For Love of the Game
By Michael Shaara
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345408921, 160pp.)
Publication Date: March 11, 1997
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Billy Chapel is a baseball legend, a man who has devoted his life to the game he loves and plays so well. But because of his unsurpassed skill and innocent faith, he has been betrayed. Now it's the final game of the season, and Billy's got one last chance to prove who he is and what he can do, a chance to prove what really matters in this life. A taut, compelling story of one man's coming of age, FOR LOVE OF THE GAME is Michael Shaara's final novel, the classic finish to a brilliantly distinguished literary career.
In the early 1950s, Michael Shaara published award-winning science fiction stories in the most popular pulp magazines of the day. He later began writing straight fiction and published more than seventy short stories in such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Playboy, and many others. His first novel, The Broken Place, was published in 1968. But it was a simple family vacation to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1966 that gave him the inspiration for his greatest achievement, The Killer Angels.
After seven years of research and rewrite, and then two years of rejections from publishers, The Killer Angels was finally published by Random House, later winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Michael Shaara went on to write two more novels, The Noah Conspiracy and For Love of the Game, which was published posthumously after his untimely death in 1988.
It was Shaara's son Jeff who found the manuscript of For Love of the Game among his father's many works, thus insuring another piece of the Michael Shaara legacy.
"Moving, beautiful . . . If Hemingway had written a baseball novel, he might have written For Love of the Game."
--Los Angeles Times
"A delightful and lyrical story about a great athlete's momentous last game . . . A fairy tale for adults about love and loneliness and finally growing up."
"An endearing, timeless novel that can be enjoyed by both serious readers and baseball lovers for generations to come."
--The Orlando Sentinel
"ONE OF THE BEST BASEBALL NOVELS I'VE EVER READ."
--San Diego Union-Tribune