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Stealing Home: A Father, A Son, and the Road to the Perfect Game

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This book is about much more than baseball. It explores the father-son relationship on so many levels. A must-read.

Ron Seybold's memoir about a father-son road trip to visit and experience baseball games is so much more than simply driving through several states, buying tickets, staying in hotels and root, root, rooting for the home team. As a former sportswriter, Ron knows baseball. He knows how to keep score the "right" way (as one former sportscaster once showed me back in the 1960s). He's a divorced dad, and he carves out time to spend with his son, Nicky, to drive from Texas to several ballparks, staying in sometimes sleazy, sometimes upscale hotels, to visit various baseball stadiums in 1994. He's determined to give Nicky an experience he'll never forget, even going to Wrigley Field to watch Nicky's favorite team, the Cubs, despite the fact that Nicky's already been there with his stepfather.


Ron's experiences with fatherhood had been shaky, even prior to his divorce, thanks in large part to his issues with his own father, who, as it turns out, committed suicide when Ron was in the US Army just shy of his own 21st birthday. This memoir shifts back and forth between the baseball road trip and Ron's struggles with the lack of a role model for parenthood from his father. He says he was "in the middle of a trip to provide that I knew more about loving than my dad. He did his best at love, but he threw wild. Love gave him a no decision when he pitched."


As a baseball fan myself, I loved Ron's ability to work baseball analogies into his writing. He and Nicky talked baseball back and forth, whether taking notes about games, bantering back and forth about their teams (Ron loved the Cincinnati Reds, while Nicky's team was the Chicago Cubs), or being breathless as Kenny Rogers of the Texas Rangers was in the middle of throwing a perfect game (27 up, 27 down).


Yes, they bonded during the trip. The extraordinary thing about this memoir was how it happened, not that it happened, and how Ron himself came to recognize his own anxieties and failures and how they related to similarities in those from which his own father had suffered. He realized that his father, like himself, had not been prepared for parenthood, but perhaps also had dealt with organic mental illness that had gone unrecognized prior to his father's having lost his job--and his identity--before his suicide.


Ron's writing is outstanding, and I enjoyed the easy, baseball-game-like pacing. I also liked the way he wrapped up the ending and brought it full circle. I won't reveal exactly what it is, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised that he acknowledged one of my favorite baseball writers in the appendix. As a baseball fan, a writer of baseball stories and a parent myself, I couldn't have been more pleased with this book.

Reviewed by

After a 40-year career in public relations/marketing/media relations, I wrote my first novel, "Empty Seats," a coming-of-age book with baseball as the backdrop. This award-winning debut novel is appropriate for young adults as well as people of all ages and has received excellent reviews on Amazon.

Introductions

About the author

Ron Seybold is an editor and ex-sportswriter with baseball memories from before the DH, as well as World Series joy from both his NL and AL teams. He coaches authors, edits books, and released his debut novel Viral Times long before Instagram was everywhere. He writes and edits in Austin. view profile

Published on August 01, 2019

Published by Skin Horse Press

60000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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