Synopses & Reviews
A vivid portrait of a young man's coming of age in an America that is almost gone, Waiting for Teddy Williams
has been hailed by Ernest Hebert as "ranking with Huckleberry Finn
in heart, spirit, and insight into the American character."
The book begins on the eighth birthday of Ethan "E.A." Allen in the remote village of Kingdom Common, Vermont. Noted for its fervent, if unrequited, devotion to the Boston Red Sox, the village sports a replica of Fenway Park's Green Monster on top of the local baseball bat factory. Here, in a region that lags decades behind the rest of New England, E.A. lives with his honky-tonk mother, Gypsy Lee, and the acid-tongued Gran, wheelchair-bound since the Sox's heart-wrenching playoff loss to the Yankees in 1978. Homeschooled, fatherless, and living on the wrong side of the tracks, E.A. is an outcast in his own town. Haunted by a dark mystery in his family's past, he has only one close friend to talk it over with, a statue of his namesake on the village green.
Into the world of the Allen family comes a drifter named Teddy, who is determined to do one decent thing in his life by teaching E.A. everything he knows about baseball. As E.A. grows up and learns the secrets of the game, we get to know Kingdom Common and its flinty, colorful people. We also meet the incomparable manager of the Red Sox, the Legendary Spence, "the winningest big-league manager never to win a World Series," and his macaw, Curse of the Bambino. When the Sox's new owner vows to move the team to Hollywood if they lose the Series again, Spence, his pitching corps decimated by injuries, has to take a chance on a young nobody from Vermont.
"New York baseball fans won't like this book at all. In Mosher's ninth novel (after The True Account), one of the funniest and most heartfelt baseball stories in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox beat the Yankees to win their division, then go on to whip the Mets to win the World Series. Eight-year-old Ethan 'E.A.' Allen lives in the rural Vermont village of Kingdom Common. Redheaded, fatherless and home-schooled, E.A. longs to do two things in life play baseball for the Red Sox and find out who his father is. E.A. is raised on a run-down farm by his smart, cheerful mother, Gypsy Lee, who writes wacky country-and-western songs, and his grandmother, a mean old biddy who swears Bucky Dent's home run in 1978 put her in a wheelchair for life. One night a drifter called Teddy with a mysterious connection to the Allen family shows up at the farm, and soon he's giving E.A. tips on batting, fielding and baserunning. Nine years later and after countless adventures, E.A. is a hotshot pitcher. Aided by Teddy and Cajun Stan the Baseball Man, E.A. ends up pitching for the nearly deflated and defunct Red Sox. His big league adventures are a riotous string of baseball antics involving even more screwball characters like the Sox manager, Legendary Spence, whose talking macaw, Curse of the Bambino, sits on his shoulder in the dugout and torments him by saying, 'New York Yankees, number one.' This is a baseball fantasy, a warm and hilarious tale of dreams come true. Agent, Dan Mandel. Forecast: Mosher is a bookseller's dream, embarking on a coast-to-coast tour every year. This year he's bringing a slide show with him, dubbed 'Baseball and the Writing Life,' and should win over more diehard fans, even far from his New England stomping grounds." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"As sweet as heart-gladdening as the juice from a ripe peach." Kirkus Reviews
Haunted by a dark mystery in his family's past, eight-year-old E.A. is an outcast in his Vermont town, except when it comes to baseball. A drifter named Teddy, who is determined to do one decent thing in his life, teaches E.A. how to really play ball.
In "one of the funniest and most heartfelt baseball stories in recent memory" (Publishers Weekly), Howard Frank Mosher returns to Kingdom Common, Vermont, to spin a touching coming-of-age tale in an America that has almost disappeared. From this remote village, noted for its fervent devotion to the Red Sox, comes Ethan E.A.” Allen, a young man with a chance to change baseball history. Homeschooled, fatherless, and living on the wrong side of the tracks, E.A. is haunted by a dark mystery in his familys past until a drifter named Teddy arrives in his life, determined to teach E.A. everything he knows about baseball.
Filled with an engaging array of rambunctious, memorable characters and brimming with faith, Waiting for Teddy Williams is an irresistible read that reminds us that dreamsno matter how far-fetchedsometimes do come true.
About the Author
Howard Frank Mosher is the author of North Country: A Personal Journey through the Borderland and of six novels, including Stranger in the Kingdom (winner of the 1991 New England Book Award for fiction), Northern Borders, and Where the Rivers Flow North. Mosher presently resides in Irasburg, Vermont.