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THIS IS NEXT YEAR by Philip Goldberg

THIS IS NEXT YEAR

By Philip Goldberg

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-345-36647-6
Publisher: Ballantine

 Time was, the National League Dodgers team belonged to Brooklyn and Brooklyn belonged to ``the Bums.'' First-novelist Goldberg here takes a super-sentimental journey back to 1955, the last glory days of Ebbets Field, and builds a chummy family sitcom around game high points--and low. Head of the Stone family is Cyclone Frankie, a man with legend attached, one who would have been hot stuff in the League except for an accident. Now, Frankie's dreams are centered on son Hubbell (named for Carl), groomed for pitcher greatness. Son Roger, who narrates, is being trained, at 11, for stardom behind the plate. The number three son, the fat one known as ``Round Man,'' doesn't get much attention from Pop. Then there's Mom Jeanie, a tiny athlete known for derring-do and administrative ability. Among the crises during the Bums' volcano-edge triumphs: Hubbell's rebellion, Jeanie's ``furlough'' from home life, drug dealing in the neighborhood, etc. But all is resolved, and there's even a visit to the home of the great Jackie Robinson with a gift of a lucky bat. Plus, of course, that game when the Yankees go home in defeat.... The streets, artifacts, and multiethnic neighborly neighborhood of Brooklyn are cross-stitched here without a blemish; and fans--particularly those who remember--may enjoy the excerpts from the play-by-play accounts, over the airwaves at Jake's Luncheonette, of heroics on the sacred sod of Ebbets Field.