Balls

Gorman Bechard, Author Plume Books $10.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-452-27294-1
Lots of writers have ideas for potentially great (or at least entertaining) books. Bechard, author of The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, had one too, but a good idea and potential don't automatically make for a good (or even entertaining) novel. Bechard, a dia-hard New York Mets fan and radio talk-show host wannabe, is in the Fantasy League of fiction writing with this story about major league baseball in the year 2000. The League's first female player, Louise ``Balls'' Gehrig, has just taken the field and is stealing bases and hearts, and generally making men look bad, with her lightning-quick speed, ferocious bat and ``long, black locks flowing freely onto her superbly sculpted shoulders.'' Bechard knows a lot more about baseball statistics than about creating original characters and a believable plot. Other than dodging death threats from a mysterious letter writer and settling for phone sex with her boyfriend, the ace pitcher of an opposing team, Gehrig never seems to struggle. She's unshakable-too confident and composed for a rookie, especially one in her unique position. Despite Bechard's masterful mimickry of the sports media-he does some decent impressions of TV announcers, newspaper columnists and even David Letterman (the number 7 reason why Dan Quayle will make a fine Commissioner of Baseball: very little spelling), the book is neither clever enough to be funny nor insightful enough to be thought-provoking. Which may mean it's just perfect for a TV-movie-it's already been optioned by 20th-Century Fox. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Paperback - 382 pages - 978-1-5369-4811-0
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