The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Pitcher by William Elliott Hazelgrove

Publisher:  Koehler Books
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Pages:  252
The Pitcher by William Elliott Hazelgrove
About the Book:  What a mother won't do for her son. A boy with a golden arm but no money for lessons. A mother who wants to give her son his dream before she dies. A broken down World Series pitcher who cannot go on after the death of his wife. These are the elements of The Pitcher. A story of a man at the end of his dream and a boy whose dream is to make his high school baseball team. In the tradition of The Natural and The Field of Dreams, this is a mythic story about how a man and a boy meet in the crossroads of their life and find a way to go on. You will laugh and you will cry as The Pitcher and Ricky prepare for the ultimate try out of life.

Wanda's Review:  Ricky Hernandez is a young Mexican boy who has a dream of becoming a major league pitcher. But first he needs to make the high school team. He is able to deliver a fast ball, but he has no control. Ricky's mom, Maria, is a very strong minded woman, and does her best to coach Ricky and help him make the team. She is struggling with health issues - she has Lupus. She has no health insurance and is going without medical treatment. Ricky and his mom are struggling financially. He has a loser for a father, who only comes around when he needs money. He sometimes physically abuses his mom, and Ricky has lost all respect for him. 

Maria wants to see her son's dream come true. She approaches a retired major league pitcher to coach her son. Jack Langford pitched in the World Series in 1978 and won the Series. But, the pitcher doesn't want to coach Ricky. All he does is watch TV and drink beer, wallowing in self pity and drowning in his sorrows. He lives in a garage and passes out from drinking so much. What happened to Jack Langford, the pitcher? Where did all the greatness go? The pitcher finally, but reluctantly, agrees to help Ricky and prepare him to try out for the team. He tells Ricky he has talent, but no drive. And the story unfolds ---

This is a simple story, but a story with a lot of depth that leaves you with a warm feeling. Ricky is an endearing character who will capture your heart. The Pitcher is a relaxed, easy read that unfolds into a predictable, but happy ending. My rating is 4 stars. 

I received an Early Reviewers Copy from Library Thing and Koehler Books in exchange for an honest review of this book.  My reviews are also posted on

William Elliott HazelgroveAbout the Author:  FREE Download of Tobacco Sticks Book of the Month Club Starred Review Publishers Weekly I wrote my first novel out of college and didn't publish it until six years later. I gathered rejection letters like other people gather leaves and another three years passed before I published my second novel. I have been a janitor,waiter,real estate agent, broker, teacher, professor, construction worker, salesman...just about anything to keep on writing. Three years later I published my third novel. Then...I took a LONG BREAK and published my fourth book ten years later. WHOOPS. Oh well. I write in Ernest Hemingways Attic with the bats and the mice and the bees and the squirrels and Ernest old violin, trunk and books. Life could be worse. Rocket Man is coming out in December.