The Might Have Been by Joe Schuster
A Novel

87%

9 Critic Reviews

This moving tale will engage even nonbaseball fans as Schuster examines, without succumbing to sentiment or an easy resolution, the cost of chasing a dream.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

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 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.
 
Praise for The Might Have Been

“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 more 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)


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Joe Schuster

See more books from this Author
Joseph M. Schuster lives near St. Louis, Missouri, and teaches at Webster University. His short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, and The Missouri Review, among others. He is married and the father of five children.
 
Published March 20, 2012 by Ballantine Books. 352 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Might Have Been
All: 9 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Jan 23 2012

This is a terrific story that goes beyond the sport and deals with promise and aspirations, dreams and disappointments.

Read Full Review of The Might Have Been : A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jan 16 2012

This moving tale will engage even nonbaseball fans as Schuster examines, without succumbing to sentiment or an easy resolution, the cost of chasing a dream.

Read Full Review of The Might Have Been : A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Book Reporter

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Magras on Mar 29 2012

Schuster introduces too many players and gives us too much play-by-play. Like a lot of novels or films about sports, THE MIGHT HAVE BEEN doesn’t avoid clichés.

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St. Louis Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Harry Levins on Mar 17 2012

This well-told book is about Yates' chances and accidents, and what Yates does with life.

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Time Out Chicago

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Messinger on Mar 22 2012

Though baseball fans will love the richly textured descriptions of minor-league parks and life, the larger human story here is universal.

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Kansas City Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Jane Henderson on Apr 18 2012

...a lovely, poignant, heartbreaker of a baseball novel

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Baseball America

Excellent
Reviewed by James Bailey on Mar 22 2012

Through Edward Everett, Schuster illuminates a side of the game utterly devoid of glamour and often even hope.

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White Rhino Partners

Good
Reviewed by Al Chase on Feb 22 2012

Schuster has found just the right voice for allowing the reader to feel and taste and smell each of the major episodes and settings in the innings of Everett's life.

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Read Handed Blog

Good
Reviewed by Julie

Read this book if you love baseball. Read this book if you enjoy literary fiction. And if you love baseball and reading literary fiction, like me, you won't regret picking up Joseph M. Schuster's debut novel The Might Have Been.

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Reader Rating for The Might Have Been
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 65 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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