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The Pitcher

July 23, 2013

So, have you ever had a dream?  That’s a question that every person is asked time and time again.  Do you have a dream.  If you’re Ricky Hernandez, your dream is the same dream as everyone else.  He wants to be the American Dream.  A kid from nothing that turns into something.

“The Pitcher” is a book about dreams.  The dreams of kids.  The dreams of parents.  The dreams of immigrants.  The dreams of a man who’s lived the dream.  And it’s all brought together in the mind of William Hazelgrove.  After the cut, find out how.

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“The Pitcher” by William Hazelgrove
Published by Koehler Books
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Pages: 242 (Kindle Edition)

As you can see from the picture, the Junior Library Guild has selected this book as a must read.  And it really is.  And so, let’s put myself into Ricky’s shoes, shall we?  I am a 3rd generation Mexican American, as is Ricky.  My family isn’t from this country, and my grandmother came to this country to find a better way of life, as did Ricky’s.  And as a Mexican American, imagine the scrutiny faced by a culture that is xenophobic.

Ricky’s constantly in the bottom of the 9th with nobody out in this expertly crafted story.  His mother is dying.  His father is worthless.  He wants to be a pitcher, just to fulfil his mother’s wishes.  But his mother cannot afford the lessons needed.  Hence, comes in the surprise character, nicknamed “The Pitcher.”  A down and out former MLB pitcher who was a World Series MVP.  A man trying to forget squandering his dream.

In this story, Ricky and The Pitcher come parallel.  Two people who aren’t interested in school or life.  All they want is the game.  All while dealing with Mrs. Payne, the representation of that Tea Party mom and Sports Mom who drives us nuts.  Coach Devin, her seemingly spineless husband.  And their “perfect” son named Eric, who represents that “perfect” kid willing to step on everyone on his way to the top.

From the opening pitch in Ricky’s life to his final triumphs, William takes you on a journey that you’ve been on before.  The journey of love, doubt, and self-searching.  All through the eyes of a Mexican boy who thinks the world is against him.

So, get ready to root for the underdog in a social and sometimes political commentary of the kid’s journey.  Kids will pick up the theme of beating the odds.  Adults should pick up the underlying themes of our xenophobic nature.  Everyone should be rooting for Ricky.

William Hazelgrove weaved this book together with mastery, and you should pre-order this now from Amazon.  It’s available for $11.56 USD, so definitely put in your order and get ready for one heck of a baseball story.  Like my last pre-release, this one is a love book, folks.  And that doesn’t happen often.

Cheers, Mr. Hazelgrove.  I’m rooting for this book to make it, too.

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