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Seven original baseball short stories in the mystery and murder genres, written by an all-star lineup of writers, each of whom understand the game's lore and tactical nuances as well as its deep roots in American life. Compiled by Otto Penzler, the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and regarded as the world's foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction. Stories include:
"Keller's Designated Hitter" by Lawrence Block - Professional hitman John Keller is after a pro ballplayer whose hitting average hasn't kept up with his expensive contract.
"Pinch Hitter, A Nathan Heller Story" by Max Allan Collins - Fact and fiction mix in this preposterous and amusing whodunit. When bold Bill Veeck brings the first midget, Eddie Gaedel, into baseball as a pinch-hitter and he is found dead, private eye Nat Heller investigates.
"Two Bagger" by Michael Connelly - Connelly pens a gripping and emotional father-son story of an ex-con who meets a pair of cops while at a Dodger game.
"Strike Zone" by K.C. Constantine - Ex-pitcher goes on a stone-throwing rampage.
"A Family Game" by Brendan DuBois - Youth baseball causes great turmoil in the life of a former mobster under witness protection in a small rural town.
"Chickasaw Charlie Hoke" by Elmore Leonard - The little lies of an aging former ballplayer become vividly painful when he exaggerates about his pitiful career.
"Sacrifice Hit" by John Lescroart - What ghastly adult passions arise when a Little League benchwarmer, who saw more time in the dugout than in the game, suddenly dies of a rattlesnake bite while his team is preparing for the game that will decide who will go to the Little League World Series.