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Bigger Than the Game: Restitching a Major League Life
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Bigger Than the Game: Restitching a Major League Life

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  434 ratings  ·  45 reviews
"The best writer in a baseball uniform." --Tyler Kepner, The New York Times

After nearly a decade in the minors, Dirk Hayhurst defied the odds to climb onto the pitcher's mound for the Toronto Blue Jays. Newly married, with a big league paycheck and a brand new house, Hayhurst was ready for a great season in the Bigs.

Then fate delivered a crushing hit. Hayhurst blew ou
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Citadel (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  434 ratings  ·  45 reviews


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Gord Jones
Feb 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
After reading Dirk Hayhurst's the Bullpen Gospels, I was looking forward to reading more of his work as it came out. Bigger Than the Game is his newest book and the second I have read of his. I was excited to read it.

I'm glad that it was a quick read, as I found myself really not enjoying many of the stories he told. Some chapters just went on and on about nothing. In fact where in his first book, I saw a likeable person with drive, and humour but in this book, I did not like him at
...more
Leah Polcar
A disappointment when compared to The Bullpen Gospels or if you are looking for another sort of insider look at major league baseball. However, this book is exactly what it purports to be -- an account of Dirk Hayhurst's time on the DL, his subsequent depression, and moving on. However, there is nothing really new here: Turns out athletes don't like weakness -- really? -- or that depression makes you less interested in things -- really? -- or that MLB players pocket their per diem -- wait, act ...more
Teena in Toronto
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: canadian
My husband had read "The Bullpen Gospels", which the author wrote a couple years ago, and enjoyed it. We are fans of the Toronto Blue Jays ... the author had played for the Jays so I thought I'd find this book interesting since it covers his time with the Jays.

Hayhurst spent most of his career playing in the minor league. In 2009, he was signed to Toronto's farm team and spent part of the season "in the bigs" playing for the Jays. He hurt his shoulder in the spring of 2010 and spent
...more
David Drysdale
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Really 3.5 stars. I'm a fan of Dirk Hayhurst's. I don't think he's a phenomenal writer or anything but I think he has good insight into a side of baseball that is rarely seen, whether it is the struggles of minor league players, the pleasure and the pain of just barely cracking a big league roster as a peripheral player, or, in this case, the mental struggles that come along with being a highly tuned athlete whose career can end with one workout. This is where the book is the strongest: when it ...more
Alexander Fitzgerald
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book about creative people being bullied, drug addiction, sports psychology, and feeling a lack of purpose through competition. It is disguised as a baseball book.

If you've ever tried to do something different in your industry or something creative and then been mocked for it, you will enjoy this book.

If you've ever dealt with depression while competing for a living or after suffering an injury then you will enjoy this book.

If you've ever l
...more
Scott Foshee
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Broken Athletes and What it Means to be Human

I have read all four of Dirk Hayhurst's books now and have enjoyed each one of them. Where the first three predominately focused on the lighter side of baseball (with terrific background into his troubled family, his supportive romance and subsequent marriage), "Bigger Than the Game" takes a slightly different tack. Dirk gets injured and his experiences move to the trials and tribulations of dealing with rehab, teammates resentful of his writing,
...more
Jay
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, baseball
It's spring, and I thought a good time to dig into a new baseball book. However, this ended up being much more a medical book. It starts with Hayhurst injuring himself offseason, and follows him through his attempted rehab with the team during spring training. When that doesn't do so well, he rehabs at a couple of sports medicine clinics. We are treated to some banter in the locker room with the team, but that is mostly about Hayhurst being a writer and the issues some players have with him. Fra ...more
Kristine
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Bigger Than the Game by Dirk Hayhurst is a free Goodreads Firstreads advance reader copy of a paperback book I read right around the time of the lunar eclipse in April. Not sure what drew me to this book, but my guess that it would have something to do with it being a kind of off-beat sports memoir.

