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Posted August 21, 2013
s a Tampa Bay Rays fan, I fondly remember the playoff drives from the past few baseball seasons. However, my experience was limited to what I could see from my seat in the ballpark or in front of my television, coupled with what I could read in the local newspapers.
James Shields, a star pitcher on the team, documented the 2010 playoff push in “September Nights” (with a little assist from professional baseball writer Bill Chastain). Shields takes us into the locker room, the dugout, and out onto the field with the team. He tells behind-the-scenes stories, and describes how such a moment affects the players involved. Further, Shields also goes into a few flashbacks to tell of some memorable moments in the team's recent past.
If you're looking for a tell-all book, this isn't it. The only secrets revealed are those that the parties involved would be OK divulging to the public. Fortunately, this reviewer has no great desire to delve into the dirty laundry of the famous. As such, I enjoyed the book. Perhaps my biggest beef is that it was too short; had Shields and Chastain broadened their scope, we could have learned even more about the team and its players. Still, it was a nice nostalgic look back. (I have to wonder whether fans of other teams will enjoy it as much as I did; I am reasonably certain that non-baseball fans would not get into it at all.)
Solid 4 stars, Mr. Shields. Good luck with your continued pitching career after your trade away from our area AND good luck with your writing career – I HOPE this is not the only book you write in your lifetime.