Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Review of "Can’t Miss," by Michael Bowen

 Review of

Can’t Miss, by Michael Bowen ISBN 0060157178

Five out of five stars

 A woman breaks into the major leagues

 Chris Tilden is a natural, incredibly gifted hitter and female. When she is scouted in college, the pro scouts that were there were impressed by her hitting ability and baseball instincts. One went to the owner of the Denver Marshalls major league baseball team and convinced him to offer her a pro contract.  There was even mention that she could be a pure hitter in the mold of Ted Williams or George Brett.

 Like players before her that didn’t fit into the ethnic or color mode before her, Chris faces hostility from others on the field. This includes nasty sexist comments from her teammates, opposing players and even an umpire. There are also the travails of maintaining gender separation in the locker room during moments such as (un)dressing and showering.

 Furthermore, Chris is repositioned into left field from her more familiar third base. Like all others that made such a move, she makes mistakes at first and those errors are amplified. Yet, she can hit, consistently demonstrating that she can time and connect with big league pitches. Like all rookies before her, she faces some displeasure from her established teammates, one of which will have to leave the team. There are also the juvenile antics of her fellow players, often sexist, but not really directed at her.

 As it should be, skill overcomes adversity and bias and Chris rises to the level where she is respected by her fellow players. There is a climactic moment late in the book where she ignites her team to make a genuine run at the pennant. There is a love interest that arises, but it is secondary and could have been eliminated with no loss in the quality of the plot.

 By virtue of the star being female in a male sport, this book is an unusual story of sports fiction. Yet, it is one where the reader cannot help but root for Chris Tilden as she does her best to become a quality major league player. There are moments of isolation and uncertainty, but never one where she loses confidence in her abilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment