Bases Loaded

Rogers Hornsby said, "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." If you can't get to Fenway Park or Camden Yards, grab a bag of peanuts and enjoy these books about the boys of summer.

Wild Pitch

By Mike Lupica

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This is what happens when a washed-up one-time pitching phenom and all-around jerk gets a second chance-and discovers that none of it is exactly what he expected it to be.

Showtime Charlie Stoddard now occupies himself at card shows, one-night stands, and nearby watering holes. His ex-wife still talks to him, but keeps her distance (about 3,000 miles); his son won't even do that--all in all, a life filled with peaches and cream. And then a decidedly unorthodox therapist starts working on his arm, and Charlie begins to dream again . . . especially now that the Boston Red Sox have lost two starting pitchers and seen their lead over the Yankees sliced in half. Can Charlie make it back to the bigs? Will he ever convince his ex-wife to take him seriously again? Will his son (the . . . well, never mind who he is-we've got to save something) even acknowledge his existence? Can the Red Sox--dare we say it?--shake off the collective curses of the Bambino, the Buckner, and Bucky-expletive-Dent?
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The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant

By Douglass Wallop

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Decades before Field of Dreams there was The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, the classic baseball fable that became the hit movie and musical Damn Yankees. Now a new generation is ready to discover this delightful book, restored to its original title, with a new introduction by baseball writer Bill James. Baseball lovers everywhere can identify with Joe Boyd, a die-hard Washington Senators fan who puts his soul in hock to help them wrest the pennant away from the hated, all-conquering Yankees. Transformed by the sulfurous Mr. Applegate's satanic magic into twenty-two-year-old phenom Joe Hardy, he leads the hapless Senators in a torrid late-season pursuit of the men in pinstripes. Joe has until September 21st before the deal becomes final...and eternal....

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The Fan

By Peter Abrahams

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Major league baseball sensation Bobby Rayburn signs a multimillion-dollar contract with the Sox. In the face of divorce, destitution, and desperation, the only thing that keeps Gil Renard going is rooting for the Sox--and the team's new savior, Bobby Rayburn.
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Suicide Squeeze

By Victor Gischler

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The high spot of Teddy Folger's life was the day in 1954 that he got a very special autographed baseball card from Joe DiMaggio himself. It's been downhill ever since. Which is why he just unloaded his freeloading wife and torched his own comic-book store in a strip plaza in Mobile, Alabama. Now Teddy's sitting pretty at the Tiki Bar in Pensacola, Florida, chugging cocktails, unaware that he just pulled off the stupidest insurance scam in American history." "Enter Conner Samson. The down-on-his-luck repo man has just been hired to repossess Teddy's boat. What he doesn't know is there's a priceless stowaway on board - a signed baseball card that some men are willing to kill for. Like Ahira Kurisaka, Yakuza boss and rabid collector of American pop culture. He already paid top dollar for a fingernail clipping from Elvis. Now he wants Folger's DiMaggio card, and has just unleashed a team of bounty hunters to get it for him

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Strike Zone

By Jim Bouton

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Sam Ward is a 32-year-old career minor leaguer called up for a September cup of coffee with the Chicago Cubs. Ernie Kolcka is a veteran umpire who'll end a lengthy career with the season's final game between the Cubs and the Phillies. The winner of the game will go on to the play-offs; the loser goes home. Circumstances coalesce to entangle Ward and Kolcka.

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Slider

By Patrick Robinson

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Each summer, on the fields of glorious Cape Marlin, off the New England coast, the nation's best college players gather to play the most important baseball of their lives. Jack Faber is a young hotshot pitcher with an unhittable slider and a rocket for a fastball. He plays for the fabled Seapuit Seawolves and dreams of making the Big Show. But a new coach, the scowling Bruno Riazzi, a former pro catcher, resents the kid's celebrity status and decides to knock him down a peg or two. And he stops at nothing to make it happen. Humiliated, Jack loses his lifelong art, and with it his passion for the game, as well as, mysteriously, his ability to throw. A devastated Jack Faber is released from the St. Charles College roster. But the Seawolves coaches won't give up on him.

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Screwball

By David Ferrell

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Could the curse of the Bambino be over? For eighty-four, count 'em, eighty-four miserable seasons, the Boston Red Sox have endured nothing but defeat and heartbreak. Finally, there is hope. From the hinterlands of Texas comes the sensational Ron Kane, a strapping rookie pitcher whose fastball scorches the radar gun at an ungodly 110 miles per hour. He can also handle the bat. And play the outfield. With Kane dazzling sellout crowds, the Red Sox are suddenly a juggernaut. The only fly in the ointment -- a big, ugly horsefly -- is the fact that murder seems to be stalking the club. Chicago . . . Detroit . . . Kansas City . . . wherever the Sox play, a killer strikes, marking his victims with strange ritualistic symbols.

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Murder at Fenway Park

By Troy Soos

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On a visit to Cooperstown, Mickey Rawlings, the oldest living ex-ballplayer, discovers his baseball card and is transported back to the Boston of April 1912--when the newspapers are full of stories about the Titanic , which has just sunk, and Fenway Park is brand new. Rawlings, a utility infielder just brought up by the Red Sox, reports to Fenway and trips over the body of Red Corriden, whose head has been smashed by a baseball bat.

Also available as an audio book to download.

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Hanging Curve

By Troy Soos

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April 1922: five years after East St. Louis is scarred by the worst racial violence in American history, Mickey Rawlings' team, the St. Louis Browns, loses a game to the St. Louis Cubs, a black semi-pro team. When the Cubs' pitcher is found dead, the KKK is suspected, and Mickey gets caught up in a side of American life he's never experienced before.
An electronic audio book that may be downloaded to a personal player.
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Diamond Place

By Robin Lee Hatcher

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This third book in the Hart's Crossing series finds a baseball-playing, ten-year-old girl determined to make a love connection between her own single mother and her widowed baseball coach.

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