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Class A: Baseball in the Middle of…
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Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere (vuoden 2014 painos)

– tekijä: Lucas Mann (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
685315,978 (3.17)3
A chronicle of a year of minor-league baseball in a small Iowa town that follows not only the travails of the players of the Clinton LumberKings but also the lives of their dedicated fans and of the town itself.
Jäsen:slpwhitehead
Teoksen nimi:Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere
Kirjailijat:Lucas Mann (Tekijä)
Info:Vintage (2014), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere (tekijä: Lucas Mann)

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» Katso myös 3 mainintaa

näyttää 5/5
An interesting but frustrating read. A book full mostly of paper people, and pretty weak analysis. Some parts, though, are very good.

I kept wondering how Mann would have portrayed me, had he watched the Lansing team (or, better, Battle Creek, though he'd have to time-shift somehow) instead of Clinton's. I'm not much like the fans he describes, and I'm pretty sure the problem's in his preconceptions rather than the fans' life's shortcomings. Yes, I know people like the character he calls Joyce--but even those folks are more well-rounded and self-aware than the author believes.

And evidently all the players are selfish boors. That doesn't match my experience. Some are; most are just people.

The good parts? Mann's got a good grasp of the town's history, and how the team fits into that. ( )
  joeldinda | Jul 3, 2017 |
I keep wanting to give this four stars, but the book constantly feels as if it's stretching to be more than it ever achieves. The book spends far too much time dwelling on the economics of the small city of Clinton, particularly with the corn processing plant run by ADM. Conversely, it spends far too little on the ostensible theme of the book, baseball, and the playing of it. In the end we are left with a book that sometimes veers into the author's life, sometimes describes the social fabric of a small and dying city, and sometimes captures images of the players. ( )
1 ääni librken | Jul 17, 2016 |
Mann followed the Clinton LumberKings for a season and this book is about his experiences and that season. Unfortunately, from my point of view, much of the book concerns Mann's feelings rather than the team's. He does get inside the viewpoints of a few dedicated Clinton fans, and at times he gives the reader a feel for the tensions and character of a minor league team and its members. Overall, the tone of the book is melancholy, partly because Mann is keenly aware of how few minor league prospects make it to the major leagues. Because the Clinton team is a Seattle Mariners farm team, he focuses on two Clinton players, Nick Franklin (now in the starting lineup for the Tampa Bay Rays) and Henry Contreras, a catcher who left baseball without a trip to the majors. Along the way, Mann discusses Erasmo Ramirez, who also made it to the Mariners, and mentions from time to time several others who made the majors, notably James Jones and Yoervis Medina. It's a pity there is no mention in the book of the happy outcomes--Franklin's happy outcome is to be moved up to the AA level. The book left me wanting more. ( )
  nmele | Jan 28, 2015 |
The book does an excellent job of showing the narcissistic and juvenile personalities of the players even at the the lower levels of OB and in what disregard they hold the fans while at the same time showing the "real" fans to be missing something deep and important in their lives. A good if depressing depiction of "the life" by someone in the netherworld between player, management and the public.
Recommended for fans of baseball and those who are interested in the psychology of fandom. ( )
  JNSelko | Aug 6, 2014 |
"Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere" is, not very surprisingly, a fairly depressing book. But what else can one expect from a book about a little town in Iowa in which most of the "characters" simply want out of town as soon as possible. Not only do the A-ball baseball players hope to leave quickly, but the team's radio announcer can't wait to move on, and many of the team's most rabid fans seem to have nothing in their lives but worshiping a few mediocre ballplayers who will only be around one or two seasons at most. The town is dying, the team is awful, and even the players don't really seem to much like each other.

Lucas Mann, the book's author pulls no punches in his portrayal of professional baseball at its lowest level. He presents baseball as the business it is, even to stressing that most of the players on Clinton's LumberKings team are just place-fillers. No one in the organization thinks they have a prayer of ever making it to the major leagues, but hey, it takes a whole lot of warm bodies to play a regular season baseball schedule and there are lots of young men willing to play until someone forces them to stop playing. So, for every kid that actually makes it all the way to the top, there are hundreds who spend six or eight years doing the thing they were ever really much good at doing. Sadly, we (most guys) would have done the same thing, human nature being what it is.

Saddest of all, however, is Mann's portrayal of the super-rabid Clinton LumberKings fans. If Mann's story is accurate, these folks don't seem to have much of a life outside their little baseball stadium. That they invest so much emotional energy into guys who are only passing through (and who forget the fans the second they leave Iowa for good) is hard to watch - but there is at least a little of them in all sports fans. (Best lesson from the book).

"Class A" is a little too much about the author and I would have much preferred that he stay in the background and tell us more about the players and their relationships to each other and their families. While there is a good bit of that kind of detail, there is a whole lot of Mann's hero worship in the book, too. And that is hard to understand, considering that Mann is about the age of these players and has played baseball almost as long as the players of whom he seems so much in awe.

Bottom Line: this is not a bad book about minor league baseball but it could have been a much better book if the author had altered its focus a bit. I have to admit it was a bit depressing to be reminded how cut-throat a business minor league baseball is, but the few managers and coaches who seemed to remember that they were dealing with a bunch of overgrown kids most of the time were nice to discover.

Rated at: 3.0 ( )
  SamSattler | May 8, 2013 |
näyttää 5/5
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A chronicle of a year of minor-league baseball in a small Iowa town that follows not only the travails of the players of the Clinton LumberKings but also the lives of their dedicated fans and of the town itself.

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