"Clayton put a fastball right down the center of the plate, and like a good soldier Louie watched it go by."

For the youth of the 20th century, baseball stories are as close to legends come true as anything else could be. In this particular tale, a retelling of a simple showdown between teams of neighborhood boys enters that same pantheon of legend, though few who were not there ever knew it was played. Autobiographical in nature, there are three stories being told in tandem from the author and narrator: the play-by-play of a neighborhood baseball game, a story of emotional distance in small-town family life, and a transcription of letters written by the author's father to his wife as he serves in World War II. While these three things seemingly have little in common, they weave together to paint a picture of a father and son that struggle to connect at times, but find a bridge toward love and respect through a classic American game.

While an unsanctioned neighborhood little league baseball game seemingly has little to no historical significance to the outside world, the author makes it abundantly clear that any memory can be truly formative or life-changing. The additional storylines outlining life at home and the cautious optimism of a soldier yearning to come home and start a family with his wife were unexpected surprises, but ones that really bring clarity and life to the author's father in particular. While there is some embellishment particularly as it relates to the game whose statistics were lost to time, the letters are transcribed word for word, offering a fascinating insight into the author's father as a person and his changing attitudes as his life continued. Baseball and Americana are forever intertwined, and with an interest in either, this story comes to life and feels like any other great American summer legend.

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