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My latest book, with Mark "The Bird" Fidrych as a backdrop

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  • My latest book, with Mark "The Bird" Fidrych as a backdrop

    Hey...this is my 4th book, but my first attempt at fiction...here's the story synopsis:


    David Kirk’s dreams of baseball glory must be put on hold while he plots a murder.

    In the summer of 1976, Detroit Tiger rookie Mark “The Bird” Fidrych is captivating the nation by talking to the baseball and acting like a goofy kid. A few blocks east of Tiger Stadium, in one of the city’s worst slums, another talented young pitcher sits by the window, watching his aunt turn tricks.

    David Kirk has a golden right arm and a head full of trouble. He lives with his grandmother and younger twin brothers in the Cass Corridor, Detroit’s impoverished red-light district. David idolizes The Bird, and dreams of joining him on the Tigers someday. But reality’s always just outside the window.

    Aunt Mary has hustled in front of their apartment building for as long as he can remember. The years on the street have sucked her dry, and the johns aren’t stopping like they once did. Her pimp, Kane, constantly thrashes her, and terrorizes David and the twins. The boys talk about standing up to him but can’t muster the courage — until their cousin Amy begs them to fight back.

    Amy is just starting to blossom, and Kane plans to put her to work, to cash in on customers who want “the young stuff.” Amy doesn’t want to end up like her mom, so she turns to her cousins for help.

    They decide to kill the pimp. But that’s easier said than done.

    Set in the decadent 1970s, in a neighborhood where dysfunction passes for normal, the adult urban thriller BLOOD BALL JONES follows a youthful underdog’s dreams of glory and revenge.

    Blood Ball Jones - Kindle edition by Hunter, George. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

    About the author: George Hunter’s father was a murderer. His grandfather was a newsman. Three of his siblings were Detroit cops. Hunter doesn’t just cover the Detroit crime beat; it shoots through his veins. Hunter grew up in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, the city’s red-light district, and he uses his life experiences to cover cops and criminals. The award-winning reporter’s national and international media appearances include CNN, HLN, Fox News Channel, the BBC, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and Fugi TV in Japan. He has also authored three true-crime books, and wrote, recorded and produced "Sins of Detroit," a podcast about wrongful convictions in Detroit.
    Last edited by Victory Faust; 02-10-2021, 08:06 PM.
    "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

  • #2
    Here are the first few pages, to give you an idea the tone of the story; it's pretty dark:

    Aunt Mary hiked her miniskirt and wiggled her hips but the cars never even slowed down. That ******* Kane would be by soon to collect. My aunt was done for.

    I sighed out the window, fingering my lucky baseball, watching Cass Avenue from the second floor, wishing myself away …



    TIGER STADIUM — Seventh game of the World Series. Two outs in the ninth, Pete Rose in an 0-2 hole. One strike to go. I step off the mound. Fifty thousand fans are clapping, stomping, chanting my name. I kick the dirt and sniff the baseball. Charlie Hustle waits, crouching in the batter’s box, chomping gum, wagging his bat. I rear back and fire my legendary “Blood Ball,” a 150-mph heater. Strike three! The Tigers are the 1976 World Champs! Fans swarm the infield … Freehan and The Bird lift me onto their shoulders … then I float away, far above the crowd and out of the ballpark toward Cooperstown, where my Hall of Fame plaque lights up the sky in giant flaming letters: “David Kirk, Detroit Tigers: Greatest Pitcher Who Ever Lived.”



    My daydream scattered when Kane rounded the corner. I leaned sideways and peeked through a rip in the curtain.

    He jaywalked across Cass sneering. Aunt Mary threw her cigarette to the curb and coughed smoke. She stared at the sidewalk, offering a single bill. The money dangled there.

    “Ten dollars?” He pushed his hat back. “You think I’m stupid or something?”

    Her lips moved, but from the second story all I heard was a squeak. He cocked his palm.

    “Please . . .”

    Bam! The backhand dropped her to the sidewalk. She covered her face. His shoe slammed into her stomach. A car cut around them. He kicked her again. “Get up!”

    My cousin Amy ran out of our building barefoot. I winced.

    Kane snarled as she approached. “You better go, girl.”

    Amy yanked his sleeve. “Come on, Kane. It ain’t my ma’s fault — it’s slow tonight.”

    Kane’s slap jerked my cousin’s head backward. She tumbled to the pavement and curled up in a ball.

    Kane heaved a few breaths and stared at the sky for a second before turning to my aunt and nudging her with his shoe. “Clean yourself up and get back to work. You hear me, bitch?”

    Aunt Mary sniffled and nodded. Kane fixed his hat and pimped down Selden Street.

    My little brother Adam brushed past me and stretched out the window. His twin Jimmy squeezed in between us.

    Adam grabbed my shoulder. “What the hell happened?”

    Jimmy pulled his head inside. “What do you think happened?”

    Adam squinted down at our cousin, who sat on the curb rubbing her cheek. “That dirty piece of **** — what did he do to her?”

    “She’s okay; he only slapped her once,” I said.

    Jimmy sighed. “Doesn’t look like he got Aunt Mary too bad. She’s getting up.”

    I nodded. “Amy distracted him in time. He was kicking her hard before she got there, though.”

    Adam balled his fist. “I’m so sick of this ****. One of these days, I’m gonna kill that sonofabitch. Watch and see.”





    § § §



    I bounced the rubber ball on the sidewalk while the twins jogged ahead. Jimmy pointed the bat toward the Hamilton Funeral Home parking lot.

    “Cool, only two cars,” he said. “Anything hit over that Volkswagen’s a double. Over the blue car’s a triple.”

    We crossed the street toward the shady side of the lot, where the strike zone, a rectangle with an ‘x’ through the middle, was spray-painted on the back wall.

