Cougars and Snappers and Loons (Oh My!) by Dave Hoekstra: a review

This book ranks with Panek’s Waterloo Diamonds as the best books ever written about Midwest League baseball. It’s a book of roughly seventy essays on Midwest League topics.

Hoekstra, who writes for the Chicago Sun Times, has been writing essays, called “The Glove Compartment,” for publication in the Kane County Cougars’ gameday program for most of the team’s history. About sixty of the essays here originated as Glove Compartment pieces; the others were newly composed for the book. The result is episodic, of course, but it’s a reasonably thorough history and (as it says) field guide to the league. Moe Hill, Deacon Jones, and the 1951 Paris team are all profiled. Paul Molitor, Joey Meyer, and scores of Cubs are mentioned. The emphasis, though, is on the current teams and recent players.

Because of the book’s origins, there’s some repetition, but less than you’d expect. The essays are reprinted apparently as originally published, with notes at the end to establish what’s gone obsolete since they appeared in the KC programs. There are, unsurprisingly, a handful of factual errors, but none are really glaring.

All in all an excellent book. Highly recommended to all baseball fans, wherever you watch the game.


This review was originally published on A Fan’s Guide to the Midwest League. It is also available on LibraryThing.