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22gigantes.com - Tommy Folgett's life is littered with disappointments: a broken marriage, alcoholism, and squandered artistic talent. But he did create one hell of a softball team. Under Tommy's tutelage, this hodge-podge of characters has lived out ten years of victories and defeats, joys and squabbles, on Friday nights at the Double River softball complex. They have, in fact, become a family.When a broken relationship sends Tommy back to the bottle, the self-abuse spills over to his housemate and shortstop, Honus. Tommy's envy of Honus's writing career, and the campaign of subtle sabotage that follows, threatens to destroy his one great achievement: The Legendary Barons.“I loved this book, and not only because I see the game of softball in the same way. I could also relate to the different stages of friendship that the team goes through. People come and go on a team, just as in life. Some you wish would leave and some you wish would return. It’s funny and thoughtful, and it’s about much more than softball.” –E. Theisen
Most helpful customer reviews 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Tommy strikes back By artfuldp It's not unusual for anyone to go through personal struggles. But unless you're a celebrity then it must be rare indeed to have an author chronicle the most difficult period of your life and then publish it for the whole world to read about. I was once sober for almost nine years and I've been sober again now for ten. The events in this book took place mostly during that two year period in between when I slipped and fell back into alcoholism.Of course I'd heard about The Legendary Barons novel from any number of our mutual friends and teammates, but I'd avoided reading it all these years. I knew it would hurt, so why put myself through that? But then something happened to change my mind. So I bought the book and now I've finally read this story which was written about my "dark night of the soul". And now there's something I need to say to the author.A close friend of mine, whom I'll call Dean, passed away recently. I had gotten a call from his brother around mid-October, telling me that his liver was failing and that Doctors had given him two months to live. It seemed like there would be time for me to see him, but then in just two weeks, at age 55, he was gone.I knew Dean for 30 years and our friendship was as close as I've ever had with another soul. His mind was wide and his heart was deep and I was in awe of him, as a mentor and as a friend. But then a few years ago we became estranged from one another. Sound familiar? This was different though. See, I took a stand and asked him to stop drinking. I did what I thought I had to do out of love for my friend. But it didn't work and after that I didn't know how to go back or how to get him to change. So I leveraged the only thing I had, which was our friendship and over time I stopped answering his calls and stopped visiting him and we didn't see each other very much in the later years.The thing that was hardest for me to accept was to know that he could have stopped drinking if he had only wanted to. Dean was way smarter than me, an intellectual and probably the most well-read person I've ever known. He was also spiritual and aware of his own better nature and of that in others. He could have stopped but he just didn't want to, period, end of story. Right or wrong, he was bound and determined to live life HIS way on HIS terms and without regrets.So now he's gone and I don't understand why. But I do know this. That it must have hurt him very deeply during those years, to think that I had turned my back on him and on our friendship. It must have hurt him just as much as it's hurting me now to know that he left without saying goodbye. Because I can't stop crying and I'm still waiting for this grief to go away, but it just won't stop. And the only thing that's giving me any solace is to know in my heart with absolute certainty that Dean wouldn't want me to feel this way. Any more than I would have wanted to hurt him back then. I only wish I had said those words to him while there was still time. But I didn't and now it's too late.My friend Dean shared so much wisdom with me over the years and taught me so many lessons about life that perhaps it shouldn't surprise me now that even in passing he still had one more lesson to teach. That is that life is too short to distance ourselves from the ones we care about. I don't ever want to feel this way again. I don't want to have to carry this kind of regret inside me and I don't ever want a friend of mine to feel that way either. And I don't want to become a bitter old man, counting all the ways that people have injured me over the years. Because I know if I hang on tight to my reasons to stay angry then I will surely get to keep every single one of them. But if I decide to let them all go then maybe, just maybe... they'll leave without saying goodbye too.Honus, I want you to know if I injured you that it's not what I wanted and I am so very sorry. I was in such pain back then that I didn't have anything left to give to anyone. But now I have nothing but forgiveness for you in my heart and I hope that somehow you can find a way to forgive me too. I have missed my old shortstop so much and I hope someday, that we can once again be friends - Tommy Folgett, Manager, The Legendary Barons 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. The Legendary Barons By E. Theisen I loved this book.It's not only because I see the game of softball in the same way.I could also relate to the different stages of friendship that the team goes through.People come and go on a team,just as in life.Some you wish would leave and some you wish would return.As someone else said about this book it is about much nore than softball.It is funny and thoughtful.Besides,it's only 154 flippin pages and then you can say you read a book this year! 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Non-Softball Fans, too! By A Customer I'm really not a sports fan at all, but I found Vaughn's book entertaining for the struggles of its characters. Tommy Folgett, the manager, is just a terribly sad figure, who doesn't know what to do to fend off his alcoholism and the fallout of his divorce. It was very touching - I've been affected by a number of alcholics in my own life (even though I don't even go to bars much), and I can see a lot of the same characteristics here that I've dealt with myself. A very touching book. See all 4 customer reviews...
From the Publisher Another gem from the author of Gabriella's Voice and Frosted Glass. From the Author For David Booker and Darin Price, brothers-in-arms. About the Author Michael J. Vaughn is the award-winning author of 19 novels, including The Popcorn Girl and Billy Saddle. He played shortstop for a dozen years for the Dukes softball team of San Jose, California. He works as a competitions judge for Writer's Digest, and is a prize winner in the San Francisco, Hollywood and New England book festivals.
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