There was a time when no town was too small to field a professional baseball team. In 1949, the high point for the minor leagues, there were 59 leagues and 464 cities with teams, two-thirds of them in so-called bush leagues classified as C and D. Most of the players were strangers outside the towns where they played, but some achieved hero status and enthralled local fans as much as the stars in the majors.
Left on Base in the Bush Leagues: Legends, Near Greats, and Unknowns in the Minors profiles some of the most fascinating characters from baseball's golden era. It includes the stories of players such as Ron Necciai, the only pitcher in history to strike out 27 batters in a single game; Joe Brovia, one of the most feared hitters to ever play in the Pacific Coast League (PCL), who had to wait 15 years for a shot in the majors; and Pat Stasey, a mellow Irishman who "Cubanized" minor league baseball in Texas and New Mexico, helping to bring down the walls of segregation. Compelling and timeless, their stories touch on many issues that still affect the sport today.
Left on Base in the Bush Leagues provides an entertaining glimpse into a time when baseball was a game and the players were regular guys who often held second jobs off the field. Featuring hundreds of personal interviews with the players, their teammates, managers, and opponents, this book creates a colorful tapestry of the minor leagues during the 1950s and 60s. --Ed Mickelson, former St. Louis Cardinal, St. Louis Brown, and Chicago Cub and author of Out of the Park "Forbes"