The Road to the Majors, by Scott Blumenthal and Brett Hodus ISBN 0970899203
Five out of five stars
This book has the feel of a rendition of actual events. The main character is Jimmy Hanks and when it opens he is in the spring training camp of the organization that he plays for. He played at the Single-A level last year and it is assignment day for the minor league players, when they learn where they will be sent for the upcoming season. While it is not an absolute, if his assignment is not to a higher-level team in the organization, it is in essence a kiss of professional death. The story closes with the manager of the major league team telling him to grab a bat and prepare to go to the plate for the first time as a major leaguer.
The action bounces back and forth between Hanks’ experiences in sports and in a single incident when he and a couple of teammates are robbed at gunpoint, tied up and threatened with execution. Events from his youth where he excelled at soccer, through high school, college and his early years in the minor leagues are described.
This is not a book where Hanks is always the hero, there are teammates that make the winning plays and he does not always hit .300 or above. That is what gives this book its’ realistic feel. He struggles at times when he has moved up and is facing better pitching. There is also not a big game at the end, the reader is left to ponder how he does in that first big league at bat. Hanks may only get that one at-bat in the majors, but the big event at the end is that he did make it and fulfill his dream.