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 Bronson Y 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
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER needs no reason, just space, for June 28, 217
(42 - 8:28pm, Jun 28)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogAs the Tigers falter, Justin Verlander emerges as an intriguing trade possibility
(22 - 8:18pm, Jun 28)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogOTP 26 June 2017: Confederations Cup shows how sports media in Russia differs from politics
(685 - 8:15pm, Jun 28)
Last: Jay Z

NewsblogDodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has never heard of 'Seinfeld,' teammates hilariously respond
(190 - 8:10pm, Jun 28)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk

NewsblogLet's Do the Math on Miguel Montero and Jake Arrieta
(8 - 8:04pm, Jun 28)
Last: Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™

NewsblogOT: Summer Soccer Thread 2017
(99 - 8:02pm, Jun 28)
Last: AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther

NewsblogMiguel Montero after Cubs cut him: ‘People can’t handle the truth’ – Chicago Sun-Times
(21 - 7:52pm, Jun 28)
Last: Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™

NewsblogCENTRAL PARK - JULY 1, 2017 10 AM - BBTF ANNUAL SOFTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA
(301 - 7:25pm, Jun 28)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogThe education of New York Yankees prospect Clint Frazier
(5 - 6:58pm, Jun 28)
Last: Bug Selig

NewsblogSprint Speed shows fastest at each position | MLB.com
(40 - 6:57pm, Jun 28)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT-NBA off season thread
(146 - 6:50pm, Jun 28)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogMiguel Montero shifts blame to pitchers after Nationals steal seven bases - Chicago Tribune
(75 - 6:40pm, Jun 28)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogRon Darling rips Mets’ muscle-head trainers as a ‘joke’ | New York Post
(23 - 6:36pm, Jun 28)
Last: The Duke

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2005 Ballot
(2 - 6:07pm, Jun 28)
Last: DL from MN

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2005 Discussion
(16 - 5:54pm, Jun 28)
Last: DL from MN

Page rendered in 0.1748 seconds
47 querie(s) executed