Southeastern writer's book in Baseball Hall of Fame library
Contact: Rene Abadie
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HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University English Professor Norman German’s recently published novel about minor league baseball in the ‘50s has been added to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s library in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Two copies of “Switch-Pitchers,” German’s book published in January by Bluewater Press, were added to the library’s collection upon the request of Hall of Fame Research Director Tim Wiles after Wiles read a review of the book on the Sport Literature Association’s Web site.
“It’s an honor for my work to be added to the impressive collection of baseball literature and materials in Cooperstown,” said German. The library houses more than 2.6 million documents, 500,000 photographs and other materials on baseball and its history.
In his book, described as a “realistic portrayal of racial tension and healing during the Jackie Robinson era in baseball,” German tells a fictional story involving Ernest Hemingway’s effort to smuggle twin pitchers from Cuba to the United States for a shot at major league fame. In the middle of this sibling rivalry, one of the characters reveals his ability to throw equally well, right or left-handed.
“My dad had a nine-year career as a southpaw and pitched all over the country for the Boston Braves’ minor league affiliates from 1947 to 1955,” German said. “I mined his baseball memorabilia to capture authentic details of baseball during that period.”
His father ended his career with the Lake Charles Lakers, a team that is revived in “Switch-Pitchers” as the “Lunkers.”
As a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities at Southeastern, German also conducted research for the novel in Key West, Hemingway’s Florida home in the 1930s. That research resulted in an article on Hemingway’s contributions to deep-sea fishing, “Rehabilitating Hemingway,” which was published in the magazine “Salt Water Sportsman” in 2005.
In a back cover endorsement of “Switch-Pitchers,” Chicago Cubs second baseman Mike Fontenot – a star on LSU’s 2000 College World Series championship team – calls the novel’s ending “a major league tearjerker.”
German makes his permanent home on the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles. He is the author of “A Savage Wisdom,” an imaginative reconstruction of the life of Toni Jo Henry, the only woman executed in Louisiana’s electric chair.