One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season


One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season Author Chris Ballard
ISBN-10 1401312667
ISBN-13 9781401312664
Year 2013-04-30
Pages 288
Language English
Publisher Hachette Books
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In 1971 a small town high school baseball team from rural Illinoisplaying with hand me down uniforms and peace signs on their hatsdefied convention and the odds Led by an English teacher with nocoaching experience the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370teams to become the smallest school in modern Illinois history to make thestate final a distinction that still stands There sporting longhair and warming up to Jesus Christ Superstar the Ironmen would playa dramatic game against a Chicago powerhouse that would change theirlives forever In a gripping cinematic narrative Sports Illustrated writer ChrisBallard tells the story of the team and its coach Lynn Sweet ahippie dreamer and intellectual who arrived in Macon in 1966 bringing progressive ideas to a town stuck in the Eisenhower era Beloved by students but not administration Sweet reluctantly tookover a rag tag team intent on teaching the boys as much about life asbaseball Inspired by Sweet s unconventional methods and led by fierystar Steve Shartzer and spindly curveball artist John Heneberry theundersized undermanned Macon Ironmen embarked on an improbablepostseason run that infuriated rival coaches and buoyed an entiretown Beginning with Sweet s arrival Ballard takes readers on a journeyback to the Ironmen s historic season and then on to the present day returning to the 1971 Ironmen to explore the effect the game had ontheir lives trajectories and the men they ve become because of it Engaging and poignant One Shot at Forever is a testament to the powerof high school sports to shape the lives of those who play them andit reminds us that there are few bonds more sacred than that among acoach a team and a town

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