Dave Knowles, a minor leaguer for four years, has been tagged with the Kiss of Death: scouts claim he cannot hit a curve. When he is purchased by the Robins (read N.Y. Mets) he finds himself in the big leagues surrounded by old men on the way out and unseasoned rookies on the way up. The tough, sometimes kindly, manager sees Dave as a possible pinch hitter, nothing more. In handling the tensions inevitable to a consistently losing team, Friendlich proves again that he is one of the best sports writers currently working. The game descriptions are interesting but never melodramatic; Dave's eventual success is satisfying but not spectacular. The best touch of all is a sportswriter who is a nice guy. A well written book about journeymen ballplayers who have problems but are normal men doing a day's work.