Small-Town Heroes: Images of Minor League Baseball

Small-Town Heroes: Images of Minor League Baseball

by Hank Davis
     
 

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In 1993 successful psychologist and journalist Hank Davis undertook an epic journey exploring the atmosphere and culture of both minor league baseball and the small towns that embrace it. Davis shows us the warmth, quirkiness, and desperate energy of minor league ball, from encounters with future stars to those who would never make it to the "show"; from the kids

Overview

In 1993 successful psychologist and journalist Hank Davis undertook an epic journey exploring the atmosphere and culture of both minor league baseball and the small towns that embrace it. Davis shows us the warmth, quirkiness, and desperate energy of minor league ball, from encounters with future stars to those who would never make it to the "show"; from the kids selling Cracker Jacks outside the park to the aging coaches who persevere out of sheer love for the game. As Davis says, "the minor leagues are full of stories," and he tells some of the best of them here. A new afterword by the author dis-cusses where the minor league players are now.

Hank Davis is a professor of psychology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Baseball's minor leagues have waxed and waned with the economy, the expansion of the majors, the growth of television and the fans' disillusion with multimillionaire stars. In 1994, there were 15 leagues and about 150 teams with an attendance of some 33 million fans. Canadian psychology professor Davis spent seven years researching minor-league ball, in the last three visiting 28 towns and concentrating on the lower minors. His tour took him from Ontario through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, from the upper South to Tennessee and Iowa, and he found the national pastime at this level not too different from the game a 100 years ago: he found fresh-faced kidsDonly a very few of whom would make it to the big leaguesDwilling to play for virtually no salary. But now there are fewer independent teams in the minors, and all depend on promotional stunts and the sale of memorabilia to survive. The essence of the book, however, is the people, and Davis portrays them with understanding and compassion but without sentimentalizing them, aided by 80 photos of his subjects. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Baseball's minor leagues have waxed and waned with the economy, the expansion of the majors, the growth of television and the fans' disillusion with multimillionaire stars. In 1994, there were 15 leagues and about 150 teams with an attendance of some 33 million fans. Canadian psychology professor Davis spent seven years researching minor-league ball, in the last three visiting 28 towns and concentrating on the lower minors. His tour took him from Ontario through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, from the upper South to Tennessee and Iowa, and he found the national pastime at this level not too different from the game a 100 years ago: he found fresh-faced kids-only a very few of whom would make it to the big leagues-willing to play for virtually no salary. But now there are fewer independent teams in the minors, and all depend on promotional stunts and the sale of memorabilia to survive. The essence of the book, however, is the people, and Davis portrays them with understanding and compassion but without sentimentalizing them, aided by 80 photos of his subjects.
New York Times Book Review

“Davis has written a remarkable chronicle of life in the minor leagues, a lighthearted, bittersweet paean to the purest form of the national pastime.”—New York Times Book Review
Miles Wolff

Small-Town Heroes is a winding, pleasant journey through the minor league ballparks of North America. Davis’ vehicle is baseball, but his destination is an America that many might believe was lost forever.”—Miles Wolff, president of Baseball America
Curt Schilling

“A must-read for any baseball-lover. Small-Town Heroes is the Ball Four of minor league baseball books.”—Curt Schilling, pitcher
Al Kern

Small-Town Heroes is the best baseball book I’ve read since The Boys of Summer.”—Al Kern, National Public Radio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780877455790
Publisher:
University of Iowa Press
Publication date:
03/01/1997
Pages:
372
Product dimensions:
7.23(w) x 10.24(h) x 1.15(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Hank Davis is a professor of psychology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

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