Imagine opening a box and finding a gem in it. That is what the author, Anne R. Keene, did when she opened up a box of stuff that her dad had put away. She found clippings of her father from when he was nine years old and was the batboy for a baseball team that played during WWII. The team had several stars on it including Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Johnny Sain. Therefore, the research began.
She tells of the backstory of checking with family, friends, townspeople, and others about what they knew on the subject. It was noted many people knew her dad’s encounter with the great Ted Williams. She even asked who Ted Williams was?
Now she digs in and finds that in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area during the war they turned the campus into a war effort that included training fighter pilots. Williams left baseball and started training to be a pilot. Even though he was a D student in high school, he took to this training well.
Because he was Ted Williams the baseball player, he was a bit of a celebrity in the service. It was common for teams from the military bases to go out and play baseball against some of the locals. That is if there isn’t some pressing military reason to cancel the game.
The story dips into the things that went on in baseball, the war and out among the people still at home supporting the war cause. Some thought Williams was getting preferential treatment and others didn’t care.
The stories alone make this book great reading material. If you like baseball or history, this book will enlighten you and make you smile. For the author, she found a gold mine in her father’s trunk.
Read the book. It is worth it.
I would like to thanks Sports Publishing for a copy of the book to review in return for a fair and honest review.
About the Author:
Anne R. Keene is an Austin, Texas-based writer who focuses on narrative nonfiction. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism, she began her professional career working as a speechwriter on Capitol Hill. Today, she earns national awards as a storyteller for corporate clients and has been honored with the Writers’ League of Texas nonfiction award. Passionate about historic preservation and athletics, Anne is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.