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Owning a Piece of the Minors (Writing Baseball (Hardcover))

Owning a Piece of the Minors (Writing Baseball (Hardcover))

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Professor loves baseball. Professor feels loss when home team deserts him. Professor moves, divorces, remarries, discovers local minor-league club, winds up on board of directors. Professor turns experience into insightful and engaging memoir of his decade and a half as a part owner of the Class A Waterloo (Iowa) Diamonds, farm team for the Cleveland Indians.

Klinkowitz is quick to point out that owning a minor league franchise is far more work, responsibility, and disappointment than romance portraysit to be. "True," he admits, "we'd acquired our franchise for nothing"--a story in itself--"and had labored mightily to keep it essentially worthless, of value only to ourselves and the thousand or so fans who loved it on a daily basis." Yet, for all thehours vending beer, filling ticket requests, making sense of directives from the parent organization, repairing the team bus, watching his league be encroached upon by slick out-of-town owners in search of that romantic adult fantasy, and, quite literally, fighting city hall, there are more than a fair share of intangible payoffs: retrieving a hitter's first home-run ball, the face of a player when he's called up a rung, the friendships with fans, the sense of civic pride, and the camaraderie with fellowbeleaguered owners. In the end, Waterloo sadly loses its team. "Having been proved a busher once again," Klinkowitz muses, "I haven't let this ... humiliation turn me away ... I would have saved them if I could." That he couldn't makes for an emotionallycomplex, funny, and moving parable. -- Jeff Silverman