In this fictional tale of baseball, philanthropy and romance, Minnesota Twins pitching coach Chet Macquire takes a trip to the Dominican Republic to check out a new pitcher.
Though he’s heard amazing things about the pitcher’s talent, what he’s not expecting is a woman. Impressed by her rocketlike pitches, Macquire signs her to the team and takes her back home. Fari Madrigal becomes the first female pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball. “Fastball Fari,” as she’s called, is a big hit both with the Twins and the American public. Even more surprising than her tremendous skill is the fact that she signed to play for minimum wage. The reason why soon becomes apparent when her mother, also her agent, begins striking deals with major companies such as PepsiCo; Fari will endorse their company if they donate substantial amounts of money to charity. In this way, Fari and her mother accrue tens of millions of dollars to educate and help children in the U.S. and Central America. In the background, a romance blossoms between Macquire and Fari, but another coach is developing unhealthy feelings toward her, and a small group of people plot to get rid of the female star because they don’t like the idea of a woman playing ball. The thrills and spills behind the scenes of professional baseball are exposed with both poignancy and humor. Cruit deftly portrays the complex dynamic of a sports franchise while maintaining the individual characteristics of the team players. The story has multiple layers, which slowly peel back to reveal a closer examination of humanity, not always a team sport.
Baseball fans will especially love this exciting story interspersed with incisive looks at professional sports management, capitalism and gender issues.