cover image Senior Year: A Father, a Son, and High School Baseball

Senior Year: A Father, a Son, and High School Baseball

Dan Shaughnessy. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $24 (228pp) ISBN 978-0-618-72905-0

Caustic Boston Globe columnist Shaughnessy, bete noir of many a Red Sox fan, dials back the snark to tell a parent's story-his son, Sam's, senior year of high school, and the baseball season that accompanies it. Giving a chapter to each month, Shaughnessy tells of the prom, late-night parties and college visits that can make senior year stressful for parent and student alike; though, comparing his own experience to his son's, Shaugnessy frequently finds Sam has an easier go of it, snagging dates and above-average grades with equal ease. The young man's story really unfolds on the baseball diamond, where his considerable talents as a power hitter bring him the attention of Division I college programs. However, success doesn't do much to protect him from adolescent depression; as Sam writes in his college application essay, ""When I go 0-4, I want to hang myself in the closet."" Though Shaughnessy rests on too many ""back in my day"" digressions, anybody whose kid has played on a team will identify with him, sweating out each at-bat in the bleachers. Baseball fans will enjoy the book on another level, as well, not only for the detail with which Shaughnessy renders his son's games, but also for candid tales of legends like Earl Weaver and Reggie Jackson.