“Katya Cengel is a talented feature writer with a fresh and breezy style and a knack for capturing personalities. Bluegrass Baseball tells of minor league baseball dreams and struggles—the gritty realities and brief careers of players she met in 2010 with four Kentucky baseball teams.”—Jeffrey P. Beck, East Tennessee State University

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Bluegrass Baseball is one of five finalists for the 2013 Kentucky Literary Award.

Bluegrass Baseball performs a reality check for prospective players and owners in the minor leagues.”
Dorothy Seymour Mills, New York Journal of Books

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“Cengel isn’t writing for fans of the corporate teams, or MLB, but lovers of the game itself.” —Ben Phelan,  LEO Weekly. 

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“Life in the minors is devoid of chartered planes, fame and fortune, but these vivid, personal stories of ordinary people with a dedicated passion and drive for the game will serve as inspiration for all.” Kathleen Gerard, Shelf Awareness

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“The author provides a rare glimpse into what it requires to be a big leaguer and the cruelty and hardship endured along the way" 
Brian Gardner, Ace Weekly

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The Louisville Courier-Journal reviewed Bluegrass Baseball.

"Minor league ball, major league dreaming"
John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune

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“While Bluegrass Baseball is centered in Kentucky, the experiences of the players and employees are universal. It provides excellent insight into just what the minor leagues mean to just about anyone involved in the game.”
—James Bailey for Baseball America

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Bluegrass Baseball distinguishes itself through Cengel's detailed reporting as well as her willingness to extend the book's reach beyond the players themselves.” —Benjamin Hill of

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Bluegrass Baseball was recommended in the East Bay Express’ The Books We Loved in 2012: Our picks for the best books of the year.

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Bluegrass Baseball was reviewed in the San Jose Mercury News 


Katya was a guest on NPR's A Look at Independent League Baseball, August 24, 2016. You can listen to the show here.

Bluegrass Baseball was on the World Series-winning San Francisco Giants’ pregame show Memorial Day 2013 weekend with Marty Lurie.

Read KPBS’s story on Bluegrass Baseball

Read Radio WFPL's write up of Bluegrass Baseball

Listen to Ron Barr interview Katya on Sports Byline USA, America's #1 Sports Talk Show

Katya was interviewed on Cover to Cover with Denny Smithson

Listen to Katya on Front Page with Chuck Mraz

Listen to Drew Deener interview Katya on Kentucky’s WKRD-AM Early Bird Show, from August 29, 2012. Interview starts at 30:10.

Katya feeds a fawn

Katya on the beach in Haiti interviewing fishermen.

Photo: Geoff Oliver Bugbee

Bluegrass Baseball Reviews