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 Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site 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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dock Ellis on Acid
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-25-16
(171 - 4:46pm, May 25)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogThornography » Bill Lee is reportedly running for governor of Vermont
(8 - 4:40pm, May 25)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1585 - 4:37pm, May 25)
Last: Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle

NewsblogOTP 2016 May 23: Baseball owners hear from Democratic, Republican strategists
(529 - 4:28pm, May 25)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogClickhole: An Oral History Of The 1998 Major League Baseball Home Run Chase
(5 - 4:28pm, May 25)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogSilent Matt Harvey confirms he’s the phony Mets have enabled | New York Post
(49 - 4:04pm, May 25)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk

NewsblogNear the bottom in MLB attendance, the Marlins are now suing ticket holders
(15 - 4:04pm, May 25)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogNew York Mets weigh next step for Matt Harvey as right-hander's struggles continue
(29 - 3:57pm, May 25)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk

NewsblogTexas Rangers: Grant: How can Rangers ensure Yu Darvish is still pitching in October? | SportsDay
(3 - 3:49pm, May 25)
Last: PepTech

NewsblogOT: NBA Playoffs Thread 2016
(2461 - 3:49pm, May 25)
Last: Moses Taylor, Optimist in London

NewsblogTony Gwynn’s Family’s Lawsuit Against Big Tobacco
(28 - 3:46pm, May 25)
Last: bigglou115

Hall of MeritMilt Pappas
(37 - 3:33pm, May 25)
Last: Betts, Bogaerts, and D Price(GGC)

NewsblogDexter Fowler exemplifies why MLB's free agent system is broken
(15 - 3:21pm, May 25)
Last: Randy Jones

NewsblogMarlins Sue Season Ticketholders, Vendors Bankrupted by Small Crowds
(76 - 3:19pm, May 25)
Last: theboyqueen

NewsblogOT: Soccer March/April 2016
(1230 - 2:21pm, May 25)
Last: Ron J2

Page rendered in 0.1479 seconds
47 querie(s) executed