A Globe and Mail Best Book
A National Post Best Book of the Year
A passionate ode to baseball, its culture, and its community, which both celebrates and challenges the game – and reminds us why it really matters.
For Stacey May Fowles, the game of baseball is one of "long pauses punctuated by tiny miracles." In this entertaining and thoughtful book, Fowles gives us a refreshingly candid and personal perspective on subjects ranging from bat flips to bandwagoners, from the romance of spring training to the politics of booing, from the necessity of taking a hard look at players' injuries and mental health issues to finding solace at the ballpark.
Fowles confronts head-on the stereotype that female fans lack real knowledge about the game, and also calls out the "boys will be boys" attitude and its implications both on and off the field. She also shares her reverence for the no-hitter, her memories of going to the ballpark with her dad, and the challenges of falling in love with someone who didn't like baseball. Throughout the book, she offers exhilarating snapshots of the Toronto Blue Jays' 2015 and 2016 seasons, and gathers a selection of inspiring "baseball life advice" quotes from players and others that provide unexpected insight into how we could all live better lives.
With remarkable verve, intelligence, and an unabashed enthusiasm, Fowles explores how we can use the lens of baseball to examine who we are. And in this passionate ode to the game, its culture, and its community, she reminds us that although baseball can break your heart, it will always find a way to make it whole again.
STACEY MAY FOWLES is an award-winning novelist, journalist, and essayist, and author of the popular Baseball Life Advice newsletter. She has written about sports for the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Blue Jays Nation, Torontoist, the National Post, Deadspin, Hazlitt, and Vice Sports, among others. She has been a frequent guest on CBC Radio's Metro Morning and is a former member of q's sports panel. She lives in Toronto.
“This is beautiful. Stacey has used her own experiences at the ballpark to reveal what each and every fan has felt but didn’t know why. She captures what we all love about the game.”
-- Buck Martinez, author of Change Up and the play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays
“Fowles’ writing about her love of the game and the role of baseball in her life is honest, funny, touching, detailed, and charming. You do not need to be a sports fan or a baseball fan to enjoy this book; it is for anyone who appreciates beautiful writing, who has struggled to find their place in this world, or who has loved anything more than they can explain.”
-- Jessica Luther, author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct
"[Fowles] brings a perspective that's all too rare." -- New York Times
"By bringing a fresh voice to an old, staid game, everything seems new again. . . . [Baseball] fans anywhere will relate to her love of the ballpark as her 'favourite place in the world.'" -- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Stacey May Fowles left me spellbound. These essays take the reader on a rich journey. She writes with such passion, and challenges us to look beyond the stat sheet in order to drink deeply from a game that is so much more than the players who play it." -- R.A. Dickey, from his Foreword
"A sharp, affecting meditation of the game and what its wins, walk-offs, losses, errors, injuries and (rarely) fights say about life. . . . Stacey May Fowles says this game saved her, and Baseball Life Advice might just return the favour right back to you." -- National Post
"Fowles has penned an instant classic on the grand old game with the heart of a true fan." -- Post City
"I defy any baseball fan to pick up this book and not find something they can relate to. . . . She ultimately crafts one of the best books about the game I've read in years. Baseball has so much to teach us if we let it, and in Baseball Life Advice, Stacey May Fowles gives readers just a taste of what the sport can bring to an open heart." -- 90feetfromhome.com
"Fowles does an exceptional job of revealing how the game has made her whole, sharing incredibly personal insights and bringing topics to the table that deserve more light to be shed upon them, from a unique perspective. Mixing in the fun of spring training, the idea of the baseball gods and the power they hold, the magic of no-hitters and more, she opens the door to ideas to appeal to everyone. The book is one written for every fan." -- The Hardball Times