Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baseball Is Life


Much has been written and said about baseball, by men (and women) more in tune with the game than I. Remember my last visit to Just Contemporary Romance, when I confessed my dirty little secret?

As someone who’s made a habit of avoiding organized sports, I still find it strange that baseball-playing heroes star in all three of the books I sold to Turquoise Morning Press. Then again, perhaps it’s not so strange when you start to think of baseball as a metaphor for life.

Many folks do. Take this quote, for example:

Baseball is a lot more like life than life is. It's nine or more innings of struggle, against the game itself as much as the opponent. Take good swings at the right pitches and hits will come. Command the corners with quality pitches and you'll get hitters out. Good mechanics and good decisions, along with a little luck, produce victory. The obstacle is not the other team, not the problems in life, but how you approach the game.
RICHARD DAIGLE, Atlanta Magazine, July 2006
— From http://www.notable-quotes.com/b/baseball_quotes_iii.html#UhzRcxAkQUcTbGLJ.99

Or this one:

Baseball gives ... a growing boy self-poise and self-reliance. Baseball is a man maker.
AL SPALDING, attributed, American Through Baseball
— Also from http://www.notable-quotes.com/b/baseball_quotes_iii.html#X28p9mu5worLIfRb.99

Here’s another of my favorites:

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off.
BILL VEECK, attributed, Joy in Mudville
— Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/b/baseball_quotes_iv.html#oDXDXOelciiptvgb.99

When I wrote BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, I wasn’t thinking about baseball as a metaphor for life, or how the game shapes boys into men, or how baseball brings order to chaos. I only stumbled on these ideas afterward, when I started looking for promo ideas.

There is, however, sense in these thoughts — and countless others. There’s a reason baseball is called “the thinking man’s game,” right?

Matt, Arizona Condors catcher and the star of BEAUTY, certainly does his share of thinking. He never stops trying to outmaneuver the sex-crazed groupies he calls “baseball babes.” He worries about being replaced by the fresh-from-college rookie the Condors bring in for spring training. Then, once he finds out Meg comes with the baggage of a baby, he analyzes whether he’s ready to commit to them both. And he’s constantly coming up with ways to reorganize Meg’s admittedly chaotic life.

Of course, Meg objects to his reorganization attempts. She can run her life without his help, thank you very much. So what if she’s knocked up and single at thirty-two? She’s certainly not the first woman to fall for a jerk — nor will she be the last. Once she discovers the profession Matt’s been hiding from her, she has to decide whether he’s sincere or just another charming liar.

Toss in Meg’s boy-crazy friend Stephanie and Matt’s kid brother Stan, a super-stylist who knows Meg’s secret before Matt does, and you have more than enough chaos to carry a 50,000-word novel.

Let’s wax philosophical: Do you think baseball — or any other sport, really — can be a metaphor for life?

BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER is my 2011 RWA® Golden Heart-finaling manuscript, and I’m thrilled it’s finally hitting e-shelves.  It’s the second book in my “All Is Fair in Love & Baseball” series.

The blurb: Spunky, independent graphic designer Meg Malone finds herself pregnant soon after her no-good boyfriend abandons her for the professional poker circuit. Glad to be out of that mess, she swears off relationships. Then she meets Matt Thatcher, a solid, stable man, who throws her plans a curve. 

Matt, an up-and-coming minor league catcher burned one too many times by women who see him as their ticket to the good life, carefully guards his heart against “baseball babes.” He’s drawn to Meg for many reasons, chief among them she has no clue what he does for a living. 

Will it be game over when their secrets come to light? Or is their budding relationship strong enough to win the World Series of love? 

Find it at Turquoise Morning Press, Amazon, Smashwords and All Romance EBooks.
About Arlene: Arlene Hittle is a Midwestern transplant who now makes her home in northern Arizona. She suffers from the well-documented Hittle family curse of being a Cubs fan, but will root for the Diamondbacks until they run up against the Cubs. Longtime friends are amazed she writes books with sports in them, since she’s about as coordinated as a newborn giraffe and used to say marching band required more exertion than golf. Find her at http://arlenehittle.com, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/arlenehittle, on Facebook at Arlene Hittle, Author, on Goodreads and on Instagram, where she posts a lot of pictures of the meals she’s proud of eating—and none of the ones she regrets.

4 comments:

  1. I love baseball. My favorite quotes are from Yogi Berra, even though I'm not a Yankees fan. The quote I love the most is "Ninety percent of the game is half mental." I've seen more than one version of this, but it makes perfect sense to me. For baseball and life.

    I also can quote most of the lines from Bull Durham.

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  2. Thanks, Rogenna! Kristina, I've heard that Yogi Berra quote before ... and I hear you about not being a fan of the Yankees. I'm a true-blue Cubs fan. I haven't watched Bull Durham in years, but I think it's about time for a re-watch. I also want to see Trouble with the Curve. Didn't get a chance to when it was in theaters.

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  3. I enjoyed Trouble With The Curve. But I love baseball movies. I loved The Rookie, with Dennis Quaid, and 42 (even though I hate the Dodgers, I respect Jackie Robinson.)

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