Cover image for Slouching toward Fargo : a two-year saga of sinners and St. Paul Saints at the bottom of the bush leagues with Bill Murray, Darryl Strawberry, Dakota Sadie, and me
Slouching toward Fargo : a two-year saga of sinners and St. Paul Saints at the bottom of the bush leagues with Bill Murray, Darryl Strawberry, Dakota Sadie, and me
Karlen, Neal.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Spike, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 362 pages : illustrations, 1 map ; 22 cm
General Note:
"An Avon book."

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV875.S73 K37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Relates the exploits of a minor league baseball team, owned by comedian Bill Murray, made up of an assortment of has-beens and oddball characters.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Freelance writer Karlen tells the antic story of how, in order to get back in the good graces of his former boss, Rolling Stone founder Jan Wenner, he agreed to spend a season covering the minor league St. Paul Saints. "Wenner made it clear to my beleaguered editor what he wanted done if I wanted back into Rolling Stone after a long stint as a prodigal: Bill Murray, a co-owner of the St. Paul Saints, and Darryl Strawberry, he of the notable rap sheet, had to be carved." But though he set out with the intention to write a hatchet job, Karlen was won over by Murray (who was hiding from fame), Strawberry (who was on his way back to the majors after drug and tax problems) and the Saints. His book is about how baseball can redeem the human spirit. In fact, just about everyone associated with the teamÄfrom owner Mike Veeck (son of the legendary baseball owner and showman Bill Veeck) to the author himselfÄfinds redemption. Karlen documents numerous team subplots (the travails of famous has-beens and anonymous hopefuls), comes across high-profile stories (e.g., those of former pro pitcher Jack Morris and Ila Borders, the first professional female pitcher) and re-creates a host of colorful characters, some charming (minor league fans), some despicable (TV and magazine people from the big cities). Readers not acquainted with the independent leagues will appreciate the portrayal of life on baseball's back roads. Unfortunately, Karlen reveals his own redemption within the first few pages, rendering later personal epiphanies anticlimactic. Plenty of rich anecdotes shine through the moralizing, but Karlen's entertaining book would have been even better had he trusted readers to draw their own conclusions about the beauty of baseball. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Karlen is a hip freelance writer whose book began as an assignment from Rolling Stone to get the dirt on comedian and independent baseball league team owner Bill Murray. Karlen, a Minnesota native, soon tired of that assignment and fell in love with Murray's team, the St. Paul Saints, whose hilarious exploits and hijinks make up this book. During this time, the Saints gained national attention when they signed the drug-plagued slugger Darryl Strawberry and a budding new star, J.D. Drew. What made the Saints so special, however, was also their president and chief promoter, Mike Veeck, son of legendary Hall of Fame showman Bill Veeck. Young Veeck's hilarious promotional antics have included hiring the team's 300-pound pig mascot. Karlen's main theme is that it is here in the Northern League where real baseball can still be found. This book updates Stefan Fatsis's Wild and Outside: How a Renegade Minor League Revived the Spirit of Baseball in America's Heartland (LJ 2/1/95), which chronicled the birth of the Northern League. Baseball connoisseurs will thoroughly enjoy this book. Recommended for larger libraries.ÄPaul M. Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.