BEANBALL by Tom Seaver


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In this limp sequel to the foolish Murder at the Superbowl (Fran Tarkenton and Resnicow, 1986), sports-reporter Marc Burr covers another locker-room homicide--this time amidst a World Series matchup between two fictional teams, the Brooklyn Bandits and the New Jersey Boomers. The much-hated victim is Bandits owner Sam Prager, a Steinbrenner-ish tyrant whom Marc finds dead, bloodily bean-balled, in a corridor at Brooklyn's Gruber Dome. Whodunit? Was it Bandits manager Butch Bello, who loathed Prager for his interfering ways? Or ex-Bandits outfielder Len Carter (now playing for the Boomers), whom Prager always used to persecute? Or Boomers manager Dan Zarik, another former target of the Prager treatment? Etc. Ambitious journalist Marc plays detective, or course, despite hostility from the cops and nagging from a neglected girlfriend. He finds the actual murder weapon (a pitching machine), gets bean-balled himself, and eventually fingers the oh-so-obvious culprit. The sub-formula mystery is hashed out in blandly talky chunks. Four games in the make-believe World Series are described in play-by-play detail but only come slightly alive when capitalizing on Seaver's inside knowledge of pitching strategy. (One star player--and suspect--is a Seaver-like veteran facing 40 with ever-more reliance on his knuckleball.) And, lamely padded out with tabloid-newsroom subplots, this low-level book package doesn't even belong on the same shelf with Rosen's Strike Three, You're Dead, Parker's Mortal Stakes, and other classy baseball mysteries.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 1989
ISBN: 688-07194-5
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
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