In The Might Have Been by Joseph M. Schuster, Edward Everett Yates is having a horrible year. His wife has left him, he’s still stuck managing a single A ball club in No Where, Iowa, and he’s pretty sure he’s going to be fired at the end of the season. At 60, Edward isn’t sure what he’ll do and finds himself looking back on what could have been.
I must be a glutton for punishment reading a baseball book in December. Pitchers and catchers don’t report for two more months. Schuster’s descriptions of the game are so spot on accurate, I felt like I was at a game. I could smell the scent of food wafting on a warm summer breeze, hear the concession guy hollar, “Peanuts! Ice Cold Beer”, and vividly see the brilliant green of the outfield as the players shifted to accommodate the batter.
Schuster’s love for the game pours through the pages. His main character, Edward, could be found at any minor league club. The experienced player turned manager, who for one brief glorious moment got called to “The Show”. Edward’s time at the Majors was so brief that if you blinked, you would miss it. A career ending injury, forces him to seek employment outside of baseball. Only Edward has baseball running through his veins and he returns, eventually becoming the manager that his players look back on fondly.
More than just being a book about baseball, The Might Have Been, is about life. The regrets we all have. What if this had happened or if that had happened? While Edward might leave a mark on his players lives, his personal life is in shambles. Some of the things he does are not actually very likable and make you want to hate him. Then Edward does something completely endearing like caring for his sick Pomeranian, and you think, well, he can’t be all that bad.
This book is great for anyone who has an understanding of the sport (if you don’t, some of the descriptions of the plays made won’t be as meaningful). Baseball lovers who have read Three Nights in August will definitely enjoy this book. Just remember pitchers and catchers report on February 18, 2015.
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Title: The Might Have Been
Author: Joseph M. Schuster
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Category: General Fiction
Source: Borrowed from the Library
For Edward Everett Yates, split seconds matter: the precise timing of hitting a low outside pitch, of stealing a base, of running down a fly ball. After a decade playing in the minor leagues—years after most of his peers have given up—he’s still patiently waiting for his chance at the majors. Then one day he gets called up to the St. Louis Cardinals, and finally the future he wanted unfolds before him.
But one more split second changes everything: In what should have been the game of his life, he sustains a devastating knee injury, which destroys his professional career.
Thirty years later, after sacrificing so many opportunities—a lucrative job, relationships with women who loved him, even the chance for a family—Edward Everett is barely hanging on as the manager of a minor league baseball team, still grappling with regret over the choices he made and the life he almost had. Then he encounters two players—one brilliant but undisciplined, the other eager but unremarkable—who show him that his greatest contribution may come in the last place he ever expected.
Full of passion, ambition, and possibility, The Might-Have-Been maps the profound and unpredictable moments that change our lives forever, and the irresistible power of a second chance.