Monday, November 13, 2017

Review of "Pennant Stretch Drive," by C. Paul Jackson

Review of
Pennant Stretch Drive, by C. Paul Jackson

Four out of five stars
 Marty Martin was a star outfielder in the major leagues when he suffered a serious knee injury while water skiing. While he could still run and was still a great hitter, the foot speed needed to be a major league outfielder simply was no longer there. Seemingly washed up, he went into business with another man in developing a series of fast food restaurants.
 However, executives of the major league team called the Chiefs believe that Marty has promise as an infielder, specifically third base. Unfortunately for Marty, he has never played the position and has no confidence. He makes error after error, even on what should be routine plays. Marty can handle fly balls, but the grounders he used to field had nowhere near the velocity of those at third.
 At first his bat is still powerful, but his problems in the field start affecting his hitting. Finally, the decision is made to try Marty at first base, a position that he has played before. His performance improves and his team starts playing better and is now in a position to challenge for the league pennant.
 This is a story about being on top, suffering hardship and then coming back in a new way by recognizing your limitations. Marty must also juggle what he thought he would be doing when he was out of baseball with his remaining in the game. It lends an interesting sidelight to the baseball aspects of the story. It is difficult to conjure up a valid reason for his involvement in fast food, it adds very little to the baseball side of the story, which is more interesting that an order of chicken and fries.

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