Chasing the Big Leagues

Chasing the Big Leagues

Chasing the Big Leagues

Chasing the Big Leagues


Three years after earning a full-ride baseball scholarship to Ohio State, "Golden" Jake Standen has burned out. Working as a furniture mover and bouncing between meaningless relationships, he's convinced that his baseball dreams are over. But after the 1994 Major League Baseball strike prematurely ends the season, the playoffs, and even the World Series, Jake is about to get his lucky break. Strike be damned, the owners will have a team for the '95 season, even if they have to open tryouts and spring training to anyone who can hit or throw the ball.

After scoring contracts for the Toronto Blue Jays, Jake, his best friend Brian Sloan, and an unlikely cast of new teammates have just six weeks to learn how to play like never before, amid a slowly building crescendo of public curiosity, media scrutiny, and a labor dispute that could put them on the field come Opening Day--or dash their dreams at any minute. Based on the true stories of the 1994-95 replacement players, Chasing the Big Leagues is an exciting novel about shared dreams and competing interests, best friends and second chances, growing up and finding love.


I hate the word scab—ALWAYS have. it sounds like the noise your cleats make when you walk across gravel. a scab is something hard and ugly, something nobody wants, but when you got to have one, you got to have one. I never thought of us as scabs and I wouldn’t want you to think that either. I guess that’s what got me started going through my old notes, reading what I wrote back then, five years ago now though it feels like maybe a week. I know I didn’t get everything down, so I’ll try to fill in some of the blanks, stuff I remember but I didn’t think was important then or I just didn’t have time to put down the first time.

Can’t say for sure why I think it still matters. Everyone else has pretty much forgotten. Still, I want to get down on paper what it felt like to be there with all the excitement and confusion. I want you to know how important it all seemed at the time, no matter how dumb it probably sounds now. You know that old saw, “The best you can do is the best you can do”? Mostly I just want you to understand that, if this was the best we could do, we made damn certain that it was us at our best.

You might ask how I can still recall so much about things that happened all those years ago but the funny thing is, I’ve never tried to remember. I just can’t seem to forget. You might also wonder what difference it makes. How can writing about it now change anything from back then? the short answers are: none and it can’t. But it might make a difference for you, in how you see and think about us. and maybe writing it down will make a difference for me, too. Or maybe, if it’s true what they say—that the older you get, the better you were—then maybe I just want to revisit one more time that glorious season when my best friend and I made it to the very top of the world, that sterling silver spring when the two of us made it all the way to the Show.

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