Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, October 25, 2012

30 for 30 Short: Jake (The Alfred Slote Fan Club)

Jake featured a haunting cover: a drawing of a young African American baseball player staring somberly ahead, a bat resting on his right shoulder, looking like he’s posing for a card in Topps’ special “Little League Players With Depressing Family Situations” series. The boy was named Jake Wrather, a brash Little League catcher who lived with his semi-negligent uncle Lenny, an aspiring musician who frequently left Jake to fend for himself. I loved Jake so much that, when I was in the fifth grade, I tried to adapt it into a play and wrote nearly a dozen scenes before giving up. What possessed a 10-year-old child to write a school play about a fictional Little League baseball player? I don’t know. Why did I quit before I finished? I couldn’t tell you. Maybe I wanted to see Jake come to life. Maybe I wanted to be friends with him. Maybe I realized it wasn’t working, and maybe I gave up.

And as it turned out, I totally underestimated Hock. Over the summer, he chased down an 85-year-old retired author in Ann Arbor, brought a camera crew and hoped something good would happen. A few weeks later, a rough cut of his next short film landed in my e-mail box without warning. I clicked on the link. There he was … the great Alfred Slote. Talking about Jake. Talking about writing. Talking about life. I can’t explain how much that 10 minutes meant to me, so I won’t even try. But watching one of my favorite writers bring his favorite book back to life while figuring out if his career ultimately meant anything — when it did, it did, it did — was practically an out-of-body experience.

Just want to say that “My Father, The Coach” (also a Slote book)  was far and away my favorite baseball book as a kid.  For a few years if my family went somewhere that book had to be packed because it would keep my quiet and content on the plane or in the car.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: October 25, 2012 at 01:45 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 30 for 30, baseball books, bill simmons

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. AndrewJ Posted: October 25, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4283167)
As a kid I remember liking Slote's Tony and Me, which was a very moralisitc Afterschool Special-esque story about shoplifting. Slote named one of the characters in Matt Gargan's Boy, which was published in 1975 after The Boss bought the Yankees, George Steinbrunner, curiously enough.
   2. Dangerous Dean Posted: October 25, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4283169)
I read a lot of those sports books when I was a kid in the 70s. I don't think I ever read Slote. I will look for Jake so that my son can read it with me.
   3. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: October 25, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4283173)
I don't remember Alfred Slote, probably because I was busy reading every Matt Christopher book 50 times.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: October 25, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4283213)
I also remember liking Barbara Cohen's Thank You, Jackie Robinson, about a relationship between a precocious (probably borderline-Asperger's) white boy and elderly black man who follow the Dodgers in 1947, and Jonah Kalb's The Goof That Won the Pennant, about an underacheiving Little League team who eke out a title (thanks to a Fred Merkle-like play in the deciding game)...
   5. morineko Posted: October 25, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4283257)
It's kind of funny; I only read Slote's baseball novels after I had read all his juvenile SF novels.

(and I only read the Christophers with sfnal elements)

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Brian
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogWhere Did the Great Hollywood Baseball Movie Go?
(29 - 5:50am, May 24)
Last: Swoboda is freedom

NewsblogOTP 22 May 2017: George W. Bush photobombs a sports reporter
(610 - 5:06am, May 24)
Last: Ishmael

NewsblogTrying times for John Farrell as Boston Red Sox manager | FOX Sports
(22 - 3:32am, May 24)
Last: Hysterical & Useless

NewsblogThe name's Chatter... OMNICHATTER, for May 23, 2017
(63 - 2:44am, May 24)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogOT - March 2017 NBA thread
(4086 - 1:01am, May 24)
Last: RollingWave

NewsblogJered Weaver’s hometown discount was a cautionary tale
(15 - 12:16am, May 24)
Last: JAHV

NewsblogThe curveball's resurgence is changing starting pitching | SI.com
(3 - 12:04am, May 24)
Last: JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler....

NewsblogBobby Grich, Rick Burleson, and Their One Full (Strike-Shortened) Season as a Dominant Double Play Combination
(34 - 10:54pm, May 23)
Last: Dennis Eclairskey, closer

NewsblogAaron Judge Gets His Own Rooting Section
(15 - 10:43pm, May 23)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Sox TherapyWitty Minor League Thread Title Here
(20 - 10:15pm, May 23)
Last: Jose is El Absurd Pollo

NewsblogOT: March-April 2017 Soccer Thread
(519 - 9:04pm, May 23)
Last: He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB)

Newsblog'Loud, Electric, Fun': Carlos Martinez Dominates with 100 MPH Heat, Raw Emotion | Bleacher Report
(2 - 8:25pm, May 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogHow Many More Years? – Joe Blogs – Medium
(23 - 7:51pm, May 23)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogGwinnett Braves plan to change team name for 2018 season, ask for fans help in naming contest
(41 - 7:37pm, May 23)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-23-2017
(37 - 7:28pm, May 23)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

Page rendered in 0.1318 seconds
47 querie(s) executed