By: John H Ritter
It’s not often that a grown man gets to indulge a childhood baseball fantasy, turn it into a full length novel, and predict the future at the same time. But at this point in the 2012 baseball season, that appears to be just what I’ve done with my latest novel, Fenway Fever.
I’ve always dreamed of being a part of the Boston Red Sox. Having grown up in San Diego, hometown of Ted Williams (who began his professional career with the Triple A Padres in 1937), I also grew up hearing my father’s stories of The Kid’s passion for the game. Dad, a sportswriter out of Cleveland who had covered Williams for years, even told me I was built like the Splendid Splinter, tall and lanky. And since I threw right and batted left, as did he, I often imagined myself as another “Kid-in-the-making.”
Fenway Park, here I come.
Luckily, a boy never runs out of dreams. And though my passion for baseball never died, my prospects ended after one season of college ball. That’s when I turned to writing. And by the spring of 2010, after publishing five novels, I started doing research on a family story of a baseball-loving hotdog vendor struggling to make ends meet in the wake of his wife’s death. Soon my childhood came rushing back to me in the form of one of my deepest memories, the death of my mom when I was four years old and how our family drew upon the game of baseball to make our way through the trials of that event.