TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME by Gary Morgenstein

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dullsville: a no-class baseball novel that's depressingly humorless despite locker-room obscenities galore and low-brow players doing the inarticulate routine. Super-fan Cal Fleisher is a loser at 28, a flabby fatso who works in a chicken factory as a clerk and has a degree from Erie Community College for the Industrial Arts. Cal's only lift in life is his identification with the hometown baseball team, the Buffalo Matadors, who are at the bottom of the National League when penny-pinching, loudmouth, plumbing-tycoon Harry Witowsky shells out $14 million to buy the club and boost its standing. When the team does improve--mostly because of fan reaction--and begins a no-loss streak, Harry pumps up fan interest in every way possible: having Polish-American night; giving away bats to kids 14 and under; hiring sexy majorettes in bikinis; cutting the price of beer to a nickel; and mounting an electronic scoreboard with jokes--such as Bugs Bunny appearing with a carrot when Matador shortstop Jim Tooney (as in Looney Tunes) steps up to bat and chews on a carrot. Cal, who has a season ticket, soon becomes recognized as the Matadors' number-one fan and even helps to form a fan club that becomes extremely vicious and unsportsmanlike in its support. But after Cal has an impotent evening with big-busted Helen from his office, he becomes insane about the team--and eventually he hollows out a bat, fits it with a .22 rifle, and kills a successful rival pitcher on the field. An unattractive mix of labored hijinks and contrived psycho-suspense: little entertainment, even (or especially) for baseball fans.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1980
ISBN: 1448620503
Publisher: St. Martin's