When Panek’s editor suggested that he write a book about the resurgence of the minor leagues, he decided the way to research that book was to learn a lot about the 1992 Waterloo Diamonds. The result was a very different book than his editor probably expected.
This book is almost entirely about how the Diamonds died. It’s a portrait of the owners, the team officers, and the city slowing coming to realize that the team was no longer viable, and of the efforts of a large number of people to stave off what was perhaps inevitable. It’s also an exploration of the causes of that death. Waterloo Diamonds is a wonderful, if sad, book, and its great strength is its sympathetic portraits of the principal characters. They didn’t all agree, and their differences are the drama. Excellent book; if you can find a copy I highly recommend it.
This short review was originally published on A Fan’s Guide to the Midwest League, and was later republished on LibraryThing
Actually, this review was originally published on February 3, 1996, in Joel’s Lansing Lugnuts Notes.