This is as fine of a novel with a baseball theme I've ever had the pleasure of reading. One, though, need only be a fan of great storytelling, characters, and writing to enjoy it immensely, as the baseball is clearly secondary to the story of Walter Innis, a man approaching forty, recently abandoned by his wife, reunited for the first time in twenty-five years with his dying and formerly abusive father,and suddenly without a job beyond that of the unpaid coach of his new girlfriend's son's baseball team. More than anything Walter's story is evidence of the fact that none of us, no matter how hard we try, can make it through life without confronting our pasts. When Walter finally confronts his the results are intermittently - and at times all at once - hilarious, gut-wrenching, shocking, sad, maddening, and, ultimately, uplifting. A great story filled with tremendous characters with all of the flaws and idionsyncracies that make them as believable as everyone you know. If only every novel with a sports theme, or every novel period, were written this well.