The Last Best League, 10th anniversary edition: One Summer, One Season, One Dream

Overview


Every summer, in ten small towns across Cape Cod, the finest college baseball players in the country gather in hopes of making it to "The Show." The hopes are justifiably high: The Cape Cod Baseball League is the best amateur league in the world, producing one out of every six major league players.

Ten years ago, Jim Collins chronicled a season in the life of one team: the Chatham A's, perhaps the most celebrated team in the league. Set against the backdrop of a resort town on ...

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The Last Best League, 10th anniversary edition: One Summer, One Season, One Dream

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Overview


Every summer, in ten small towns across Cape Cod, the finest college baseball players in the country gather in hopes of making it to "The Show." The hopes are justifiably high: The Cape Cod Baseball League is the best amateur league in the world, producing one out of every six major league players.

Ten years ago, Jim Collins chronicled a season in the life of one team: the Chatham A's, perhaps the most celebrated team in the league. Set against the backdrop of a resort town on the bend of the outer Cape, the story charted the changing fortunes of a handful of players battling slumps and self-doubt in their effort to make the league playoffs and, more importantly, impress the major league scouts.

Over the last decade, baseball's hard truths became evident for the Chatham stars who went on to play professionally, and the final chapter of their story can now be written. In a new afterword for the tenth anniversary, Collins explores questions that sports literature rarely touches: What does it mean to devote your life to an almost impossible goal and almost but not quite make it? Or make it only briefly before it slips away? What does a dream look like in retrospect? How does the game look now?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Fuel Baseball magazine, Spring 2010

“In the tradition of The Boys of Summer, The Last Best League is about dreams fulfilled and dreams denied; it’s about Cape Cod and the rites of summer; and about the way one small town grows to love a group of young men coming of age in America.”

"A captivating, timeless brew of scuffed baseballs, white sand, and pristine dreams."—Booklist

"A wonderful, dramatic, thoroughly absorbing book."—Boston Globe

"An engrossing portrait of marvelously gifted boys in men's bodies—swaggering one moment, full of uncertainty the next."—U.S. News and World Report

Cape Code Times “Bookshelf,” 6/29/14
“If you're a Cape Cod Baseball League groupie or just a lover of small-town, (maybe) big-name baseball, check out this seminal book on our very own summer league…Major league scouts, local sports writers and of course the college players are all here, taking what we see as good fun and making it the serious summer it can be for many players on the verge of greatness.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306823107
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 5/27/2014
  • Edition description: Tenth Anniversary Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 399,138
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Collins

Jim Collins, a native New Englander, played college baseball at Dartmouth and is a former editor of Yankee magazine. His work has twice been noted in the annual Best American Sportswriting anthology. He lives in Seattle, Washington, and Orange, New Hampshire.

Good To Know

Collins says he finds the writing process a difficult one. "I can average no more than a page a day of high quality output – and those are long days!" he said in our interview. "If I produce a 30 page chapter, it will take me 30 days of work. I like what Michener said: 'I am not a master writer. I am a master rewriter."'

Collins has been married to wife Joanne for 22 years; the pair got engaged four days after their first date. When I finished Good to Great, Joanne said, “It’s nice to have you back” -- even though I’d been sitting just 20 feet away in the Morris chair for all those months of writing. That’s just the nature of writing a book; it requires a degree of obsession and productive neurosis.

A passionate rock climber, Collins likes to work early in the morning and then take a break to go climbing on the cliffs of Boulder or Eldorado Canyon. "No matter how wrapped up I am in a piece of work," he says, "it all melts away when I’m focused on the next ten feet of rock. I like to return in the afternoon for a good nap of 30 minutes to two hours, followed by a late afternoon creative work session before spending the evening with Joanne."

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    1. Hometown:
      Boulder, Colorado
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 25, 1958
    2. Place of Birth:
      Aurora, Colorado
    1. Education:
      B.S. in mathematical sciences, Stanford University, 1980; M.B.A., Stanford University, 1983
    2. Website:

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