Minor League Baseball: The Waiting Room for the Major League

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Trenton starting pitcher Mikey O'Brien delivers a pitch during the Eastern League baseball game against the Akron Aeros May 23, 2012 in Trenton, NJ.

All major-league baseball players pass through the minor leagues in their career, and when they make it to the big leagues, they hope never to return to the minors. John Feinstein explores the colorful and mysterious world of Triple-A minor-league baseball, one step beneath Major League Baseball. In Where Nobody Knows Your Name Feinstein writes about the pitchers, position players, managers, and an umpire biding their time in the minors.

“I wanted to write about guys who struggle,” said Feinstein when he was explaining why he chose this topic to write about. "Guys in Triple-A are either on their way up or they've come back down. And some of them are treading water." He wrote about a player who was in the minor leagues for 16 years before he got called up to the majors, where he got one hit out of 22 at bats, and was sent back down to the minors.

He said that managing in Triple-A is the hardest job in baseball, because nobody wants to be there—not just players, but umpires, announcers, managers, everyone would rather be in the big leagues. Some get that chance, but many don't. "To get to Triple-A you have to be an elite baseball player." Feinstein said. "They’re amazingly good baseball players, they’re just not quite there."