Picks and Pans Review: Beating the Bushes
by Frank Dolson
The minor leagues are to the majors what childhood is to adulthood; they're more eccentric, unpredictable, frustrating and often a lot more fun. Dolson, a veteran Philadelphia sportswriter, captures much of the charm and small drama of the minors in this collection of vignettes. Most are about players who have passed through the Phillies organization, from current All-Star Mike Schmidt to Pat Bayless, a promising minor league pitcher who lost his career and had a breakdown at the same time. There is a fascinating chapter on the minor league managing career of former pitcher Jim Bunning—unaccountably fired by the Phillies before he reached the majors—and another on black players' reminiscences of racism. Much of the book's appeal, though, is in its mood: The minors are a place where, despite triple-headers, unrelenting bus rides and cheap hotels, dreams thrive. (Icarus Press, $13.95)
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