Plot: The author's decades-long involvement in youth baseball is evident in how focused his plot is on the minutiae of the game—so much so that the insider baseball commentary is likely to appeal primarily to ballplayers themselves.
Prose: When Wilbert writes about the art and the arc of a baseball game, his prose is uncluttered and illuminating; off-field, it strives too hard at being humorous.
Originality: The love of the game of baseball propels this messy, rollicking account of an eccentric coach's last year of fielding a team of teenage ballplayers.
Character Development: With a character roster of 19 players, five coaches, and many more small-town quirky personalities, the author valiantly attempts to distinguish one from another, and for the most part succeeds—though overall, less would have been more here.
Date Submitted: August 27, 2018