If I Never Get Back
By Darryl Brock
(Frog Books, Paperback, 9781583941874, 432pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Contemporary reporter Sam Fowler, stuck in a dull job and a failing marriage, abruptly finds himself transported back to the summer of 1869. After a wrenching period of adjustment, he comes to feel rejuvenated by his involvement with the nation's first pro baseball players. He also finds his senses quickening and tastes changing as he faces life-threatening 19th-century challenges on and off the baseball diamond. Through his attachments to the ballplayers and the lovely Caitlin O'Neill, he might just regain the sense of family he desperately needs. Darryl Brock masterfully evokes post-Civil War America’s smoky, turbulent cities, the new transcontinental railroad that takes passengers over prairies and mountains to California, the dance halls and parlor houses, the financial booms and busts, and historical luminaries like Mark Twain and Jesse James. Equally appealing to sports fans and anyone who likes a good read, If I Never Get Back well deserves the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s judgment that it “hits a home run.”
For the better part of two decades, Darryl Brock was a history, English, and psychology instructor in San Francisco Bay Area high schools. He holds a BA from the University of Redlands and has many graduate units in history at UC Berkeley. He has served as a writing consultant to the State of California and worked with Educational Testing Service to establish essay-scoring programs. Since 1984, Brock has been a full-time freelance writer, and is the author of numerous articles and reviews, many of them about early baseball and/or Mark Twain.He is an accomplished public speaker on the subjects of the Red Stockings, early baseball in general, and his experience in researching those pioneer pros. He is heavily involved in the world of baseball, attending Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) regional meetings and occasionally national conventions, as well as other baseball organizations' functions.Darryl Brock lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and daughter.
“A rawhide odyssey … meticulously historical.… By now the reader is asking ‘And then? And then?’ like a child listening to a storyteller.”—Time “Grabs you from line one on page one and never lets go. Enchanting.” —San Francisco Chronicle “An engrossing, even charming tale.… By its final inning, the reader is sad to see it end.” —The New York Times Book Review“A grand adventure and joyful embrace of baseball the way it ought to be played … If I Never Get Back should be required reading for players and owners as well as fans.”—The Washington Times