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Stolen Season: A Journey Through America and Baseball's Minor Leagues
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Stolen Season: A Journey Through America and Baseball's Minor Leagues

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  175 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Minor league baseball, with all of its dreams, quirks, and unpretentious glory as captured by David Lamb, the distinguished journalist and bestselling author of The Arabs. 8 pages of photographs.
Hardcover, 283 pages
Published March 20th 1991 by Random House (first published 1991)
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Nov 03, 2015 Brina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
I have read a lot of on the road looking for that elusive slice of Americana books lately, but Lamb's memoir pinpoints this perfectly. This book is half travelogue and half Boys of Summer. I just now noticed that the book description on this site says the same so I guess I am on to something. Small town baseball as a focal point that brings a community together is America. We see the story play out similarly in communities as diverse as Elmira, Durham, El Paso, and Stockton, California. Twenty p ...more
Austin Gisriel
Jan 18, 2015 Austin Gisriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stolen Season is a Huck Finn-like story of author David Lamb, drifting not down the Mississippi, but through America and the towns that host minor league baseball teams. It's the ideal summer for any baseball fan, and I enjoyed the vicarious vacation. Lamb offers the most interesting details of the ballplayers, ballparks, and people he meets along the way, allowing us to reflect on our own, rather then telling us what we should feel.

The only reason this is not a 5-star read for me is the chapter
Feb 02, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Everytime a town's name came up on my screen, the image of a specific ballpark slipped into sharp focus. What I remember most clearly was not home runs or dazzling plays or even who was a prospect and who was not; it was the faces of the people who happened to play baseball for a living, each fighting his own private war, each wanting not much more than what we all aim for-to look back at the end of a day or a season and be able to say, "I gave it my best shot."

And David Lamb, who travelled the
M. Thomas Apple
The descriptions of the author's trip wander deliberately into nostalgia as we are given a modern day "On the Road" version of a season in the minor leagues. The interviews are open, honest, and insightful if occasionally crude. The overall sense is that of a baby boomer journalist midlife crisis diary -- hence the "lost season" of the title refers not to the minor league baseball season but to the "adult year" of work life lost. But even that implies that professional players are still not adul ...more
Jim Townsend
Dec 07, 2010 Jim Townsend rated it it was amazing
Lamb, author of books on Arabs and on Africans, bought a Winnebago RV, named it Forty Niner, and set out one spring from Los Angeles across the country to chronicle his tour of the minor leagues. The minors and its employees are not part of the major league pension system, are generally poorly paid and work in obscurity. If you walk around wearing clothing from a minor-league team, you're a REAL baseball fan. In the book, my copy of which I got in a downtown Philadelphia used bookstore called Th ...more
Don Gorman
If you are a slightly aging baseball nut (like me), this book is at least 3 stars. If you are not, it is probably only 1 star. That is why I ended up at 2. Lamb is a very good writer. His form is short, understandable since he is a newspaper guy. Taking off a summer to travel all over the United States to see minor league baseball in an RV is quite an adventure and this book chronicles it well. Written in 1989 and 90, it feels very dated. Times have changed greatly in baseball, even in the minor ...more
Tom Gase
Aug 02, 2015 Tom Gase rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really well written good book on David Lamb's (the author) trip around the United States with an RV going to minor league ballparks in the 1989 season. Lamb starts in Stockton and then goes to Arizona, Texas, the deep south including Alabama, Florida and Georgia, up to Maryland, upstate New York and then to Milwaukee, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Washington state, Oregon and back to California and San Mateo. The trip lasts the entire minor league season and along the way there are some great stori ...more
May 01, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
Stolen Season is a very enjoyable read that chronicles a Summer of writer David Lamb's life. Badly needing a break from his job as a foreign journalist, Lamb decides to fulfill a life long dream of driving accross the country visiting as many minor league baseball parks as he can. Although baseball games are the intended stops, his encounters with the people around the country are just as important, making this an enjoyable read whether you are a baseball fan or not. This book has inspired me to ...more
Mar 31, 2010 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1990, LA Times war correspondent David Lamb took six months off to noodle around the back roads of America visiting minor league baseball teams. At each stop, he'd park his RV near the ballpark and spend a few days hanging out with players, managers, coaches, management, fans, tavern owners, and others in the orbit of minor league baseball. The result is a charming portrait of small-town life and mostly minor talents either pursuing their dreams or coming to grips with the impossibility of it ...more
Jul 21, 2012 Donald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice travel/baseball book that seems like a love affair between the author and his favorite franchise(s), the Boston/Milwaukee Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers! Lots of fun reading as the author takes his RV and travels around the U.S. to many of the Brewers minor league team sites and finds several of his former baseball heroes, including Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn, and Bob Hazel! From the Stockton Ports to the Durham Bulls, Lamb shows us his America and his game, and it feels like we are i ...more
Edwin Howard
I am a fan of minor league baseball books and I enjoy all of the unique moments I read about in the minors. Stolen Season had some fun stories and I like reading about the history of warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews, and Bob Hazle.
The two things I struggled with this book, though, was some inaccuracies the threw me off(like describing Hilton Head being in NC). Also, between the good minor league moments and the baseball history moments, the book, in my opinion, dragged.
Sep 14, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written meditation on baseball. David Lamb took a year off and traveled the country in a Winnebago to observe minor league baseball at all levels. I think he gets closer to the American love for this game than writers who cover the major leagues because the people Lamb writes about are not encumbered with the massive egos and other impediments associated with the money and hype of pro ball.
Chris Chase
Nov 14, 2015 Chris Chase rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had been recommended to me 10 years ago. I finally read it and was good. Taking a writer who covered foreign affairs and war and allowing him 5 months of wandering across America in an RV was great. The authors connection to Milwaukee and the Braves was a great under story. Definitely would recommend
John McGuinness
May 20, 2016 John McGuinness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feast or famine

