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Baseball is a game of inches. But Frank Ryder throws so hard that the inches are disappearing. He’s changing the game. Some think he’s breaking it. Will the game shut him down? That risk is secondary for Frank. He’s got his own demons to worry about first.
An engaging story of a rookie breaking into the big leagues coupled with interesting ideas of how baseball adapts as human performance challenges the existing dimensions.
I enjoyed this book so much! The story is very engaging and Frank Ryder is so relatable. You don’t have to be into baseball, or any other sport, to really enjoy this book. Baseball is just the vehicle for the story, and a good one at that.
I don’t follow sports, and it’s been years since I’ve been to a baseball game. So if you’re not into sports, this book is still very enjoyable. I have some first hand experience with baseball and that brought this book a little closer to home for me. My brother played little league for a few years, and our dad coached. I’ve spent a lot of time in the dugout as scorekeeper and really loved those kids. I lived in Apopka when we went against Japan in the Little League World Series. We have family in Vero Beach and saw the Dodger’s spring training games. Baseball is the only sport I ever wanted to play, but I was a girl and softball wasn’t the same, so I watched from the stands and the dugouts and adopted “There’s no crying in baseball” as my mantra.
I found myself rereading sections because I wanted to savor them. The scenes were so vivid that I could see the dust on the field, feel the humidity in the air, hear the crack of the bat as it connected with the ball, and feel the bass sound of the ball as it thwapped against the catcher’s mitt. It was similar to listening to a sportscaster on the radio who can call the play by plays so vividly that you can see the game in your head. It wasn’t a bunch of statistics and numbers that don’t mean anything to the average person. It’s a story of determination, perseverance, family, forgiveness, dedication and love. It goes beyond baseball and that’s what makes this book truly special.
I've got increasingly disappointed by the run of Amazon Prime first reads recently. It was nice to get something a bit different. Although I live in the UK I'm a big baseball fan (Go Red Sox) so I was interested to read this. I thought some of the 'politics' about Frank's pitching being too hard for the good of the game somewhat unbelievable. Fans will always go the see great pitching and whilst hitting and runs are great the games purists appreciate the art of the pitcher.
Likewise some of the dramatic moments were a bit forced but overall and entertaining and interesting read.
Please can we have more choices like this rather than some of the predictable and dull crime thrillers that are usually offered?
I chose this book as all of the other first reads books were not enticing to me. Let me say I hit the proverbial jackpot with this decision. I could not put this book down. I became so invested in Frank: his success, his personal growth, his performance, his mind. All of the characters were so full of life. I was only slightly disappointed with the end (and I had a feeling it was going to end that way) just because I wanted to “know” he would keep going (trying not to give any spoilers). This book was well written. I will definitely reread in the future.
I'm a baseball purist--I grew up watching the National League, and really hate the designated hitter. My favorite game to watch is a pitchers' duel that ends in a 1-0 or 2-1 final score.
With that said, I loved this book. It talked about the "unwritten rules" and gave several not-so-subtle jabs to recent rule changes intended to "speed up the game" and "make it more exciting" for the casual observer (i.e., bring them in to spend more $ at the park).
I won't spoil the ending for those who have not yet read this, other than to say that I found it to be disappointing (as a baseball fan) but very touching (as a human being) at the same time.
A fascinating way to rethink how the game of baseball is played. The movie Money Ball revolves around statistics and how each player is played based on their athletic potential so as to win games. In Fireballer, statistics and how the game is played goes out the window when a pitcher can throw a baseball faster than any hitter could possibly hit. A great read and I highly recommend it. Jim D.
Baseball is America’s beloved game, but for one pitcher, a young pitcher with a lightning fast arm, one pitch alters his life, his very identity, forever. Because one pitch, kills a young boy, and leaves the pitcher, and his brother, the catcher, and their family as broken as the family of a youth who only ever really dreamed of stars, space, and science.
This story delivers sports insider details from behind the team, within managerial negotiations, and throughout press demands. The marketing of baseball as revenue- increasing and community-inspiring complicates and alters the game.
But what makes this story so readable is the protagonist’s journey, and what a journey he makes. Great read!
I'm not a great baseball fan but occasionally I'll watch a game. This story was enlightening and kept you wanting to know how the character Frank Ryder dealt with his past tragedy and pitching for a major league team.
The author clearly has a thorough knowledge of baseball and a deep love of the sport. He asks an intriguing question: what if a pitcher comes along who throws so fast that he’s basically unhittable? What effect would that have on the game? And what effect would it have on the pitcher?
This is one of the best baseball books to come along in years. I highly recommend it.