This is a modestly successful attempt to answer two related questions: ""What are the minors like? And can they survive?"" The unglamorous barnstorming aspects -- replete with tiring bus rides, shabby hotels and minimal meal money -- were documented with more conviction in the recent Some Are Called Clowns (KR, p. 279). Yet, Ryan's purpose is far broader as he treats an essential part, if not the very backbone, of the big leagues -- one which has been declining steadily since TV and the growing popularity of outdoor recreation. Examining various classifications of the minors (from Rookie League to AAA) which are geographically cross-sectioned from Kinston, N.C. and Appleton, Wisc., to Albuquerque, N.M., with its drive-in stadium, the author regards the existing leagues with as much appreciation as regret. For its personnel are neglected, the playing conditions primitive, and most of the major league organizations behind them remiss to the point of culpability. The minors must be protected, yes -- catch those cheap bleacher seats while you can.