(Reviewed by Don Jung)
Want to step back into 1950’s baseball and traditional themes of good versus evil? Emmy award winning writer, Rich Fogel does just that in his first novel, A Diamond in the Rough.
Whitney Snow is an avid baseball fan ever since her father-and only parent- took her to Brooklyn Dodger games. However, when she is eleven years old, her life is turned upside down when her father unexpectedly dies. She inherits the blessing and burden of becoming the sole beneficiary of a multi-million dollar business. Unfortunately her evil aunt becomes the trustee and acts in ways becoming a “Wicked Witch of the North”.
The aunt’s failed attempt to kill her leads our young heroine to escape and seek help from unsympathetic strangers. When that doesn’t work, she sneaks in the cargo area of a scorching, rundown bus that is transporting a minor league baseball team.
When she is discovered, the manager and players comfort her as they try to understand why she is running away.
As the story evolves, Whitney becomes a bat girl for the team and with her ballet background, teaches some of the players how to use the proper footwork to successfully execute a double play and to slide into home plate.
A Diamond in the Rough gives us a slice of small town American life in the early 1950’s
as well as a minor league baseball team told through the eyes of a youngster. In fact it reminds me of such Disney classics like “101 Dalmatians” and “Snow White”. This is a quick read as it is only 141 pages.
I wish that the novel went into the history of Whitney and her family. We don’t know what happened to her mother, or who cared for her when her dad went on his business trips. Instead, the story throws us right into the crisis of this young girl.
Even so, I enjoyed A Diamond in the Rough because this traditional, unsophisticated story provided me a welcome escape from the dark and dismal books that I usually read.