James Flerlage, author
Landon Myers is a retired pediatric oncologist who spends his days diagnosing the ills of his young grandchildren's stuffed animals while scheming up new ways to spend time with the older ones. When his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Lucy discovers an old Major League Baseball while cleaning his cellar, he faces the difficult task of exposing a family secret that has lain dormant for the past forty years. Over a long lunch with Lucy, Landon reveals that he was previously married, divorced, and had a son, Alex. Two years after his parents' bitter divorce, sixteen-year-old Alex receives devastating news that derails the course of his life. In a captivating story about family, relationships, and reconciliation, The Baseball begs the question, "If life gave you a second chance, would you know what to do with it?"
Flerlage (Before Bethlehem) turns a retired doctor’s secret into a tender tale in this sentimental novel. While Lucy Myers, 13, sweeps her grandfather Landon’s Cincinnati basement, she discovers a baseball. She shows it to Landon, who decides Lucy is old enough to learn where it came from. In 1975, Landon’s first wife, Marilyn, divorces him after he prioritizes his career as a pediatric oncologist, and he’s only able to see his 16-year-old son, baseball fiend Alex, on weekends. One day, when picking him up for a Cincinnati Reds game, Landon learns Alex has had a seizure and suffers painful headaches. Landon insists Alex see a doctor, who confirms Landon’s fears that Alex has a brain tumor. As they rush Alex to surgery, Landon and Marilyn have to navigate their tense co-parenting relationship, and Landon confides in sympathetic nurse Cindy. The love and devotion Landon feels toward Alex makes his reticence to discuss him up until Lucy’s discovery of the baseball perplexing, but it makes for a heartfelt story. Fans of tearjerkers will feel right at home. (Self-published)