Dirk Hayhurst pretty much writes like a man named Dirk Hayhurst would write - with not a lot of poise and a heck of a lot of swagger. Following the events/success of his earlier book, The Bullpen Go
...more
Scott Sykes
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dirk Hayhurst's first book. "The Bullpen Gospels", is one of my favourite books of all time, and while "Bigger Than the Game" keeps the same fluid writing style that makes it a fun and easy read, the subject matter is much darker. Dealing with depression, potential addiction, injury and rehab, you follow Hayhurst through some pretty dark, depressing times. It isn't until the final act of the book where you really get a sense of what Hayhurst was trying to accomplish with this book, which is self ...more
Neil Gaudet
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Definitely my least favourite of his books. What’s great is his ability to make you turn pages. It’s a light read with enough humour and intrigue to be interesting. This book was a bit awkward at times though when attitudes about overweight or gay people (he offered his wife a real man after she was watching gay designers on tv) percolated through in attempts at humour. The characters in the book, especially Kevin the trainer and evil Brice make it good. The reality of baseball life is the sober ...more
Scott Breslove
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't even know what to say...what a life this guy has led, pros and cons...and still a hell of a writer...
Jon Moeller
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good book about the struggles of a professional baseball career and the struggles after suffering an injury. A good read, but not nearly as good as his earlier books.
Gregory
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
From http://weeksnotice.blogspot.com/2014/...

I bought Dirk Hayhurst's new book, Bigger Than the Game, as soon as it came out because I knew I'd like it. This is the third book in a baseball trilogy and the previous two were fascinating and funny.

This one is no different, but it's actually much less about playing baseball than about dealing with baseball. It starts with the self-inflicted shoulder injury (lifting too much weight) he got in the offseason after 2009 and how he dealt with injury during the entire 2010
...more
Reid Mccormick
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball
I don’t watch reality shows. I find them brainless and totally uninteresting. Why should I care about the daily life of a random person? However, I do spend several hours a week thinking about and studying baseball. In my opinion, baseball is fascinating and utterly philosophical.

What is the difference between baseball and reality television? Truthfully, absolutely nothing. Sure you can argue some differences, but in the end you are watching the meaningless interactions of egotistica
...more
Laura
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed Dirk Hayhurst's previous books, "The Bullpen Gospels" and "Out of My League." Both were interesting and insightful glimpses into the goings-on behind the scenes of both minor and major league baseball clubs - the day-to-day minutiae of long bus rides, accommodations, per diems, and adjusting to a constantly changing roster of co-workers. I love baseball, and I especially love the stories behind the game.

This book fell short for me, however. The first few chapters where H
...more
Brent Soderstrum
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have read both of Dirk's prior books in which he gave us an inside look of what it is like to be a minor league baseball player and a look at what its like to be a first year fringe major league player. This book is quite different but still very enjoyable.

In this book Dirk shows us what a player goes through when he is injured and has to rehabilitate the injury away from the team. Dirk is injured in the offseason and misses the entire 2010 season. He is thankful the Toronto Blue J
...more
Rinku
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
As a Blue Jays fan, when I found out Dirk Hayhurst was going to write about his time with the Jays in his next book, I was ecstatic. Looking forward to hearing about his time in Toronto. Unfortunately, for him his time in Toronto was miserable and injury plagued. Unfortunately for me, this book was poorly written (compared to his previous two books). "The Bullpen Gospels" and "Out of my League" seemed more polished, more tight than this book. He states in the book how he had signed a book deal i ...more
Brenda
I received this book free from goodreads giveaways. It is Dirk Hayhurst's 4th book about his life as a baseball player. I have not read any of the others. It is an interesting look into how one sports professional deals with a serious injury and his rehabilitation. First he has denial and self-treatment tactics. Then he has a year-long journey with surgery and various levels of treatment in an assortment of rehab facilities. Hayhurst shares his mental health struggles along with the physical inj ...more
R.J. Murphy
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thank you for the great book Goodreads! It starts out like your average 'How I went from the minors to the Major Leagues' kind of book but then it changes. When Dirk Hayhurst becomes injured he discovers life lessons that are true for everyone no matter their profession. His phone conversations with his shrink were very insightful and thought provoking. This book shows very little of the actual playing of baseball. Instead it gives an interesting view of the things that go on in the life of a pr ...more
Dylan Wilson
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the 3rd book by Hayhurst, and while it has continually strayed from the humour of the minor league pen to now barely anything about being in the bullpen. That's not to say that this is a bad thing. This is probably the darkest book by Hayhurst so far, as he battles an injury, depression and pill abuse through the first half of this book. You actually learn a lot from this book and a lot can translate to just normal life and not to that of a guy coping in the major leagues as a fringe pla ...more
Kevin
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have read The Bullpen Gospels, Out of My League and now this book. I will honestly say this was my least favorite of the three but it was still an entertaining and quick read. This book is exactly what the title says; a documentation of Hayhurst's 2010 season lost to injury and how he fought through that difficult time in his life. There are some pretty valuable life lessons in this book and I always love Hayhurst's writing style. Even when writing about the most difficult subject matter, he ...more
Kevin
Sep 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
Not bad. I thought this book was more humorous than the previous two, but I also thought that Hayhurst really does come across as selfish and arrogant. I can see why the book is entitled "Bigger than the Game"...I believe that he thinks he is. I've never played pro sports, but I have played amateur team sports before, and I would have been one of those players that wouldn't have been happy with microphones in the bullpen either. If "what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas", then what goes on in a s ...more
Meril
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, baseball, g
(received as part of Goodreads First Reads program)

