By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Spring training is a hopeful time for baseball fans but it’s also when big-league dreams are made, or mauled. A new book focuses on those trying to reach or return to stardom.
Where Nobody Knows Your Name is by CBS sportscaster John Feinstein, and it uses the stories of six players, two managers and an umpire to tell, in miniature, the stories of those who play AAA ball, one step shy of the Big Leagues. Several have Phillies connections, but Feinstein says the trait he was looking for is “hope.”
“Because I think stories about the struggle are more interesting than stories about guys who just ride an up escalator their entire lives. I’ve been around the minor leagues enough, prior to doing the research for this book, to know that there were stories there, about guys who have fallen from grace and about guys who were trying to get to the big leagues.”
Some players are known.”They range from guys like Mark Pryor, who almost own a Cy Young Award when he was 21, and was back pitching middle relief for Pawtucket when I was researching the book and Scott Elarton, who was once a 17 game winner in the major leagues and retired for three years, then tried to make a comeback in 2012 with the Phillies.”
Feinstein says their common desire: to play ball!