Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mark your scorecards, Last Best League is a winner

In today’s high paying, steroid laced baseball atmosphere, it is often hard to imagine a league where players simply played for the love of the game. Players whine about the smallest things, and if they don’t get their way, trouble is sure to follow.

Jim Collins’ book Last Best League explores the ins and outs of the Cape Cod League, a NCAA sanctioned summer league that is filled with the nation’s best college baseball players. Collins covers the 2002 season from an insider’s prospective, offering not only the outcomes of games, but a deeper back story that draws readers in, and keeps them there.

The reader has the opportunity to follow around players as they endure not only a grueling schedule of games, but also as they experience a normal college summer. Partying, girls, and the like are not left out of the book. As they are not paid for their baseball services, many of the players also work summer jobs in addition to their commitment to baseball. And throughout all of this, they are trying to secure their futures in baseball by performing well for the numerous scouts that visit the Cape.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Last Best League. It is very detailed not only from a baseball standpoint, but also from a life standpoint. The back story that Collins includes throughout the book makes it what it is, a great piece of literature.

The book reads very similar to Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball, another one of my favorites. In fact, I believe any baseball fan would get a lot out of reading this book. Last Best League is definitely a must read.

No comments: