Sunday, October 6, 2013

Review of "The 33-Year-Old Rookie"

Although I also mention this in the review, I found it very refreshing to read a book about an athlete that didn't mention substance abuse, performance enhancing drugs, infidelity or anger issues.   Truly a remarkable story of perseverance to make it to the major leagues.  Here is my review of one man's journey to the major leagues.

“The 33-Year-Old Rookie: How I Finally Made It to the Big Leagues after 11 years in the Minors” by Chris Coste

Baseball, autobiography, Phillies

March 18, 2008

199 pages

5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

Chris Coste’s account of his baseball journey through an independent league, the minor league system and finally to the major leagues as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies is one of those stories that make you want to stand up and cheer for the man.  His story is not unique as there are other players who make it to the major leagues after toiling many years in the minor leagues.  This story, however, is a refreshing read for people like me who have grown weary of reading about athletes who have one or more of the following traits:  massive ego, massive libido, substance abuse, use of performance enhancing drugs, or poor handling of large amounts of money.

Instead, Coste takes us through his trials as a member of the Fargo team in the independent Northern League where he was not only a very good player, he also performed other tasks, including a stint as the merchandising manager in the off season and hosting a sports talk radio show.  As a native of the town, he was contemplating settling in for a career with the team when he would no longer be playing, but when he was offered a contract with the Cleveland Indians, he decided to go for it.  

Through many trials and tribulations, times when he would wonder what he had to do in order to make it to the next level, and with love and support from his wife and daughter, Coste’s story is truly one that has a happy ending when he finally makes it to the majors in 2006 with the Phillies.

Coste writes as if he is truly humbled by the entire experience and he also states in various ways that he is grateful for his chance.  One of these expressions comes when he states that he made a vow to never complain about the amount of taxes taken out of his paycheck as he realizes that as a professional baseball player he is luckier than most.   There is NO mention of performance enhancing drugs, a wild lifestyle off the field, or any of the other trappings that often are the life of the professional athlete.  For that reason alone I found this book to be refreshing. 

If you like to read about one of the “good guys” who makes it big thorough hard work, you will want to read this book - a fast paced, inspiring book of someone who really was able to fulfill his dream.

Did I skim?

Pace of the book: 
Excellent.  It was a quick read.  It was detailed enough to be informative but so much so that it dragged.   

Do I recommend? 
Yes.  Not only baseball fans will enjoy this book but anyone who loved a good story of an underdog who was able to accomplish his dreams through perseverance and hard work.

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