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The Last Best League: One Summer, One Season, One Dream Hardcover – Feb 25 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (Feb. 25 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738209015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738209012
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,588,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 6 2006
Format: Paperback
I love baseball and read a lot of books on the subject so don't tap me as a hater of baseball lit, but this book is beyond dull. I was so looking forward to learning about the Cape Cod League but where's the drama and hooks that draw you in?

I don't know why it didn't grab me. It just didn't. I think basically it was the writing because the subject is still fascinating.

I gave up halfway through as the author just never got me to care about these players he profiled. If you put a Boswell, Angell or even a guy like Mike Sowell on this topic, you'd have an instant classic. Sorry, Jim Collins, but this did zip for me.
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By A Customer on July 13 2004
Format: Hardcover
I worked for several years in baseball operations for two Major League Baseball franchises, and to this day, one of my greatest experiences was spending three weeks scouting at the Cape Cod League. Jim Collins does an excellent job of portraying the league, its management, scouts, fans, coaches and players. He brings several angles to the book, showing that not all players get along, that there are "classes" of players, and that 20-year old boys will act like, well, boys. For the casual baseball fan, this is an excellent look at something other than the Major Leagues. For the die-hard fan, it is a must read.
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Format: Hardcover
My sons and I gave this book to my husband for Father's Day. But I couldn't put it down once I started reading it! I spent my college summers on Cape Cod and we are avid fans of the Cape Cod Baseball League (with a special place in our heart for the Chatham A's.) Last week I had the joy of reading this while sitting on a Cape Cod beach.
The writing is exceptional, the enthusiasm of the fans authentically represented, ... and the dreams, emotions and antics of 20 year olds during a summer on Cape Cod... well you will have to read it for yourself.
Jim Collins does a fabulous job bringing it all together -- the beauty of the Cape, the showcase of these outstanding college ball players, the presence of the scouts, the local volunteer power and commitment behind the league, and the best of baseball before many future stars become celebrities. We have always felt that the Cape Cod Baseball League is the "best" of baseball, but Mr. Collins adds so much more as to why it truly is the "last best league."
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By D. Black on July 2 2004
Format: Hardcover
Jim Collins masterfully chronicles a season in the Cape Cod League -- a summer baseball league for collegiate players with professional aspirations. Collins follows one campaign of the Chatham A's, one of the most popular teams in this league. Along the way we are introduced to a series of memorable characters, such as John Schiffner, the intense manager of the A's who moonlights as a high school teacher and coach the rest of the year, Jamie D'Anotona, a talented, immature, and complex collegiate star, trying to find his way both in baseball and the world, and Blake Hanan, a likable middle infielder who has focused his life on becoming a professional baseball player.
Hanan's experience is probably a descriptor of the entire league, for Cape Cod is where dreams and reality intersect. Many in the league will go on to the professional game, some even signing for huge bonuses with major league clubs, while others, such as Hanan, will find their hopes for the professional game dashed through a summer of intense competition.
As we learn more about each of these individuals, Collins paints an idyllic picture of small towns who bond with their hometown teams, of the crack of the wood bat as opposed to the ping of aluminum heard in the college game, and the purity of a game that is played for joy rather than for money and endorsements.
Enjoy The Last Best League! It is a true reading pleasure for any fan of the game!
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Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift and it was a very pleasant surprise. Somewhere between Little League and the Major League lies the Cape Cod League. Since I was a kid reading Baseball America, I have been intrigued with the lure of this quiet amateur summer league nestled in the heart of New England. Where basketball has the reknowned Nike summer camps, baseball has this unheralded league that attracts the nation's best college players for three months of a surreal existence of working by day and playing by night (evoking memories of a young Archibald Graham from "Field of Dreams"). This book does something special: preserve the spirit of the young men that head to these sleepy vacation towns every summer with dreams of playing the big leagues as well as the community that awaits them, prepared to provide an education they could never get in college. It's hard to read this book without getting lost in this world that seems a million miles from the majors. You see these future professional athletes at an awkward stage of their careers where they struggle to balance aspiration and the end of adolescence. The cast of characters spans an amazing array of talent, drive, and desire. This book invites you spend a summer with them, watching them grow up and learn about themselves in a unique environment. As a former player whose career never made it past high school, I was constantly reminded of why baseball is so special to those of us who really appreciate the full scope of the game. It goes beyond ball and strikes. It's the comraderie, the strategy, the mental games, and the team dynamic. The egos, the tempers, and the arrogance. The romance of the game is embodied within this book and anyone who appreciates the power of baseball will love "The Last Best League".
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