More great news! The baseball anthology Playing Ball that I helped put together with Kerry Freeman, Marguerite Labbe, and Kate McMurray has received an honorable mention nod from the Rainbow Awards. As awards maven Elisa Rolle explains it, an honorable mention goes to any book that’s awarded a score of 36 or higher (out of 40) by at least one judge. These stories might still place in the final awards listings for their categories.
Here are some of the comments we received:
This was overall a very enjoyable anthology. The characters are ‘people’ one can actually ‘see’ in real life. Their situations are factual, things like what each of these men went through I could see happening to men out there.
This array of stories sucked me in… I liked they were so easy to fall into and feel like you were a part of the story itself—sign of good writing to me.
Probably the best anthology I have ever read. Each story was a little gem. Loved it.
Thank you to the judges, and especially to Elisa for all the hard work she puts into this project every year. 🙂
For those who haven’t tried out this anthology, here are the buy links and story blurbs:
Home Field Advantage by Shae Connor
Toby MacMillan, grandson of Atlanta Braves owner Ray MacMillan, lives for baseball and loves his team. When he meets new team member Caleb Browning, an innocent welcome-to-the-big-leagues dinner leads to a not-so-innocent night together. Toby quickly calls things off, afraid of the ramifications of their tryst, but the two men develop a friendship that soon becomes more. After Caleb takes a fastball to the head, their budding romance hits the news—and Toby’s grandfather hits the roof. When Ray MacMillan demands Toby deny the relationship, Toby must choose between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it.
One Man to Remember by Kate McMurray
It’s 1927, and in New York City, Babe Ruth and the Yankees’ unstoppable batting lineup, Murderers’ Row, is all anyone can talk about. Across town, the Giants’ rookie infielder Skip Littlefield racks up hits, creating a streak to rival the Babe’s. Worried his secrets could get out, he avoids the spotlight, but he catches the attention of lauded sports reporter Walter Selby, a notorious dandy whose sexuality is an open secret. Skip reluctantly agrees to an interview, and mutual attraction is sparked. Skip can only hope the more charismatic stars will draw attention away from his romance with Walt. Otherwise, his career and everything he loves is at stake.
Wild Pitch by Marguerite Labbe
Ruben Martell fell in love with Alan Hartner during their years playing baseball. They stepped over the foul line once, but the encounter left them struggling with heartache and guilt, turning away from each other to focus on their families. Now retired from the majors, they run a batting cage together and coach rival Little League teams as they juggle fatherhood and being single again. Though Ruben has never given up hope that Alan might look at him as more than a friend, Alan seems determined to keep things the way they’ve always been. But long-buried feelings and desires have a way of resurfacing, and Ruben can’t wait forever.
One Last Road Trip by Kerry Freeman
With the last game of his Major League Baseball career behind him, Jake Wilson hits the road. Years have passed, but he never got over the romance he shared with Mikko Niemi back in college. Finally, he’s ready to do something about it. He starts with some crucial visits to his ex-wife in New Mexico, his son in Oklahoma, and his daughter in Tennessee. But his true destination is Mikko’s home in Georgia, where he’s hoping to get a second chance at love.