Tue August 25, 2009
"Life, Death, and Mercy in Minor League America." (Encore presentation.)
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – (Note: This program originally aired earlier this year.) On this edition of our show, we hear from S.L. Price, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated since 1994. Price's new book (which was just recently published) is "Heart of the Game: Life, Death, and Mercy in Minor League America" --- and it mainly concerns the life and death of Mike Coolbaugh, a Tulsa Drillers coach who was instantly killed at a game in July of 2007 when a foul ball rocketed off his teammate Tino Sanchez's bat. (The drive hit the back of Coolbaugh's neck, immediately and completely cutting off the blood supply to his brain.) He was 35 years old --- and the father of two, with a third child on the way. He was also --- as they like to say in the Minors --- "a lifer." "Heart of the Game" is a memorable, well-reported story about two ballplayers whose lives were at once very different and quite similar. It's also a fascinating account of what playing baseball in today's minor leagues is actually like.