They Don't Play Hockey in Heaven by Ken Baker
A Dream, A Team, and My Comeback Season

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Synopsis

"A riveting and often hilarious account." -The Hockey News

"Inspirational . . . colorful descriptions make this a fun read." -Los Angeles Times "One of the best sports books of the year." -Booklist

Ken Baker wanted nothing more than to play ice hockey with the pros-until a brain tumor cut his dreams short while in college. After surgery and several years of rehab, Baker, who in high school was a top prospect for the U.S. Olympic team, put his successful journalism career on hold to attempt the seemingly impossible: a comeback.

He moved away from his family to become the third-string goalie for the Bakersfield Condors, an AA-level minor-league team in the dusty oil town of Bakersfield, California. At the age of thirty-one, Baker became the oldest rookie in all of pro-hockey, facing 100-m.p.h. slap shots and long bus rides, hostile fans and cheap motel rooms, body bruises, and battle-worn teammates.

From his visit to an NHL training camp to his first nerve-rattled minutes as a pro, Baker joins the rookies who still dream of making it to the Show, the veterans long past their prime, and the obsessive fans who keep them going. When the season is over, Baker's pro-hockey adventure ends up teaching him nearly everything he will ever need to know about life.
 

About Ken Baker

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KEN BAKER is the West Coast executive editor at Us Weekly and his work has appeared in The Washington Post, Premiere, and ESPN magazine. A native of Buffalo, New York, Baker is also the author of the critically acclaimed Man Made: A Memoir of My Body. He has all his teeth.
 
Published September 1, 2003 by Lyons Press. 288 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for They Don't Play Hockey in Heaven

Publishers Weekly

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Eight years after his college hockey career ended and two years after a successful brain surgery, Baker, a writer for U.S. Weekly, decided to try to play professional hockey for the first time.

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BC Books

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Despite Baker's efforts to make this a story of determination and inspiration, it is basically a tale of hockey life in a league where the arenas hold no more than 5,000 or 6,000 fans.

Jul 13 2005 | Read Full Review of They Don't Play Hockey in Hea...

BC Books

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Instead of worrying about a league few really seemed to miss as it committed hari-kari, maybe it's worth taking a look at people who aren't playing hockey for the money.

Jul 13 2005 | Read Full Review of They Don't Play Hockey in Hea...

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