The year is 2092 and slugger Ted Williams has returned to baseball 132 years after swinging his bat for the last time in the new novel ‘Extra Innings.’
The Kid left the baseball world in dramatic fashion, in September 1960, slamming a home run in his last at bat for the Boston Red Sox. He played 21 seasons and was an all-star in 19 of them, led the league in batting six times and is the last Major League Baseball player to hit over .400. He won baseball’s batting Triple Crown (highest batting average, most home runs and most runs batted in) twice and was the league’s most valuable player twice. His career statistics landed him in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. But, despite all his accomplishments, Williams never won a World Series.
In the new novel, Extra Innings, Williams gets another chance. Bruce E. Spitzer brings The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived back to the game he loved and, possibly, another shot at World Series glory.
It is said that Williams indicated in his will that he wished to be cremated and his ashes spread in the Florida Keys. But his son John-Henry and daughter Claudia decided to have his body preserved by cryonics. In Extra Innings, he is brought back to life into a dystopian society totally foreign to him. Baseball features robot pitchers and is corrupted by steroid-enhanced players and war again forces him to put aside the game he loves to serve his country.
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Cover of the Ted Williams novel ‘Extra Innings,’ published in April 2012.
Spitzer is a public relations executive, magazine editor and columnist. He says his first novel came about while watching television.
“I am a baseball fan and, one night six years ago, I was watching a Red Sox game on TV at home and Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy were talking about Ted Williams,” Spitzer recalls, adding that channel surfing between innings landed him a program about mummification and the afterlife. “I connected the dots: the real-life cryonic preservation of the late Ted Williams and the human desire for life after death and began to imagine what it would be like if indeed Ted was successfully reanimated one day.”
He says the first draft of the book took him a year to write, followed by four years re-writing and revisions.
Extra Innings: A Novel is published by Bear Hill Media and available at major bookstores and through popular online booksellers.