Having played college basketball, I am glad that I was too slow to be recruited. If I was I would probably still be chasing that carrot. I have friends who had similar careers as those in this book and the author portrayed these trials from a different perspective with the same results. Very interesting read!
Aug 03, 2016 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty good - it was clear the author was trying to achieve Steinbeck's Travels with Charley (a must-read lighthearted, refreshing detour from the typical melancholy Steinbeck) but in baseball form. It worked in a lot of ways - loved the reference to my hometown and our Single-A team (Peoria Chiefs). A fun read, but definitely meandering (which was the point).
Reporter takes the summer of 1989 to tour US minor league baseball. Very easy to read, it has a pastoral feel to it written just a few years before salary escalation, the '94 strike and the onset of steroids.
Aug 18, 2015 San rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was written in 1989, so a bunch of the minor league teams he talks about no longer exist. Still, I have a burning passion for baseball and I can't give a baseball book less than 4 stars! I like journey books. Travel. Small town America fascinates me.
Daniel Jr.
Mar 22, 2012 Daniel Jr. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd still put BOTTOM OF THE 33rd and Kahn's GOOD ENOUGH TO DREAM ahead of STOLEN SEASON as far as minor league reads. And yet this was a really enjoyable experience, and a solid baseball book.
Dave Herman
May 15, 2016 Dave Herman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific book. Channels Kerouac's "On the Road" and William Least Heat-Moon's "Blue Highways" -- two of my all-time favorites -- and throws in baseball.
Sep 09, 2011 sac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly love this book. Sadly, I'm not sure I can say anything more articulate than that. It's a loving portrait of minor league baseball.
Nov 20, 2016 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was OK. I wished there was more actual baseball and less of the author driving around. But then, minor league players probably wish for this as well.
Joe Spoto
Aug 20, 2015 Joe Spoto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an excerpt out of this book in Reader's digest after hearing an interview with the author on NPR. It was an interesting look into the culture of minor league baseball in America.
Brett Thomasson
Brett Thomasson rated it really liked it
May 08, 2015
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Feb 17, 2013
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Derek rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2013
Anthony Charles Peek
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May 23, 2014
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David Lamb's work has appeared in numbers publications, from National Geographic to Sports Illustrated. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, an Alicia Patterson Fellow and a wrier-in-residence at the University of Southern California. Lamb is the author of six books on subjects as diverse as Africa and minor league baseball. His most recent book is "Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns". He is a me ...more
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