Book Review: Saving Babe Ruth by Tom Swyers

SavingBabeRuthBookCover423x648Title: Saving Babe Ruth

Author: Tom Swyers

Genre: Literary Fiction / Thriller / Sports

Purchase: Amazon

Based on a true story, Saving Babe Ruth is an award-winning novel about a family headed by David Thompson, a burned-out lawyer and Civil War buff. When he learns that the town’s youth baseball league is going to fold, David’s love for the sport and for his son, Christy, inspire him to try to save it for the boys in town. David puts his fading career on hold as he struggles to resurrect this dream while at the same time trying to salvage his marriage to his wife, Annie.

Though Christy and Annie want to see him save the league, David finds himself in way over his head; the more he passionately tries to save it, the more he ends up hurting Christy and Annie. It’s a catch-22 that leaves his family wounded and David lost, wedged between his desire to revive the league so he can live with himself, and the desire to heal his family so they can live with him.

When David starts to keep secrets from Annie to satisfy these desires, he weaves a web of deceit that further fractures the family. At the same time, the town wrestles to keep its own secrets under wraps while it almost bursts with people leading double lives. They want David and the league to fail, and they’ll stop at nothing to get what they want, even if they have to go through Christy and Annie to get it.

With the help of Johnny McFadden–a newfound friend who’s addicted to baseball–David concocts a plan to defend the league and his family. The pair will have to navigate through a maze of backroom politics, corruption, scandal and crime that extends to the professional sports world. David will have to call upon all of his legal and survival skills to try and turn things around.

Saving Babe Ruth is also the inspiring story about a baseball team full of teenage outcasts struggling to believe in themselves. When the time is right, they’ll face the prospect of having to fight crazy with crazy to save baseball for themselves, their town and beyond.

The novel reveals the underbelly of youth sports that’s hurting communities nationwide today, but readers and reviewers say you don’t have to be a fan of baseball or sports to enjoy the story. Its themes, including one of community responsibility, are beginning to resonate. The story is so powerful that one of the nation’s leading professional sports agents has threatened a lawsuit over the book. The novel has even caused one town to come to a standstill to hold an emergency board meeting over it. Watch this trailer video to learn more about how Saving Babe Ruth came to life.

New York Times bestselling author Margot Livesey says Swyers “has created a man for all seasons” in David Thompson and calls Saving Babe Ruth “an absorbing and compulsively readable novel.”

Saving Babe Ruth is the winner of a number of accolades including the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Book Award for “Best First Book: Fiction.”

If you like fast-paced and humor-laced stories, don’t miss this family’s fight to stay together as it confronts a youth sports underworld loaded with captivating characters.

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In Saving Babe Ruth, David Thompson is a lawyer who tries to save the local Babe Ruth baseball program, partially because his son, Christy, plays in the team. Thompson believes the kids sohould play for the sake of the game, and to have fun, but promoters are trying to professionalize the boy’s baseball league and the parents only care about winning so that their kids can get scholarships and the likes. Thompson wants to have people play the game for the game’s sake, not for additional benefits.

The struggle is so tough it even ends up dividing Thompson’s family, and before long, he has to come up with a plan to make this right, he has to decide what he cares about the most, and how far he’s willing to go to achieve his goals. Thompson is very realistic, so much so that I could imagine him living down the street. He’s also pretty average. Despite being a lawyer, he’s quite low key, average, normal, just another neighbor who blends in everywhere. The other characters, including the villain, are all three-dimensional and realistic too, but Thompson wins the bet for most relatable character.

The book is grounded in realism, and the struggles many sports club face nowadays. Despite that, the book is far from being predictable – instead, it kept on surprising me, especially when I least expected it.

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