The Bullpen Gospels

The Bullpen Gospels

Major League Dreams of A Minor League Veteran

Book - 2010
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From the humble heights of a Class-A pitcher''s mound to the deflating lows of sleeping on his gun-toting grandmother''s air mattress, veteran reliever Dirk Hayhurst steps out of the bullpen to deliver the best pitch of his career--a raw, unflinching and surprisingly moving account of his life in the minors.

I enjoyed the visualizations, maybe a little too much, and would stop only when I felt I''d centered myself. . .or after one of my teammates hit me in the nuts with the rosin bag while my eyes were closed.

Hilariously self-effacing and brutally honest, Hayhurst captures the absurdities, the grim realities, and the occasional nuggets of hard-won wisdom culled from four seasons in the minors. Whether training tarantulas to protect his room from thieving employees in a backwater hotel, watching the raging battles fought between his partially paralyzed father and his alcoholic brother, or absorbing the gentle mockery of some not-quite-starstruck schoolchildren, Dirk reveals a side of baseball, and life, rarely seen on ESPN.

My career has crash-landed on the floor of my grandma''s old sewing room. If this is a dream come true, then dreams smell a lot like mothballs and Bengay.

Somewhere between Bull Durham and The Rookie, The Bullpen Gospels takes an unforgettable trot around the inglorious base paths of minor league baseball, where an inch separates a ball from a strike, and a razor-thin margin can be the difference between The Show or a long trip home.

"It''s not often that someone comes along who is a good pitcher and a good writer." --King Kaufman, Salon

"After many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years spent in the bullpen, I can verify that this is a true picture of baseball."
--Tim McCarver

"There are great truths within, of the kind usually unspoken. And as he expresses them, Dirk Hayhurst describes himself as ''a real person who moonlights as a baseball player.'' In much the same manner, while The Bullpen Gospels chronicles how all of us face the impact when we learn reality is both far meaner and far richer than our dreams--it also moonlights as one of the best baseball books ever written."
--Keith Olbermann

"A bit of Jim Bouton, a bit of Jim Brosnan, a bit of Pat Jordan, a bit of crash Davis, and a whole lot of Dirk Hayhurst. Often hilarious, sometimes poignant. This is a really enjoyable baseball read."
--Bob Costas

"Fascinating. . .a perspective that fans rarely see."
--Trevor Hoffman, pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers

"The Bullpen Gospels is a rollicking good bus ride of a book. Hayhurst illuminates a baseball life not only with wit and humor, but also with thought-provoking introspection."
--Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated

"Dirk Hayhurst has written a fascinating, funny and honest account on life in the minor leagues. I loved it. Writers can''t play baseball, but in this case, a player sure can write."
--Tim Kurkjian, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine, analyst/reporter ESPN television

"Bull Durham meets Ball Four in Dirk Hayhurst''s hilarious and moving account of life in baseball''s glamour-free bush leagues."
--Rob Neyer,

"If Holden Caulfield could dial up his fastball to 90 mph, he might have written this funny, touching memoir about a ballplayer at a career--and life--crossroads. He might have called it ''Pitcher in the Rye.'' Instead, he left it to Dirk Hayhurst, the only writer in the business who can make you laugh, make you cry and strike out Ryan Howard."
--King Kaufman, Salon

"The Bullpen Gospels is a funny bone-tickling, tear duct-stimulating, feel-good story that will leave die-hard baseball fans--and die-hard human beings, for that matter--well, feeling good."
--Bob Mitchell, author of Once Upon a Fastball

Dirk Hayhurst is a part time professional baseball player who enjoys comic books, video games, and a good sugar high. Dirk is a former member of the San Diego Padres, and currently a member of the Toronto Blue Jays where he is temporarily on the disabled list. He makes his home in Twinsburg, Ohio, with his wife Bonnie and their pet garfoose.
Publisher: New York : Citadel Press, 2010.
ISBN: 9780806531434
Branch Call Number: 796. 357092 HAY H
Characteristics: viii, 340 p.


From the critics

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Aug 15, 2015

Really enjoyed this tale of a year in the minor leagues. Contains sophomoric hijinx, a problematic family life, insights into baseball as a career, and likely considerably less swearing than actually occurs. Okay, maybe a little too much focus on the off field shenanigans, but I did laugh out loud several times. Will definitely look to other books and columns from Mr Hayhurst.

Mar 07, 2012

Sort of a "Ball Four" about the minor leagues. Talks about the minor league life, but also about Hayhurst's family situation. Looking forward to reading his follow-up.

Aug 06, 2011

Fantastic book all the humor of Bull Durham with a very real twist
Dirk Hayhurst mixes baseball with everyday life tells his story makes you chuckle and makes the reader realize how fortunate we all are.

Feb 24, 2011

This book was unusual for the genre. Hayhurst glorified neither himself nor his sport. It comes across as an honest account of a less than glorious ride. A worthwhile read for a mature baseball fan.

Jul 14, 2010

I laughed, I cried, I made a mess in the shower. This is easily the most enjoyable book I've read this year. Dirk Hayhurst sits you, the reader, next to him on his bus ride through the minors in his make it or break it year in baseball. Dirk feeds you a steady diet of fastballs as you anxiously turn pages on the go-for-broke, reckless life of a minor leaguer. Kangaroo Court, getting teabagged on a bus and teammates like Ox, will have you laughing out loud. But watch out for his curve balls. Dirk weaves these into his story to remind you what this story is really about: Baseball players are people too. "The Bullpen Gospels" is wonderfully written, and when it's time from the Grim Reaper, Hayhurst is more than ready. The only downside is that the next installment won't be out until 2012, in the meantime Dirk Hayhurst can be followed on Twitter at @TheGarfoose.

Jun 29, 2010

Overall a good read. I enjoyed his thoughts on life. Didn't enjoy his interactions with other players as much and some stories went on too long. Worth reading. He has apparently some sort of faith which is reflected in his world view, though not his use of language. Not for young baseball fans.

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Jul 14, 2010

RonNasty64 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Jul 14, 2010

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Jul 14, 2010

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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Jul 17, 2010

"Mr. Nasty, the old bat eater."

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