SEASON OF THE PITCH
Kerri Shipling is a wizard of the diamond, throwing strikes and laying down bunts with equal artistry. There is magic in her movements and mystery in her gaze. She looks right into us and through us, and is equally at home with the coolest kids in school as with Landing Powell, the team’s designated dork. When Landing launches a tape measure home run, we’re all convinced Kerri somehow made it happen. Only a midnight meeting at the ball field will let us know for sure.
TO BE FRANK
Frank has his Milwaukee Brewers, and when his friend Timmy moves away, not much else. The only poetry he knows is the grace of middle infielders, until Timmy’s letters show him new ways that words can be arranged. But then there is silence, and years of loneliness, until a reunion at Miller Park illuminates the joy of words and thrill of friendship like a lightning bolt triple drilled into the gap.
THUNDERHEART AND THE NEW ADDICTIONS
An orphan boy shines orange light onto his fellow captives in the form of Astros idolatry. Childhood is but preparation for their quest to the promised land of Houston. A highjacked van loaded with faithful makes it as far as the Astrodome parking lot, but a mysterious man appears out of nowhere and offers an irresistible alternative – a transcendental tailgate party on the northern tip of Uruguay.
MAKE ME ONE WITH EVERYTHING
An old man speaks of meaningfulness, provides a reason to be, a destiny that takes shape among stacks of baseball cards and memorabilia in the basement and far corners of a young man’s home. A river of names and numbers—Mazeroski, Ott, OPS, 714—sweep him away, but to where? To the ballpark, of course, to the irresistible draw of the grass, a team icon, the chaos of rolling dice, and the perfect order of a scorecard.
Grandpa’s team history of the Pirates is passed down to Sandy Ebbets like a family bible, only more sacred. Much more sacred. Sandy reads it fervently, and connects with the generations of his family and his team. History turns into memory, memory become fantasy, and an alternative baseball universe is born. Anything is possible in a world where the living speak to their creator, where a batter can dream .400.
There has been only one major leaguer ever from Roswell, New Mexico, Season of the Pitch
a five-week flash who then disappeared from baseball, not many To Be Frank
months before a UFO crashed there. Was he an alien ballplayer? Thunderheart......
Sam Doobins is determined to find out, he explains to Candy Make Me One With Everything
every night, his waitress at the George Webb Diner, Dreaming .400
until words finally make way for his feelings to land. Close Encounter
Ship Not Sinking
Durgy's Home Stand
Never Wears A Watch
Running From The Shackles
Expos Next Generation
SHIP NOT SINKING
Moonsher arrives like the second coming and departs like the sunset. His pitches are perfection, legend, what he is meant to do. He touches the lives of fathers and sons who aspire to attain his summit. Sons become fathers, and pass on the wisdom Moonsher shares: Do what you do completely, with your whole heart. It may seem useless, but do it anyway.
DURGY'S HOME STAND
Once you meet Jimmy Durgendoff, you never forget him, though half the things he says are impossible, until he makes them happen. At 37, Jimmy decides to be a major leaguer, and sets out blustering towards his goal. His first stop is as 25th man for the Clarion Sleephogs of the Pennsylvania Independent League. Mop-up roles are followed by shutout innings, then a complete game. The season is young and spring is for hope. Who’s to say Jimmy won’t get there some day?
NEVER WEARS A WATCH
“She rides opening day’s electricity all the way to Game Seven, brings clean up hitters to their knees. The ball boys eye her up and down as she walks through the clubhouse tunnel and whispers, “never more than this moment,” and yet she’s not vain. She would never hook a man, woman, or even a journalist and then set them free in a cloud of her own exhaust blowing their lonely harmonicas in strained worship.”
EXPOS NEXT GENERATION
Charlie Morris never stopped hurting from the Expos’ departure from Montreal in 2004, nor working on ways to will them back to town. But ten springs later, when he gives away all his possessions to intensify the singleness of his purpose, his daughter is more than a little concerned. So she hatches a plan to get him back his Expos, and by so doing, bring him back to her as well.
RUNNING FROM THE SHACKLES
No one ever hit the ball like Tunis, or threw like him either—a test tube superstar made of the ultimate blend of genetic matter. But then Tunis ran away and an Arms Race ensued, a Legs Race, too, a relentless race to create superhuman ballplayers. A new league forms, free of genetic restriction, where PEDs are only used to introduce human frailty.