Off Season

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The Beymer Buffalo can’t play ball in Wisconsin in the winter, but the players have plenty of life to live during the OFF SEASON.

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After Tommy Lee Smith and Billie Jo Ferken are married, Billy Jo is raped and conceives a child. She nearly miscarries in the Dime-a-Cup Diner during a freak Thanksgiving blizzard. Tommy Lee and Billie Jo’s relationship is mightily strained.

Team owner Gordon Glendennon convinces the Town Council to help finance a new “entertainment complex” out by the Interstate. The centerpiece of this complex is to be a new ballpark for the Buffalo as well as a McDonald’s, and a casino run by the Oshnaube Indian Nation. He brings folk-singer Jamie Paradise in as a partner to help swing the deal. The sparks that fly as this deal is done are nearly Fourth of July fireworks caliber.

When an arsonist torches the park, Sheriff Tom Warren has plenty of suspects, including the Buffalo’s legendary slugger, Ron Don “Hammer” Hammond whose presence at the stadium the night of the fire incriminates him…maybe. But there are other folks in Beymer who loathe the thought of a brand spanking new ballpark that has no soul. While everyone plays innocent, someone is guilty and Sheriff Warren, besides wanting badly to catch and punish the man who raped Billie Jo, must delicately figure out who-dunnit amongst a town full of friends and acquaintances.

All this happens before two Texans, Casey (as in “Cassandra”) Chastain and

Heather Peterson show up for team tryouts. Casey is the first woman professional baseball pitcher who has as much inner fortitude as God can give one person, but, after all, this is baseball and her resolve to pitch at the professional level is tested terribly. It’s a good thing Heather, her catcher, is around to keep Casey’s perspective in perspective.

And then the season actually starts. At which time the reader is treated to the same awesome baseball writing Cook is so great at.

Marshall J. Cook delivers a rock solid plot that will keep you turning the pages. It’s all about love, faith in God, and minor league baseball.

The combination is ALL home run.


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