger fan now than I was before listening to Feinstein's story. I sincerely thank you for that.

1 person found this helpful

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Great off the field baseball stories

A very good listen. Some parts are repetitive and can drag on for minutes. Narrator keeps you intrigued with his tone and reading presentation. Biggest complaint was how the book stops a story at the end of a chapter and does not resume it until a few chapters later. This makes it hard to keep track of some people over multiple listening sessions.

Overall a highly recommended book for baseball fans to see a handful of players, coaches, and umpires who struggle to reach the Major Leagues.

1 person found this helpful

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Powerful Listen

Great series of stories. Feinstein is by far my favorite sports author. He is one of the best around. No one tells a story quite like him.

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INTRIGUING

I never knew how tough it is to make it in the minor league. Loved it

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Please Do Us A Favor, John...

Feinstein's books are wonderfully and even exhaustively researched. Moreover, they provide marvelous insight into all of his chosen subjects. But his narration skills are indelibly boring. Please John. "Read by Author" is almost always a red flag with audio books, and we listeners know that. But evidently many authors and even publishers are somehow not grasping that fact. Perhaps it's ego or parsimony but writing talent and reading talent are almost always mutually exclusive. If I'm even a small sample, Feinstein would sell so many more audio books if he'd hire a pro to read them. Yes, I'm guilty of the irony/ paradox because I own, and have suffered through, many of his audio books only because the subject matter is fascinating. But even though he has my money I doubt that he'd like my using the word 'suffered' to describe his performance. He's simply not a pro. Not by any stretch. Would you ask your CPA to clean your teeth or spay your dog? Would Feinstein have the audacity to take infield practice with a pro team just because he wrote a book about baseball players? Just know that if you buy the audio version of one of his books, your listening experience will seem longer than the last day of school, or more accurately, longer than an evening with George "Goober" Lindsay." I'm utterly amazed at those who've given Feinstein good marks for his delivery. I'm being just slightly sarcastic when I ask if those people have only recently been connected to the grid.

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Loved it!

These are great stories to listen to if you're a baseball junkie. If you played the game and had aspirations to be a MLB player as a kid, these stories put you on the bus.