I have to admit that I am not a baseball fan, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of games I have attended, and they were all lavish events paid for by some vendor seeking my business. With this background I was not sure how much I would enjoy a baseball oriented novel, I was very pleasantly surprised with Pinch Hitter.

I read a huge number of books, and often times they contain complex and convoluted plots, so convoluted that you almost need to take notes as you are reading, actually my wife invented a great system for me, a pad of Post-it notes cut into ½ inch strips that I can use to mark important pages. Pinch Hitter did not require the use of my high tech system. The plot is deceptively simple, and the characters are few and well defined. This is a feel good book. If you are looking for a few hours of escapism, Pinch Hitter will hit the spot. There are no evil villains to vanquish, and no world that needs saving, just a great uplifting story.

Our hero is David Robbins a middle aged, middle manager who works for a large retail outlet. As a teen David and his older brothers had been skilled athletes in the world of high school baseball, Alas older brother Danny was seriously hurt during a practice, and his budding career came to a crashing halt. Distraught, David vowed to never play the game again. Although he has remained a loyal fan and spends countless hours in the batting cages, David has long since vowed never to play again.

It comes as a surprise when Davids boss asks him as a favor to play in an amateur league, the team is short a player for a ‘big game’. Torn between his vow taken almost 30 years earlier and loyalty to his friend and boss, David plays the game. It transpires that one of the opposing teams players father is none other than the  Major League  Team manager for the San Diego Armada. A team who has started the season strong, but finds itself in severe trouble in the last six weeks of the season, their playoff chances seem to be waning with each game. David has that natural ability to hit, and although much older than the average player could be exactly what San Diego needs.

Can David shake off the demons of his past? Could a 45 year old really become a pinch hitter in the big leagues?

I really like Dean Whitney’s story telling approach, he has taken a subject that obviously he knows a great deal about and managed to make it appeal to non baseball fans. He takes the time to explain the terminology and strategy of the game making this a story accessible to any reader.

You can pick up your copy of Pinch Hitter from Amazon.

Simon Barrett


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