The Might Have Been

The Might Have Been Joseph M Schuster s absorbing debut novel resonates with the pull of lifelong dreams the sting of regret and the ways we define ourselves against uncertain twists of fate perfect for fans of Chad Ha

  • Title: The Might Have Been
  • Author: Joseph M. Schuster
  • ISBN: 9780345530264
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Joseph M Schuster s absorbing debut novel resonates with the pull of lifelong dreams, the sting of regret, and the ways we define ourselves against uncertain twists of fate perfect for fans of Chad Harbach s The Art of Fielding 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 baJoseph M Schuster s absorbing debut novel resonates with the pull of lifelong dreams, the sting of regret, and the ways we define ourselves against uncertain twists of fate perfect for fans of Chad Harbach s The Art of Fielding 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 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 The effort to sustain the tradition of the great American baseball novel receives an honorable boost with this meticulously peopled tale of opportunities lost The New York Times Book Review Eventually, all of us have to grapple our might have beens This is the moving story of a man whose chance for baseball stardom ended in a split second accident, and it resonates far beyond the baseball field Reader s Digest A brilliant debut a lovely, poignant, heartbreaker of a baseball novel, as good as last year s hyped The Art of Fielding and literary than Grisham s Calico Joe St Louis Post Dispatch A grand slam San Antonio Express News The Might Have Been is about the hold baseball can have on those who play it, but it s also about acceptance, and patience, and the struggle to know when to fold em, and when to run Milwaukee Journal Sentinel A terrific story that goes beyond the sport and deals with promise and aspirations, dreams and disappointments Never mind whether you are a baseball fan This is a damn fine read Kirkus Reviews starred review

    One thought on “The Might Have Been”

    1. Rating: 3.75* of fiveThe Publisher Says: 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 [...]

    2. I am not the kind of reader who typically reaches for a baseball-themed book. In fact, the last time I went to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, I showed up with a novel in hand, which I read through most of the game (much to the chagrin of my husband).So for me to like – really like! – a baseball book says a whole lot. It says that Joseph Schuster has a great voice and a wonderful story to tell. And baseball is only a backdrop; in many ways, this story is about life itself and how sometimes, ou [...]

    3. It's early, but I know that this will be one of the top two or three novels I'll read this year. I give it four and a half stars. The writing is polished and precise. I didn't even know people still wrote novels like this. Naturalistic. Very much in the tradition of Dreiser. It's not really a "baseball novel" although the lead character is a baseball lifer.Edward Everett Yates is a might-have-been, someone who only briefly made it into the major leagues, and he is a might-have-been in his relati [...]

    4. I'll admit I was a little wary of reading another baseball novel just a few months after reading Chad Harbach's fantastic The Art of Fielding, but I needn't have worried. Joe Schuster's debut novel, The Might Have Been, has baseball more at its core than Harbach's book, but it is captivating and affecting in its own quiet way. When the book starts in the mid-1970s, Edward Everett Yates is a baseball player who has been in the minor leagues for 10 years, but still believes he will one day get cal [...]

    5. This is not my typical kind of book, but I was trying to find something to be my first purchase as an e-book, so I totally stalked a friend on and found the description of this book made me think it was likely to have more substance and relevance for me and to me than I imagined anything that revolved around baseball ever would or could. I needed to get out of the density I'd been in lately, and this was a solid well-written read that, while utterly depressing for the majority of the story, was [...]

    6. Baseball is special. The number of novels about the game, both in quality - and certainly in quantity - probably exceeds that of all other sports combined. The length of the baseball season, the pace of an individual game, and the potential for any player (regardless of size, position, or past performance) to be a hero for at least one day all lend themselves to good storytelling. And, because good storytellers seem particularly drawn to the sport, baseball fans who read novels are a lucky bunch [...]

    7. Baseball is a drug many old ballplayers are too weak to resist, its allure perhaps strongest to those whose career didn't follow the course they had mapped out as kids. Edward Everett Yates never envisioned it would take him ten years to reach the St. Louis Cardinals. His long-imagined debut hadn't included being ordered to bunt in his first—and only official—plate appearance. He may have dreamed of hitting for the cycle, but nowhere in that vision was the game washed out of the record books [...]

    8. I'd say this was really a 1.5 for me.The Might Have Been follows the lackluster baseball career of Edward Everett Yates, beginning in 1976, when, after knocking around in the minor leagues for a few years, Edward Everett's stars align, and he begins playing far beyond his past performance until, finally in 1977, he receives the call to the Major Leagues.In the latter 2/3 of the book, Schuster turns to Edward Everett's later life, set in 2009, as the protagonist nears his 60th birthday and 20th y [...]

    9. Edward Everett is a might have been and this is his story. Edward is single minded in his desire to be a part of baseball. Baseball is all he thinks about and everything else pale's in comparison.In this novel, Edward has been working in the minor leagues, enjoying time in the game and taking the opportunity to womanize at his leisure. He gets a chance to fill-in for an injured major league-r. Unfortunately, he is so focused on showing his talents as to not be sent back to the minors, he suffers [...]

    10. If this isn't my favorite book of the year, what surpasses it must be a doozy. I originally chose it because of the baseball background, but it is so rich in so many ways, so surprising and yet familiar, I found myself taking my time with it. This definitely is a book to savor.We meet Edward Everett Yates in 1977, as he is called up to go to the Show, on the brink of realizing his dream. The liner notes and title already inform the reader of what is to come, that that dream will die before it is [...]

    11. With a title like "The Might Have Been," it's no spoiler to say that Edward Everett Yates's life in baseball didn't pan out the way he'd hoped. Bumping around for years in the minors, he finally gets his chance to shine for one brief moment. It's a train wreck of a moment that determines the rest of Edward Everett's career. If this book had been narrated by one of the many women Edward Everett jilts in his lifetime, I might not have had any sympathy for him at all. But because the author draws h [...]

    12. I decided to read this book because I'm trying to find a good baseball book to get my dad for his birthday this year. While this book is about a baseball player/coach, it isn't really about baseball. It's really just about being happy with the life you have instead of the life you wish you had. A pretty universal theme that we've all heard before. But very well written, with engaging characters and a pleasant pace. I enjoyed reading it very much. In a way, it kind of reminded me of Robb Forman D [...]

    13. An accomplished, well-written novel, but don't believe all the blurbs that say "It's not really about baseball, it's about [America] [modern life] [men][the life of modern American men]. Because there's a BUTTLOAD of baseball, which I had to skim past because baseball is fun in person and deadly on the page.

    14. Well written, but depressing. The main character, Edward Yates, makes a series of bad decisions and has some terrible luck. It makes it difficult to finish, but Schuster's talent as an author makes the journey worth it. Deserves to be amongst the pantheon of great baseball novels.

    15. This book had no plot to speak of, although some of the storylines were interesting. It just never built up to a climax and resolution the way most novels are written. Basically, it's the life story of a baseball player who struggles in the minor leagues for about 10 years, finally gets to the Major Leagues, has a devastating knee injury, and never makes it back. He makes a series of poor decisions, and his life continues to get worse as a result. In that sense, the book is very true to real-lif [...]

    16. This is so close to being a good book but Schuster didn't quite pull it off. Aside from the protagonist, the characters are not particularly well developed and the plot has just a few more outlandish events than I could take. That said, Schuster nails one thing: his depiction of the longing for success against long, long odds and crummy conditions that low-level was powerful.

    17. I love baseball but I found this depressing. One bad event after another - tragedy with the sport, tragedy with relationships, tragedy with child I really enjoyed the character and the development - but was glad to see this book end.

    18. In life as in baseball, regret stings. Whether that regret is a result of poor decisions or horrible quirks of fate doesn't make it less haunting. You're still left wondering "what if." This is the idea Joseph Schuster explores in his fantastic debut novel The Might Have Been.Thirty years ago, Edward Everett Yates got an unexpected call-up with the Cardinals, just when it was looking like his baseball career was about to flame out. But he blew out his knee before he was able to record an officia [...]

    19. Being a huge baseball nerd (including following minor league teams along with the majors), I should have absolutely loved Joseph M. Schuster's The Might Have Been. And since i didn't love it, i kind of felt disappointed. However, it still is a good book. One of the reasons i didn't love it was that it took me way longer than it should have to read the thing. For loving every aspect of what the novel discusses, i should have blazed through it, but it is a rather slowly paced written novel. Part o [...]

