Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book Review: Bigger Than The Game

Title: Bigger Than The Game - Restitching a Major League Life 
Author: Dirk Hayhurst  
Genre: Autobiography

Ease of Reading: I knocked out this 305 page book in a little over five hours of airplane time on my recent trip to California. I've been sitting on this one for some time now, because I knew it would be a fun read.  I read Hayhurst's previous two books (The Bullpen Gospels & Out Of My League) and absolutely loved them.  I'm not a fan of flying and I was counting on the third installment of Hayhurst's series to keep my mind off of flying. I was not disappointed as the pages practically turned themselves.

Synapse: Reading Hayhurst's first two books leading up to this one isn't necessary, as he does a more than adequate job of filling in the blanks. The meat of the book focuses on Hayhurst rehabilitating his shoulder (and mind) in an attempt to make it back to the Big leagues. The reader is given an all exclusive pass inside a spring training complex, a major league training room, and Dr. James Andrew's physical rehabilitation center in Birmingham, Alabama. The relationships (good and bad) within the text are fascinating sub plots to follow and watch develop. My favorite is when he finally tells off another pitcher who has been undermining him during the last couple of seasons. 

Comments: This is probably my favorite of the three books I've read from Dirk Hayhurst.  Nothing will ever match the laughable stories from The Bullpen Gospels, but Bigger Than The Game didn't have to make me laugh out loud to be a winner with me. Being a former pitcher, and one who has gone through a couple of arm injuries, this one really hit close to home with me.  (Although stories about nuns in a training room full of male athletes doesn't hurt!)

Grade: Hayhurst has a great writing style in which he has the ability to take serious matters and put a light-hearted twist to them, yet he still finds away to award them their due gravity as well.  His books go deeper than the game of baseball as there are many life lessons to be learned.   Then one earns a solid A from me, and it will retain a nice place on my bookshelf for future re-readings.

Side note: Needless to say, I'm a big fan of Mr. Hayhurst and I really like his musings on Twitter.  Dirk Hayhurst, always the consummate self-promoter, was listing personally signed copies of his book with inscriptions on eBay. I asked my wife to buy this book for me that Mr. Hayhurst tweeted about last fall and she gave it to me for Christmas. Yeah, Laura is the best.
Thanks for the autograph, Dirk!
 Three drawings of the ever elusive Garfoose and a penned "Keep your chin up and your fastball down!"  How cool is that?