Nothing Down: The Short Baseball Life of Homer Newbody by Mike Reuther is an engaging fictional tale about a baseball player who bursts upon the Major Leagues by throwing two no-hitters in his first starts.
Reuther describes classic plays by Homer. For instance, he details a 7th inning face-down with Cyclone, a big homerun hitter for Cleveland. There were two players on base. Homer threw a fat pitch to Cyclone. The hitter took the pitch in stride as the fat ball came sailing in. He swung for it and missed narrowly. The Yankee Stadium fans exploded with joy.
The author details the media frenzy which occurred after Homer secured his second no-hitter in a row. The baseball stat geeks figured out that the chance of Homer getting two no-hitters in a row was about a billion to one. Some fans imagined that Homer was just a freak of nature.
The local press was amazed to hear that Homer wasn’t looking to be paid big money for his efforts on the field. After all, people with far less talent were making more money than he was making. Nonetheless, Homer was content to enjoy the game of baseball opting not to take the big money.
Reuther methodically relates many of the small town virtues that Homer brought to the game of baseball. The character was a paragon of hard work, clean living, modesty, shyness, and an aversion for big money.
Homer couldn’t get over the fact that people had come from miles away to see him play baseball. Wild fans were adamant that he sign their tee shirts, diaries, paper scraps, and other things big fans seek to have on hand when they meet the star of their dreams.
Reuther is successful in building up the character of Homer so that the readers can be engaged significantly. The story builds up to a surprise ending that no-one would expect. So, read the book and find out how it all ends.
Nothing Down by Mike Reuther is a wonderful book which extols small town virtues, the environment of a big city with high stakes, adoring fans, and an inquiring press.Powered by Sidelines