This is the story of a young man who grew up trading baseball cards, and then later switched to trading baseball wives. Against the odds, Sheldon became a minor celebrity in his Ohio hometown. Born with a hearing defect and raised by a single parent, he still managed to play professional baseball, even though an unfortunate incident got him busted back to the minors.
Born down in a rust-belt town
The first pitch he threw was when he was real young
His friend was like a dog, chicks in heat so much
That he spent all his life just getting it up
That friend would be Tom, a fellow ball player who shared his exploits with the team, but his personal thoughts only with Sheldon. Tom married Lucy, a political activist fighting for the underdog and unaware of his dalliances. Lucy grew up poor, and was doing her best to be a good wife, mother and superhero until the day things clicked with Sheldon.
Got in a little hometown jam
When things got a little out of hand
Soon he came up with his swap plan
To go and become Lucy's man
Sheldon was married to Eleanor, a gorgeous woman with a monstrous past. Eleanor was rarely happy, and then one day she discovered that she and Tom had at least one thing in common.
The story moves fairly slowly, although fans of baseball and movie trivia won't notice this at all, and ever so often the author spices things up with a ribald recollection or two. Despite the title, the book is mostly about Sheldon, Tom, Lucy and Eleanor as individuals, and is rather skimpy on the actual logistics and details of the actual swap. Some questions are answered in the epilogue, but by then you're already more into the sideshows than the main attraction.
An interesting concept, and chock full of movie facts, this one is a gem of popular culture.
Amanda Richards, July 15, 2007