Bluegrass Baseball (Paperback)

A Year in the Minor League Life

By Katya Cengel

University of Nebraska Press, 9780803235359, 253pp.

Publication Date: July 15, 2012

List Price: 19.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Forget the steroid-addled, overpaid, and unmotivated players: America's pastime is still alive and well, and is still the heartfelt sport it's always been--in the Minor Leagues. And nowhere is this truer than in Kentucky, whose rich baseball history continues to play out in the four teams profiled in this book. Following these teams through the 2010 season--the triumphs, struggles, and big league hopes and dreams--the book tells the larger story of baseball in America's smaller venues, where the game in its purest form is still valued and warmly embraced.

The story begins before the season with national-anthem singing tryouts in Lexington, then tags along with players, staffs, and fans at home, in the office, and on the field, offering a rare glimpse of the unglamorous reality of Minor League ball. From the front-office staff in Bowling Green planning kooky promotions, to a trainer grocery shopping for a team on forty dollars a day, to a new wife coming to terms with her husband's transitory lifestyle, to a father struggling to make it back to the Majors and a Cuban defector blowing everyone away with a 100-mph-plus fastball these are the people who live to make baseball happen, in all its nitty-gritty glory.

About the Author

Katya Cengel is a freelance writer based in Richmond, California. A staff reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal for eight years, she reported from the former Soviet Union, Europe, and Africa and has published in Esquire and the Wall Street Journal.

Praise For Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the Minor League Life

If you don’t know what cat food and cave shrimp have in common with Kentucky baseball, join Katya Cengel on her enlightening and entertaining odyssey with the state’s professional teams. She takes us places where fans can’t typically go and introduces us to people whose personal stories make the balls and strikes much more interesting.

—Anne Jewell, author of Baseball in Louisville and

executive director of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory