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Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball
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Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,881 ratings  ·  422 reviews
From the acclaimed #1 bestselling 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
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  2,881 ratings  ·  422 reviews


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Amy Moritz
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this book. I mean really, John Feinstein is a fantastic, well-respected sports writer and he's tackling one of my favorite subjects in minor league baseball. I could not have been more disappointed.

Let's start with the factual inaccuracies. He takes pain to point out the difference between Coca-Cola Field (in Buffalo) and Coca-Cola Park (in Allentown) and then he proceeds to mix them up. Continually.

Then there's the part at the end where he writes: "The New York Mets had fe
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Perry
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, circle
ON THE CUSP OF A DREAM

No one is better at providing an inside look at a sport than John Feinstein. 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 leagu
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Brian Eshleman
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The fifth star I gave to Roger Kahn on rereading Good Enough to Dream comes at the expense of this one. I didn't remember this one being five-star good, and it wasn't. Feinstein chose interesting subjects, especially including umpires and announcers in their pursuit of the major-league dream, but the book wasn't absolutely captivating. ...more
Kirsti
"If you don't like it here, do a better job." --Ron Johnson, Triple-A manager

"I'll never forget the words: 'This is your day.' I'm sure I was crying by the time he finished the sentence." --catcher J.C. Boscan, describing how it felt when the Atlanta Braves called him up to the major leagues

"That's the great thing about sports: it only takes one person to believe in you." --former phenom Zack Duke, shortly after he was given a minor-league contract

Bittersweet account of those who toil in single-
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Greg
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
I've always been fascinated by the minor leagues, and so I learned a lot from this book.

But I was disappointed by a few things. First of all, it really only talks about AAA. I would have liked to learn more about the lower levels, but perhaps they're not that interesting or require another book. And most of the players come from the same background: middle-class Americans, often with former MLB experience who are trying to get back in. I would have liked to hear more stories about a Latin Americ
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Steven Z.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
At the outset it is my obligation to inform the reader that I am a baseball junkie! In fact as I look over my bucket list one of the prominent items is a cross country trip visiting minor league baseball parks as my wife and I transverse the continent. With that being said John Feinstein’s knew book WHERE NOBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME, a saga of the 2012 minor league baseball season is timely. I have been a Feinstein fan for many years and have enjoyed his numerous books. Whether writing about the Army ...more
Dan
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Kudos to John Feinstein. An excellent read that follows select AAA minor league players, managers and umpires from 2012. Much more poignant and uplifting than I anticipated. The pace of the story transitions was about right for me. Some solid life lessons about success and failure in the stories of the older players and how to know when to call it quits.

While it helps to be a baseball fan to fully enjoy this book as there are a lot of names, there is not an overwhelming amount of statistics or
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David West
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, baseball
Pretty good writing and a lot of inside baseball stories.
Brig
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
You should also know that this is not a "happy" book. It's a story about a bunch of careers ending, then starting up again, then reaching abrupt finality...before starting up again in the same place, with the same hopes, and the chance of seeing the same results. That being said, it was a wonderful insight into the lives of minor league baseball players, managers, umpires and even broadcasters.

I was not a fan of the way this book was structured. I felt like the flow was confusing and about as n
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Dave
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Along with millions of other kids, I had aspirations of being a professional baseball player. I was fortunate to have played with and against some ball players that went as far as the big leagues, some only as far as the minor leagues. But what casual fans sometimes tend to forget is that even the minor leagues is considered professional baseball. To get that far is a feat unto itself. Unfortunately, my dream ended long before that level (and I do remember the exact moment I finally questioned w ...more
David
May 02, 2014 rated it liked it
title notwithstanding, I did know a couple of the guys he follows through a triple-A season (Nate McLouth, Scott Podsednik). Intersperses chapters/vignettes of 8 or so main characters, mostly players but also announcer, manager, umpire. The stuff about the umpire, and the system by which they get evaluated for promotion to MLB, was maybe the most interesting.

The player stuff was a good reminder of the pressure they're under, the strange nature of minor leagues as a sports competition (if you're
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Jason
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball by John Feinstein.

The minors of baseball are for local fans a pleasant diversion, for those that follow the big league club, a source of hope and future stars. This book is about the human characters of one season in AAA baseball. Focusing on nine individuals at different stages of their career, including two managers and an umpire, the book follows one whole season, from spring training to the end of the season, with its hopes
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Dave Moyer
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal accounting of the heart of a ballplayer. Terrific sensitivity to the human element with sufficient detail of the practical realities of baseball and life--we all get old someday.
Hardy
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any time a book gives you even more than you hoped for is a bonus. I picked this up as a baseball fan looking to gain insight about the journey to (and from) the major leagues, and there certainly was plenty of that. But what really struck me was how much we fans take for granted- we watch our team, cheer/curse them, and do the same for the rest of the season at a level consistent with that of our fandom. We don't often hear, let alone think, about their lives outside of the park, or the level o ...more
Dave
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Feinstein spent 2012 following a dozen or so older minor-league baseball players (and one umpire) to gather their stories about what it's like to hang around on the fringe of major-league baseball and wait for a promotion that will probably never come.

The details of these stories are compelling, and Feinstein has an easy style that drew me in to the lives of the different players (and umpire). There are no happy endings, which is sort of the point of the book and makes it a different kind of spo
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Colson Agnew
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The journey to the bigs.