    20. Edward Everett Yates dreamed of becoming a Major League baseball player, but he ultimately got to play in just one game that didn’t even count. After toiling in the minor leagues for a decade, he is called up to play for the Cardinals in the summer of 1976. Then, a catastrophic knee injury dashes his hopes of proving himself in a game that gets called on account of rain before getting through the necessary five innings, meaning that Edward Everett’s career won’t even register in the record [...]

    21. Edward Everett Yates is a baseball player. That’s all he’s ever been. Players like Edward Everett will do whatever it takes to stay in the game and avoid “the World” of a mundane job and family obligations. Sometimes that involves making conscious decisions, but fate also has a way of intervening, like the freak injury that leaves Edward Everett with Moonlight Graham-like career statistics. But there is always a story behind the metrics, and that stats vs. story conflict is important in [...]

    22. Edward Everett Yeats, known through most of the book as Edward Everett, has had a lot of missed opportunities. He toiled in the minor leagues for a while, and finally made the major leagues. He rode the bench until he finally got his moment in the sun, but it was ripped away from him along with his baseball career. He started down the promising road of being a flower salesman, but gave it all up to take another shot at baseball. This is the first third of the book.When his playing career fizzled [...]

    23. Like many other reviewers, I am typically not a fan of baseball themed books (I think The Natural ruined my taste for these). This was a well-written but mostly depressing story about a minor league baseball player, Edward Everett, who gets his chance to play in the big leagues for a couple weeks. In one of these games, a knee injury sidelines him and ends his chances for a major league career. Fast forward 30 years and Edward is still in baseball--now as a manager of a small minor league team. [...]

    24. I know nothing about baseball. The very few times I've had to go to a baseball game I've hated it. I think the sport is boring and far too much attention gets paid to it. So you wouldn't think that this would be a book I'd enjoy but I did! First of all, it's about baseball but it's not. Baseball is the setting but honestly it's about failure and dreams and figuring out your own path. Edward gets a chance to play for the major leagues and then (as you can guess by the title) it doesn't quite work [...]

    25. I'm not a big fan of baseball so I skimmed through the details of the actual games -- except for the one game the main character, Edward Everett Yates, believes he could have had it all! Even though I'm not a big baseball fan, I could definitely relate to the notion of just missing the "big one" and the feeling of disappointment that ensues. I really appreciated the near-end of the text when the main character drives to meet his boss thinking he is going to get fired . . . and his boss recognize [...]

    26. More like a 2.5 than a 3. To say this book is about baseball is misleading. It's about obsession or chasing a dream way too long after you should have gone to Plan B- and going to Plan B and doing well and then forsaking it for the dream, yet again. You want to have some empathy for the protagonist but he's a bit of a jerk. However, he's a survivor who just when things seem to be going his way at critical decision points in his life always seems to take the wrong path or should I say the familia [...]

    27. I love baseball. I don’t hide that fact. When it comes to a baseball book I want some serious baseball. The Might Have Been falls short for me. I liked it, but I never loved it. To be fair I could never truly love a baseball book when they are talking about the Cardinals. Maybe if Edward Everett wasn’t a Cardinal I could have liked this book more. All joking about the Cardinals aside this was not an easy book to follow. Edward Everett is not a character I ever found very relatable. He had so [...]

    28. Redemption or near-redemption stories among has-beens, might have beens, and never-weres are common in baseball fiction (including one of my personal faves, "The Rookie" with Dennis Quaid). But here, Edward Yates' problems begin with a season-sidelining injury and continue throughout a life of insecurity, lack of ambition and focus, and fear of commitment (to women, children, and the career he always wanted). Still, it's a heartwarming tale that boldly chooses to spend most of its paper on the d [...]

    29. What would happen if you chose baseball over everything else at seemingly every crossroad in life? This is the story of Edward Everett Yates who during his first major league start is having the game of a lifetime until he is tragically injured in the fifth inning during a rainstorm. The game ended when he was injured and was not an official game so his stats, (he hit for the cycle) were not official. He continues to choose baseball over relationships with women who love him, the chance for a fa [...]

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