Short Season and Other Stories

Jerry Klinkowitz, Author, Jerome Klinkowitz, Author Johns Hopkins University Press $17.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-8018-3614-5
This impressive collection of 28 interrelated stories follows the fortunes of a fictitious A-level minor-league baseball team, the Mason City Royals, through a season. Each short narrative focuses on a particular person or eventfrom the bus driver who doesn't feel comfortable unless the bus is going at least 80 m.p.h. to Boom-Box Night, when fans bring radios to the park and change the volume and channel on cue. The tone of the tales ranges widely. There is the slapstick ""Ball Two,'' in which a player from Panama and a teammate from the Dominican Republic come to blows after the Panamanian calls the Dominican a word that has friendly connotations in the one country but is disparaging in the other. ``Baseball Bingo'' is a clever account of how a shy P.A. announcer uses the bingo calls to broadcast a dinner invitation to a pretty fan he's watched for many games. Klinkowitz's style pleasantly parallels the rhythms of the sport he obviously loves. Most of the time his stories proceed at a leisurely pace; then in brief, quick moments he captures indelibly the atmosphere of minor-league baseball, where fans are perhaps more raucous than in the majors and where players struggle to realize their dreams. (April)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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