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1924 and You Are There!

1924 and You Are There!

1924 and You Are There!

An original, "fictionalized" replay of the 1924 baseball season, told in the language of the time, through the eyes and hearts of 17-year-old Phillies fan Vinny Spanelli, Tigers beat reporter Calvin J. Butterworth, and others. Meet all the stars of '24, from Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson, to Goose Goslin, Kiki Cuyler, Zack Wheat, and Negro League greats Oscar Charleston and Rube Foster. Told in a daily diary format, "1924 and You Are There!" is a funny, heartwarming and unpredictable plunge into a bygone baseball era unlike any you've ever read.

Still scarred from losing his father during the First World War, Vinny finds daily solace in attending Phillies games at the old, decrepit hitter's paradise known as Baker Bowl. The Phils are pretty awful but Vinny is fiercely loyal to them, and with his best friend and ballgame companion Benny Zepp, heads up to New York in late April to watch them play the hated Giants and Brooklyn Robins. It's there that Vinny meets Rachel Stone, a literary-minded Jewish girl and rabid Brooklyn fan, and kindles a season-long courtship filled with giddy ups and downs.

When Benny comes into some family money, he takes Vinny on a "far west" road trip in one of the first Chryslers, following the Phillies as they tour through Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis, and falling into trouble with a host of unsavory local characters. 

Back home, a quirk of fate finds Vinny becoming the Phillies' batboy at the end of June, and the hot summer eventually gets hotter when he and Benny try to pull off an unheard-of exhibition series between white players and Negro League stars.

Intertwined with occasional dispatches from Calvin Butterworth's American League news, Vinny's saga coasts to an exciting pennant race conclusion. With every passing week of the season, Vinny learns more about the obstacles of life and how to wend his way around them-but never without humor and danger. Basically, if you took Huck Finn and dropped him into a vat of baseball cards, Vinny Spanelli would pop out the bottom.

 About the author:

JEFF POLMAN is a journalist, screenwriter, and blogger who just can't stop writing about baseball. "1924 and You Are There!" is adapted from the first of his four fictional replay blogs, which include "Play That Funky Baseball", "The Bragging Rights League", and the upcoming "Mysteryball '58". After getting his start writing freelance articles for the Advocate newspapers and Boston Phoenix, he was Arts Editor of the Vermont Vanguard Press for its first five years before moving out west. His recent Web writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, The Hardball Times, New England Baseball Journal, and Seamheads. He is a lifelong Red Sox fan and resides with his wife and son in Culver City, CA.

You can buy the book on Amazon:

1924 and You Are There!: A Fictionalized Baseball Replay

By The Baseball Page
Saturday, 21 Jan 2012

 

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