cover image Another Jackie Robinson

Another Jackie Robinson

Rudolf Steiner, M. L. Hester. Tudor Publishers, $22.5 (189pp) ISBN 978-0-936389-44-8

Hester's endearing, nostalgic yarn set in Alma, N.C., during the early 1950s evokes bygone times--both in the national lifestyle and in the life of its youthful narrator--with vividness and humor. E.Z. Poole, 14-year-old orphan, part-time utility infielder for Alma's Class D baseball team, becomes its chief scout for a special project dreamed up by the team's parsimonious owner, Sam Bean. Sam wants E.Z. to find him ""another Jackie Robinson"" somewhere among the ""Darker Persons"" of the hemisphere, and--more importantly--to babysit the alcoholic, unlicensed team doctor and the decrepit team manager who will accompany E.Z. on his journey. Amazingly, they bring someone back, a Ruthian pitching and batting talent from Florida named Josh Loganberry. Josh doesn't much care for baseball (his heart's set on being a volunteer fireman), he's just a bit smarter than wood and he's not a ""Darker Person,"" but he single-handedly wins enough games for Sam to challenge a major league club to play his Behemoths in a heavily promoted exhibition. Hester, a short-story writer and poet (With Crockett at the Alamo) lets E.Z. narrate his first novel in a voice enriched by rough grammar and frequent malapropisms. In fact, with E.Z.'s hick-smarts, a cast of farcical charlatans and some good-natured social satire, Hester--as is clearly his intention--does a fair impersonation of Mark Twain. (Oct.)