Feinstein, a bestselling sports themed author, created an amazing book showing the journey of 9 players and coaches as they make their way from the minor leagues to the major leagues of baseball. This book perfectly captures the cut throat lifestyle of minor league baseball players, who earn less than minimum wage and life off of couch surfing and PB&J.


As a huge fan of baseball, especially minor league baseball this was a must read. I attend 20+ minor league baseball ga
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Ray Colyar
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Therapeutic reading during pandemic

With no baseball ball whatsoever at any level being played, None! It was therapeutic escape from everything else going on for a life long fan of the game to read about baseball and all the personal stories of triumphs and hurdles that many (some recognizable) ex major/minor leaguers , managers and umps endured to keep on keeping their dream alive. While just finishing this book,(6/20) both players and owners are still negotiating on an agreement whether we’ll
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Janet
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This book gives you a sense of the frustrating life of a journeyman baseball player, but it was difficult to keep the people and the teams straight. I had to create my own list of the AAA teams, their managers and which major league team they were affiliated with. I think Feinstein is polite and respectful to the players, managers, umpires, broadcaster who spoke with him, but I think this was at the expense of having a more colorful and memorable narrative.
Matthew
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This book has some interesting stories about the minors. However, it is poorly written. The book has no flow and jumps all over the place. It's almost as though the author took each minor league story and just mashed them together. ...more
Deacon Tom F
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I am a baseball nut but still learned so much.
Gary Allen
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love a good baseball biography and this did not disappoint. Feinstien is one of the best.
Paul
Apr 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A peak behind the curtain of life in the minor leagues. I'll never watch a Triple-A baseball game the same. (And, at the rate we're going, I may not watch another live baseball game again.) I thought the book could have used a little more editing. It was hard to keep track of all of the players mentioned and the minor league teams and their big league affiliations listening to the audiobook, especially when someone would disappear for long chapters at a time, only to reappear later. ...more
Tom Boothe
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read for those who love baseball and insight into those players on cusp of major league talent and their desire to achieve dream
Lance
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rating:
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

Review:
Triple-A baseball, one step below the major leagues, has its own unique culture and lifestyle. John Feinstein’s book “Where Nobody Knows Your Name” describes this through the eyes and stories of nine men: three position players (Scott Posednik, Nate McClouth, John Lindsey), three pitchers (Scott Elarton, Brett Tomko, Chris Schwinden), two managers (Charlie Montoyo, Ron Johnson) and one umpire (Mark Lollo). Their experience ranges from a young man hoping f
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Benjamin Kahn
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
A few good stories here, but the books a bit of a mess. Feinstein jumps back and forth between the different people that he's following, repeating stories, dropping threads and then picking them up, taking sidebars on people that just happen to be around. It's very disorganized. By the time he gets back to a player, I've often forgotten who the player's story and who this guy is - is he a pitcher? Hitter? Have we ever seen him before? A little organization would have gone a long way to making th ...more
John Yingling
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book gave me hope that my former love of sports could possibly be rekindled. Amid all the multi-millionaire athletes we read about, there are far more who struggle to get by, as benchwarmers, third-stringers, or in this case, as minor league baseball players. There is nothing minor league about their hopes and ambitions, though, and their unabashed love of the game. John Feinstein does his usual excellent job of showing us people you want to sincerely care about; people who work at ...more
Steve Peifer
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I think it was when I read the Jamie Farr CHAPTER that my first thought on this disappointing book is that it was lazy writing. If you are a fan of Feinstein like me, nothing will prepare you for the repetition that serves not to refresh and remind the reader, but to illustrate that Feinstein has too many irons in the fire and can't be bothered to put in the effort to write a real book. The editing is so bad that I suspect that this book adopted Garfield's Jim Davis creative approach, where he o ...more
Scott L.
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it, sports
I found this to be a fascinating book about life in minor-league baseball. I admittedly never thought about the players that are perpetually entering and exiting the revolving door of the minor league teams; but this book brings those players to life and tells their stories. And not just the players, but the umpires and the broadcasters - even the grounds crews are represented here as people who desperately want to receive "the call" that they are going to Major League baseball. Feinstein has do ...more
Keith
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Though I'm not as into baseball now as I used to be, this was still a very personal story for me and one that touched the boy inside me who dreamed of playing in the major leagues. It is a hard story in a lot of ways because it tells about men who were within sight of their dream, but for many different reasons, they just weren't able to grasp it and hold on. Some had been up there before, some got bounced back and forth, and some gave everything they had for that one shot. Though the love for t ...more
Gerald Matzke
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was a bit of a surprise. The title led me expect an account of the minor league players who hope to make it big some day. While it did address that, it was more about the frustration of players who were once in the majors and who are now struggling to get called back up. Most of the names were familiar. Some were very successful for a while but for a variety of reasons had lost the edge that would make them major league stars again. Feinstein does a great job of telling the stories of ...more
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John Feinstein is one of the nation’s most successful and prolific sports authors who has written 24 books to date. His most recent work Are You Kidding Me? , written with Rocco Mediate, was released on May 18, 2009, and is presently on the shelf at bookstores everywhere. In addition, he is an award-winning columnist and regular contributor in both radio and television.

John Feinstein is a 1977 gr
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