Tony's father hasn't been home in months; his mother Eileen spends days ""sick"" in bed, leaving four-year-old Christy on her own. Only on the baseball field does Tony feel safe and in control. Gradually, he realizes that his mother's illness is not flu but alcoholism. When she is hospitalized after a fall, Dad returns, admitting that he had fled the problem rather than face it; he patiently bears Tony's hot anger, and by the end they are friends, waiting for Eileen--still at the denial stage--to come home. Tony performs heroically in several games, but the baseball action takes a backseat to his bitter discovery that his parents are imperfect. With insight, Anderson, author of Coming Home: Children's Stories for Adult Children of Alcoholics (1988), explores the effects (though not the causes) of alcoholism on a family, properly offering no easy solutions.