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August 28, 2003|Lonnie White

What: "They Don't Play Hockey in Heaven."

Author: Ken Baker.

Publisher: Lyons Press.

Price: $22.95.

Ken Baker may not have made a name for himself as an NHL goaltender, but his story is worth reading. In this autobiography, you can't help but root for him as he details his comeback in the sport he loves after undergoing a five-hour operation to have a pituitary tumor removed.

Baker, who led a U.S. 17-and-under team to the world championship in 1987 and was a standout goalie at Colgate, carries readers through every step of his journey back to hockey with the Bakersfield Condors of the West Coast Hockey League.

His comeback starts after a vivid dream he had in 1999 of playing goal for Colgate and ends with his first professional start with the Condors in 2002. Baker's determination is inspirational and his colorful descriptions of everyday experiences make this a fun and easy read.

Baker, the West Coast bureau chief for Us Weekly, takes the reader inside the life of a goaltender while also providing a detailed snapshot of what it's like to be sick and not know it. For 12 years he struggled with health problems, until doctors discovered the life-threatening tumor at the base of his brain.

-- Lonnie White

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