    Jimmy tossed the bat to Adam, who caught it near the label. We worked our fists up the handle until Adam’s covered the knob.

    He snatched the bat. “First ups.”

    I headed toward the pitcher’s “mound,” a scratch on the concrete exactly 60 feet, six inches away from the wall. When I got there, I closed my eyes. It all came together like a puzzle when I closed my eyes …



    For decades, Blood Ball Kirk and Mark the Bird gave the Detroit Tigers the greatest one-two pitching punch in baseball history. In 1976, The Bird turned in a fantastic rookie season, but that was eclipsed by Kirk, who joined the Tigers straight out of high school in 1980 and logged an incredible 35-0 record with an 0.00 ERA and 1,000 strikeouts …



    When I peeled my eyes open, I was back in the funeral home lot with my little brothers. I focused on the strike zone, cracked my neck, wound up and let loose. The rubber ball popped against the bricks and bounced back. The next one hit louder and burned sweeter, sending a warm tickle ran through my spine. The harder I threw, the higher I flew.

    After I was warmed up, Adam stepped into the fog and I dropped three Blood Balls on him. Jimmy took his place. Then Adam was up again. He threw the bat.

    “Bastard.” He shook his head, scooped up his mitt and walked toward me.

    I snapped out of my trance. I’d just struck out the side. My turn to hit.

    Adam took his warm-up tosses and I stepped up to the X on the wall. He fired a high heater. I swung and missed by a mile. The next one was a curve, which I popped to Jimmy in the outfield, who barely had to move. He snorted. “Grandma hits better than that.”

    “One out.” I knocked the bat on the ground.

    Adam spat in my direction. “See if you can hit this Nolan Ryan fastball.”

    He tried to fool me with another Mickey Lolich curve but I was ready this time, smacking the ball on the nose, sending it way over Jimmy’s head toward the other side of Cass Avenue.

    I pumped my fist. “Gone!” But the word caught in my throat when I saw Kane leaning on his new Cadillac outside the Old Miami Bar, directly in the ball’s path. Prayers and body English didn’t help; it thumped off the hood and rolled under a van. Jimmy took off after it.

    “Man, don’t go over there.”

    But he kept jogging across the street, too focused on the ball to hear me. He dropped to his belly near the curb and scooted past the van’s back tire, reaching for the ball. He didn’t see Kane coming.

    Adam ran toward them. I followed, my stomach churning.

    Kane stood over Jimmy as he rolled out from under the van. “That ball hit my new ride, boy.”

    Jimmy hid the ball in his mitt. “Um, I wasn’t the one who hit it, though —”

    A slap across the chops shut him up.

    “I just bought that damn car.” Kane raised his hand again.

    Adam ran faster. I tried to keep up.

    Kane spun around. “You punks better step off.”

    Adam pushed his shoulders back. “Jimmy didn’t do nothing to you. Why do you got to be an ******* all the time?”

    Kane’s eyes bugged out as he turned away from Jimmy. “What’d you say?”

    I grabbed my brother’s arm and maneuvered in front of him.

    “Man, come on, Kane, it’s cool. It was an accident. We’re really sorry, alright? It’s only a rubber ball, so it didn’t hurt nothing. Alright?”

    His hand swiped forward. I tried to duck but he was too quick, snatching my hair and yanking me off balance.

    “Don’t tell me what the damn ball is made out of — keep it away from my new ride.”

    He slammed me across the ear with the side of his hand and I flopped to the ground, scraping my elbow on the sidewalk. Colors swirled in my head as I braced for another blow. Seconds passed. A car door slammed. An engine fired and tires rolled. He was gone.

    I finally managed to force my eyes open and stand up. Everything was spinning. Through the haze I saw Jimmy, bent over and crying.

    “You all right?” I put my hand on his shoulder.

    He didn’t answer.

    Adam shoved me from behind. “Why the hell did you jump in front of me like that?”

    I turned and pushed back. “Because you’re a ******* — you don’t know when to keep your mouth shut.”

    “Mouth shut? What was I supposed to do, stand there and watch him stomp Jimmy into the ground? Besides, what difference does it make? You said you were sorry and he kicked your ass anyway.”

    “No, I distracted him and he snapped out of it. He hit me once and went away. If I didn’t stop you from jumping in his face, you’d be laying in the street bleeding right now, I guarantee. Trying to act all bad; what do you think he’s gonna do when you call him an *******? Piss him off more.”

    “Who’s to say I wouldn’t kick his ass?”

    I scoffed. “A 13-year-old kid. You’re full of ****.”

    “Well, at least I didn’t kiss his ass like you did.”

    “Man, I didn’t kiss nobody’s ass — I did what I was supposed to, and he calmed down and went away.”

    “No, you kissed his ass.” He made a face and mimicked me: “It’s cool, Kane. Please, man, be cool. Please? Alright, man?”

    “Yeah? You had your chance — he was standing right there just a minute ago. You could’ve done something after he hit me. What did you do? Not a damn thing. Now, you’re talking all bad, like you’re Bruce Lee or something. Ricky Jones is more like it.”

    “Ricky Jones, my ass. Whatever, man. You’re a dick.” Adam stomped across the street toward our building.

    Jimmy was still sniffling. I touched his arm. He nudged my hand away and snatched the ball and his mitt from the ground.

    “Let’s just go.”

    We grabbed the rest of our baseball gear and limped back to our building.

    "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd like to get this. You can pm me details if it's against the rules to just post it

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
        I'd like to get this. You can pm me details if it's against the rules to just post it
        Jeez, it might help if I post the doggone link! Thanks...here:

        Blood Ball Jones - Kindle edition by Hunter, George. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
        "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

        Comment

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