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Tim Pareti
Ernie's Bleachers
Tim Pareti, author
Eddy Pareti lives under the shadow of his older brother and sister, straight A students who are the apple of their parent’s eye. He’s the black sheep of the family who dodges duties at his family’s tavern, Ernie’s Bleachers (now Murphy’s Bleachers), ditches school and fails seventh grade. The Cubs in 1945 are heading to the World Series, and Eddy sneaks into games and brushes up against baseball legends, including stars of the Negro League. But he runs into trouble with a bookie who wants him to shoot a deadbeat gambler. He takes the mayor’s car for a spin with his buddies, and—hold your horses—he crashes a stagecoach on State Street. Eddy’s Italian-American family—already battling Chicago’s machine politics and the Mafia— think he’s going astray. Fed up, his parents make a decision that will change Eddy’s life—but street-smart Eddy has other plans. And thus begins a journey that takes him to places he’s never been. He encounters a strange religious cult that plays baseball on donkeys, and makes his home under the stars. Along the way, he learns a lifelong lesson about home, family, and responsibilities. Based on a true story, Ernie’s Bleachers is a coming-of-age saga of baseball, family, and the American spirit that intersects on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland avenues—a vintage tale that explores the classic era of our National Pastime, the ravages of war, the end of the Depression, and the city of big bets and big shoulders.