The True Account ), one of the funniest and most heartfelt baseball sto"/>

WAITING FOR TEDDY WILLIAMS

Howard Frank Mosher, Author . Houghton Mifflin $24 (280p) ISBN 978-0-618-19722-4

New York baseball fans won't like this book at all. In Mosher's ninth novel (after The True Account ), one of the funniest and most heartfelt baseball stories in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox beat the Yankees to win their division, then go on to whip the Mets to win the World Series. Eight-year-old Ethan "E.A." Allen lives in the rural Vermont village of Kingdom Common. Redheaded, fatherless and home-schooled, E.A. longs to do two things in life—play baseball for the Red Sox and find out who his father is. E.A. is raised on a run-down farm by his smart, cheerful mother, Gypsy Lee, who writes wacky country-and-western songs, and his grandmother, a mean old biddy who swears Bucky Dent's home run in 1978 put her in a wheelchair for life. One night a drifter called Teddy with a mysterious connection to the Allen family shows up at the farm, and soon he's giving E.A. tips on batting, fielding and baserunning. Nine years later and after countless adventures, E.A. is a hotshot pitcher. Aided by Teddy and Cajun Stan the Baseball Man, E.A. ends up pitching for the nearly deflated and defunct Red Sox. His big league adventures are a riotous string of baseball antics involving even more screwball characters like the Sox manager, Legendary Spence, whose talking macaw, Curse of the Bambino, sits on his shoulder in the dugout and torments him by saying, "New York Yankees, number one." This is a baseball fantasy, a warm and hilarious tale of dreams come true. Agent, Dan Mandel. (Aug. 18)

Forecast: Mosher is a bookseller's dream, embarking on a coast-to-coast tour every year. This year he's bringing a slide show with him, dubbed "Baseball and the Writing Life," and should win over more diehard fans, even far from his New England stomping grounds.

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
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