There’s something spiritual about the game that few completely understand. Ballparks are often referred to as green cathedrals by authors and broadcasters, and that is especially the case when gazing out at the ivy-covered walls in Wrigley Field. Growing up in Chicago, attending the Cubs’ day games because they had not yet put in lights, was magical. Total strangers bonded over the team, debated Manager Leo Durocher’s decisions, lauded All-Star Ernie Banks and booed Joe Pepitone’s strut. They even grudgingly nodded in admiration at Johnny Bench’s strength and Hank Aaron’s record-breaking homers.
In my conversations with Michael Lund, author of the novel Maddy’s Game, he observes the following:
Hitting a baseball is considered one of the most difficult performances in sports. The best baseball players are proud of their .300 batting average—which means they FAILED 70% of the time to connect with the ball.
It’s a team sport, yet individual performance counts. At the plate, you’re all alone. The pressure to succeed is daunting—especially with runners on base and the game on the line. Strike out and end the inning, you’re the goat. Get a base hit or homerun, and you’re a hero. There’s no gray area. It’s black and white.
Sometimes choices we are forced to make in life are that way—no gray areas. The road of life is influenced by both good and evil. In the end, how do we reconcile those opposing forces which shape us into who we are?
Maddy’s Game explores that profound question against the backdrop of Lund’s favorite sport, baseball. An enthusiast from his youth, he spent time at the amateur baseball camps when the legends of the game still lived and participated. Using that intimate knowledge of what goes on in the dugout, in off-hours, and even in the minds of the players as they stand on the pitching mound or at the plate, Lund has penned a gritty story of life tossing way too many hurdles at his hero, Drew Tanner. This saga dares to challenge the reader’s thought process dealing with unforeseen circumstances that can, in many ways, change us.
For those baseball fans, and those who want to root and cry for someone who swings, misses, wins, and fails, yet always returns to step up to life’s plate again, this story is for you. The ending will be a curve ball that you won’t see coming.
Read more about Maddy’s Game and find it at your favorite eBook retailer.