Play ball! Yes, baseball season has started all across America. I am a baseball fan. Not a hardcore fan who knows the stats and rosters for each team. I am what I will call a “sentimental” baseball fan. My first memories of baseball are of lying in the grass at my grandparents house listening to the Cincinnati Reds on my grandfather’s transistor radio. The start of baseball season brings back a flood of pleasant memories.
As I got older, and the players younger, I started to consider how long the players on the big league field have been playing the game of baseball. T-ball, little league, high school, traveling teams, college ball, the minors. But I never considered just what those steps entailed until I read pitcher Dirk Hayhurst’s first book The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran and his new book, Out of My League.
In spite of the fact that I love baseball, I would probably never have picked up these two books had I not had a somewhat personal connection – Dirk’s wife Bonnie is a music therapist. My son Andy has been the beneficiary of her excellent services in several classes and camps. I wanted to know more about this guy who won her heart. I was not disappointed.
Out of My League is a continuation of the love stories that started in Bullpen Gospels – love for the game and love for a woman. Passion is the only word I can use to describe why anyone would follow the rugged path of minor league baseball. Dirk takes us along as he endures and triumphs. Low wages, hardscrabble living conditions, long road trips, family issues, good days, bad days. But lucky for Dirk he has another passion, Bonnie, who visits him at his team cities, sends him words of encouragement, supports him all along the way.
As Out of My League progresses, Dirk has wins and losses on the field. He makes it to the “Bigs”, proposes to Bonnie. Guys, you will love this book for the behind the scenes details, the day to day of a minor league player working to get into the big leagues. Ladies, you will love seeing Dirk and Bonnie’s long distance romance blossom. (You may want to skim over the locker room sections…. yikes!)
If you are a baseball fan, or if you need a good beach read, The Bullpen Gospels and Out of My League should definitely be on your summer reading list. I can’t wait for book three!
Dirk grew up in the Canton, Ohio, area. He is a member of the Kent State athletic Hall of Fame. Further reading and links:Dirk’s blog and bio: dirkhayhurst.com Bonnie’s music therapy web site: The Groovy Garfoose