"In this autobiographical sweep through the mists of baseball’s past, the author recounts his summer of professional baseball as a pitcher/bus driver for a Class C team in Missoula, Montana in 1956. Long road trips through the Rockies gave him time to reflect on his place in the infrastructure of the game of baseball as well as to search for sexual fulfillment somewhere in the far reaches of the minor league system. The dirt and the grime of bush league baseball did nothing either to dim the author’s hopes that he would succeed as a pitcher or to discourage him from seeking a woman whose sexual frustrations matched his. Interwoven among the descriptions of games won and lost is a panoply of life off the field in a small town for whose citizens the Missoula Timberjacks were the only diversion. A visit from resident hookers, a near-disaster on a bus run, skinny-dipping in an icy river, racing another team’s bus through noon traffic - all color the perceptions of a young man who brought a keen sensitivity to his summer of new experiences. Always aware that at any moment he could be released by the team and conscious of a yearning for some semblance of sexual gratification, the author battled his way through a summer that exposed his average gifts as an athlete and as a lothario. There follow a handful of personal essays and reflective notes on all manner of things, from the author’s adventures with earthquakes and floods during his sabbatical in the South Pacific to his attempt to separate fact from fiction when dealing with hero worship in a high school setting. An overlay of dry humor imbues this collection with enough irony to disguise the lack of substance. Fortunately, the price is right."
About Tom Yankus
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Published April 7, 2000
Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction.