"There is an old adage that says, 'You never forget your first girl, or guy.' Or as Steve Goodman, the late Chicago songwriter, put it so eloquently, 'You should have seen the one that got away.' The same is true with your first ball club. It's an affair that begins with star-crossed love, very little logic, foolish dreams, and unrealistic expectations. Your skepticism is overcome by the irrepressible joys of childhood. You have become one of the inner sanctum, one of those select, blessed few who is allowed to run a baseball team. It is like releasing a horde of children in FAO Schwarz. You are the steward of your very own board game, the king of Stratomatic."Mike Veeck, from the Foreword
Owning a Piece of the Minorsby Jerome Klinkowitz, Mike Veeck
Owning a Piece of the Minors is by and about a man who lived his dream and acquired a baseball team. When Jerry Klinkowitz joined the group that ran the Waterloo, Iowa, Diamonds in the 1970s, ownership of a minor league baseball franchise conferred little mystique. Neglected for a half century, minor league baseball was at best obscure. Yet in the purchase/i>… See more details below
Owning a Piece of the Minors is by and about a man who lived his dream and acquired a baseball team. When Jerry Klinkowitz joined the group that ran the Waterloo, Iowa, Diamonds in the 1970s, ownership of a minor league baseball franchise conferred little mystique. Neglected for a half century, minor league baseball was at best obscure. Yet in the purchase of fantasy, what difference if your desire is out of style?
Klinkowitz continued his work with the Diamonds through the 1980s and much of the 1990s. In Owning a Piece of the Minors, he maps out his personal journey through baseball and probes his fluctuating fortunes and those of his team as he evolves from a fan to a team executive and, most important, to a writer writing about baseball. This baseball story begins with a nine-year-old Klinkowitz who is elated when Milwaukee lures the Braves from Boston; this story of a love affair with baseball might have diedand in fact suffered a ten-year hiatuswhen the apostate Braves fled to Atlanta in 1965.
Klinkowitz rediscovered the joy of being at the baseball park when, as a middle-aged professor, he took his own children to the Waterloo Diamonds games. Gradually his involvement with the Diamonds grew deeper until he owned the team. His immersion into team activities was complete, from shagging batting practice and working the beer bar to struggling with the Cleveland Indians and then the San Diego Padres as minor league affiliates to accommodate baseball's resurgence.
Klinkowitz writes of lossfirst the Braves and later the Diamonds; of writing baseball fiction; of attending the 1982 World Series back in Milwaukee; of the great old ballparks around the country, including Wrigley, Fenway, and old Comiskey Park; of fictional and factual accounts of how the Diamonds franchise was lost; of friendships among season ticket holders in "Box 28"; and of Mildred Boyenga, the club president and Baseball Woman of the Year. A first-rate stylist, Klinkowitz shows the problems and perks and, most rewarding, the priceless relationships made possible in the world of baseball.
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