William Hazelgrove’s THE PITCHER evoked childhood memories most young males have. Playing baseball and some day making the Major Leagues. For me it was playing for the Dodgers. The only problem was I didn’t have the talent. Didn’t stop the dreams though. I played YMCA ball growing up, but wasn’t good enough for high school ball. I was an average ballplayer at best. Never stopped the dreaming though.
In THE PITCHER, Ricky Hernandez is a young man that has a gift. He can throw a fast ball. But he has control problems. His Mom works with him as much as she can. An absent father who only comes around when he needs money, none ever flows the other way, and her natural pride in her heritage keeps the money short.
She does everything she can to help him to realize his dream, their dream, to make the freshman high school team. Everything including neglecting her health.
She wants to recruit her neighbor to coach him. Jack Langford who pitched in the Majors for twenty-five years, who won the seventh game of the Wrld Series in ’78. Langford has his own problems. He practically lives in his garage, coming out only to buy beer trying to drink his problems away.
His Mom’s bullying works after a fashion and she gets The Pitcher out of his garage and to working with the boy.
Of course, Eric Payne helps also. Eric is a blond-haired, blue-eyed young man who takes great delight in taunting Ricky with racial name calling and put downs. He has parents who will pull dirty tricks, whatever it takes, to insure their son’s future. Ricky knows Eric doesn’t like him because he can’t throw a fast ball.
A quite interesting novel of a small boy with dreams, two adults that find each other, and try to infuse the one thing the boy lacks: confidence in himself and the people that want to help him.
I ripped through Author Hazelgrove’s book very quickly and was quite satisfied with the ending. He knows how to infuse his characters with real emotions and actions.
Recommend this one strongly and available HERE.