Minor-league baseball teams were once a focal point of rural and small-town life. With limited entertainment options, a ball game was a perfect way to pass a weekend afternoon. Chadwick, who has written for "Sports Illustrated" and the "New York Daily News", engages readers in a leisurely and informative stroll--illustrated with dozens of striking black-and-white photographs--along baseball's backroads. He covers the earliest years, when teams were really local clubs manned by local players, through the glory years when each major-league team had a legion of minor-league branches. He also charts the demise of minor-league ball through the 1960s and 1970s when television and other entertainment venues combined to rob the minors of both fans and dollars. He points out an overlooked factor in the minors' diminishing fan base during that time: Little League. The recent resurgence of minor-league baseball is also explored at length. A beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully written book that emphasizes America's love affair with the game of baseball, not necessarily with the major leagues.