With The Might-Have-Been, Joseph Schuster examines the cost of not letting go of unfulfilled dreams. Edward Everett Yates, our "hero," is a minor league baseball player who achieves his dream of playing in the Big Show. Then on what should have been the best night of his life, his dream is shattered along with his knee. But the game of baseball is a hard mistress to forget. What follows is Edward Everett's struggle for the next thirty years as he tries to come to terms with broken dreams and bad choices.
What intrigued me about this story are two things: First, this is not a "sports miracle" story. Edward Everett doesn't bounce back to find greatness or fame. Instead he finds regret and broken relationships. But he still has a life to live. That is the "miracle" that he tries to push forward, making plenty of poor choices and mistakes along the way, hanging on to hope that he can find a life to be content with.
Second, it focuses on what I consider the mundane aspects of baseball. The reader does not see the bright lights of the stadiums nor the famous and popular. Instead the focus is on the harsher characteristics of baseball. You see the behind-the-scenes trials of those who give their all to the game only to find that their all is not enough.
Good for those waiting for Calico Joe by John Grisham.