Saturday, March 23, 2019

Review of "Safe!" By Harold M. Sherman

Review of
Safe! By Harold M. Sherman

Three out of five stars
 This book of adolescent sports fiction is different from most others in the area that were published before 1960. The first reason is that girls are significant characters in the plot, which is doubly unusual in that it was published in 1928 when there were few women attending college. Secondly, while there is a big game at then end, the issues are more about playing fair and being honest with yourself and with others.
Dolf Redding is the star first baseman for the Buckley College team and is a superb base stealer. He is in a fierce competition for the new record in thefts with Roxy Parker, the star for the Nordham team, the major rival for Buckley. A Buckley season is simply not considered successful unless Nordham is defeated.
 Even though this is a sports story, it is fundamentally about being honest, cheating and feeling remorse before Dolf  finally comes clean with all concerned about how he stole from his teammates, cheated on exams and deceived everyone around him. There is a lot of the contradictory inner voices of good and evil in the story, which comes across as a bit odd to the modern reader.
 While baseball hasn’t fundamentally changed in over a century, the context within which it is played has considerably altered over time. So has the fiction based on baseball, as is clear in this story that is an ongoing morality play.

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