By Eliot Asinof
Eliot Asinof’s most recent baseball hero left tiny Gandee, Missouri, as John Clyde Cagle Jr., a hard-throwing lefthander who had pitched an ideal online game in highschool. Now he returns in triumph because the mythical “Black Jack,” megastar of the l. a. Dodgers, a stoic, menacing mound demon with a Fu Manchu moustache and a 106-mile-per-hour fastball. In a nationally televised occasion that, like every thing else in his existence, is strictly orchestrated by means of agent and cash supervisor Gordon Stanley, Jack’s go back is to commit Black Jack box, the two-million-dollar ballpark he has donated to his native land. He arrives in a white stretch limo, glamorous female friend at his aspect and the realm at his toes, yet he's stung via a spate of undesirable thoughts of his boyhood, such a lot smelly of that is that of Cyrus Coles, his fats black battery mate who had quietly taught Jack the disciplined pitching that had made him nice. normally now, while Jack throws out the ceremonial first pitch to his father, Vietnam conflict hero, spit-and-polish sheriff of Gandee, each person believes the daddy to be the cause of the son’s success. Then Jack confronts Cyrus’s murdered physique, blown away by way of a shotgun blast. He has to stand the fury of Cyrus’s widow, Ruby, and, so much provocative of all, an outspoken girl named Foxx, who makes him conscious that he’s been dwelling a lie. Jack flees this unsettling scene together with his female friend for the pleasures of recent York City—until he learns that, again in Gandee, his father has arrested Ruby for the homicide of her husband. To everyone’s astonishment, Jack returns to Gandee to assist her. With Foxx now an best friend, he sees his place of birth for its corrupt racist traditions, bringing on a brand new figuring out of himself that leads him to probability every little thing to probe an insupportable fact.