An attuned and splendidly written account of a bonus baby whose promising baseball career fizzled after a few years in the low minors. As a highly touted Little League hurler from Connecticut, Jordan's mound appearances were manipulated to ensure strikeouts and attract the attention of scouts. After signing a $45,000 bonus with Milwaukee in 1959, the author began in Class D ball with the McCook (Nebraska) Braves and went downhill from there. By nature a loner, he felt even more isolated in the likes of Keokuk, Iowa, and Waycross, Georgia. There he was subject to ""inexplicable bouts of wildness"" as his natural fastball zoomed out of lunging reach of his catcher. Lacking the necessary desire, Jordan substituted instead an affected ""earnestness"" -- it's only now he realizes he ""didn't fit in and never had."" After two frustrating seasons, he changed his delivery and began to throw strikes again with an unnatural motion. This bit of temporizing merely served to postpone the inevitable -- a few more ego-shattering shellackings as a member of the Palatka (Fla.) Azaleas. More proficient with pen than rosin, the author reflects upon the ""dead time"" he spent with remarkable insight. The best baseball book since The Summer Game.