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 Can Still Seabiscuit 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
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogEscape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers
(4 - 11:16pm, Apr 17)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogChris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World
(17 - 11:16pm, Apr 17)
Last: Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige

NewsblogOrioles launch D.C. invasion with billboard near Nationals Park
(12 - 11:08pm, Apr 17)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogDaniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(68 - 11:04pm, Apr 17)
Last: andrewberg

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for April 17, 2014
(127 - 10:57pm, Apr 17)
Last: Davo Dozier (Mastroianni)

NewsblogDesign Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.
(12 - 10:55pm, Apr 17)
Last: if nature called, ladodger34 would listen

NewsblogGeorge Brett, Inspiration for the Song “Royals”, Meets Lorde
(27 - 10:50pm, Apr 17)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(303 - 10:42pm, Apr 17)
Last: NJ in DC

NewsblogMLB: Offense's performance vs. Brewers favors Matheny's interpretation of stats
(6 - 10:14pm, Apr 17)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogRobothal: What a relief! A’s could use bullpen differently than other teams
(4 - 9:50pm, Apr 17)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(135 - 9:46pm, Apr 17)
Last: zack

NewsblogMinuteman News Center: Giandurco: This means WAR
(68 - 9:08pm, Apr 17)
Last: zenbitz

NewsblogGleeman: Mets minor league team is hosting “Seinfeld night”
(138 - 8:59pm, Apr 17)
Last: Moe Greene

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1584 - 7:52pm, Apr 17)
Last: Publius Publicola

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2014
(15 - 7:43pm, Apr 17)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.2210 seconds
53 querie(s) executed