It's hard to read memoirs when the memoirist comes off as a jerk; it's even harder when it's the third volume of an ongoing series of them where the first two gave readers a lot of sympathy for the author. This volume goes to some length to waste all that sympathy.

This book is all about a nonplaying baseball player with mental illness. I have my own experiences with depression and anxiety. I know firsthand that it can mak
...more
Pete
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
People look at big league ballplayers and think that they must have it made. But for every big leaguer with a huge contract and endorsements, there are three or four who are on the margins, wondering if they will have a oj next year, if this injury will get them released, if they can make it.

We don't think about those guys very often. In fact, we prefer not to know that big league ball players can suffer from depression and substance abuse problems while struggling to make it.

But it
...more
Kenn Staub
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the third in Hayhurst's "Bullpen Gospels" series. Though I really enjoyed the first and second books, about life in the minors and as an "average" major leaguer, this one sort of left me flat. Probably because it didn't seem to have a whole lot to do about life in baseball per se. Rather, the book focused on his recovery from injury and how he dealt with emotional issues related to anxiety, self doubt, and depression. There were some "insider" details that gave insight into life in the p ...more
Benjamin Kahn
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Dirk Hayhurst's books have become more serious with each outing. The Bullpen Gospels was hilarious, Out of My League was very good, but with a lot more serious content about his personal life, his family, and dealing with the pressures of performing in the big leagues. This book deals with a year of rehab, with Hayhurst dealing with depression, with clubhouse hostility and with his own doubts. That said, the book is still really readable, there are several funny scenes, and Hayhurst makes the road to redempt ...more
Toni
Keith Olbermann, who I sometimes enjoy, says this is "One of the best baseball books ever written." Someone else, I can't remember who, says Hayhurst is the best writer in baseball. I beg to differ. It's not poorly written, but the writing just didn't do it for me. I like baseball, but I'm not a rabid fan. Maybe if, like Olbermann, I were, it might have made a difference. This was a free book: I received it as a first-reads win, for which I am grateful. Nonetheless, I recommend this book only fo ...more
Greg Messel
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is my second Dirk Hayhurst book and I love his insider view of the game of baseball. His books really make you appreciate how difficult it is to reach the major leagues and how hard it is to stay. As Dirk prepares for an upcoming season with the Toronto Blue Jays, he injures himself. Those of us who follow sports often hear about an athlete "rehabbing" after a major injury. This book gives you a clear picture of what that's all about. It also explores the overriding fear of the professional ...more
Steve
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the first Hayhurst book I've read. Not necessarily what I was expecting, having seen Dirk cover baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays. The story takes you to some darker places of behind the scenes baseball, but nothing too sinister. Closer to high school stupidity more than anything else. Did I love the book? No. But I would recommend it as it does humanize professional athletes in a way that removes the pedestal
Seth Heasley
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just tremendous stuff once again, with rather less of the normal hilarity and much more of the brutal struggle of trying to come back from injury while also dealing with some hostile clubhouse issues surrounding Hayhurst's burgeoning career as a writer. The stuff about the difficulty of even admitting to any injury or mental health issue was eye-opening.

If he keeps cranking out these books, I'll gladly read them. Must-reads for any baseball fan.
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Drafted from Kent State University in 2003 as a senior sign, Dirk Hayhurst has pitched professionally for nine years on more than eight minor league teams and two major league teams, including the San Diego Padres and the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2011, he signed with the Tampa Bay Rays and pitched for their Triple-A team, the Durham Bulls, in Durham, NC. Hayhurst was born in Canton, Ohio, and resides ...more
“But then again, living is a gamble. We all wind up and deliver our pitch, and what happens after that—strike three, home run, or shoulder injury—is out of our control. We can’t go back, but we can go forward with what we’ve learned.” 2 likes
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