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Homer Newbody lived to play baseball.
A nobody from nowhere given little chance to ever play Major League Baseball, he was taught not only how to pitch, but to respect the game, by a uncle who dies before ever seeing Homer play professionally,
When he gets his chance to pitch for the New York Yankees after long years in the minors, Homer seems to have everything he wants.
He has little idea of what forces he will come up against when he makes it known that he is willing to play for nothing. In a baseball era dripping with big money, steroids, scandals and overall cynicism, many wonder if Homer is for real.
A New York Progress sportswriter named Leslie Shamback, for one, isn’t sure what to make of this small town guy with the simple values. But when she delves a little deeper into his past she finds more than she bargained for, including possibly love.
Homer’s troubles are hardly relegated to Leslie and the rest of the jaded New York media. Much of the baseball fraternity does not take kindly to Homer. Of his teammates, Tom “The Tracer” Traber, a highly paid veteran pitcher, makes it clear that Homer has no business blowing his horn about ballplayers owing their hearts and their souls to a game. To Tracer, baseball is a business a player has every God-given right to make as much money from as he can.
Homer is well-loved and embraced by a great segment of a baseball-loving America too, including a fan base, Homer’s Old Town Nine. This group, which gains a national following, shows up regularly in ballparks wearing crossed out dollars signs on their baseball jerseys.
Homer was thrust into the spotlight after tossing two consecutive no-hitters in this first two Major League starts. While not seeking the spotlight, his down-home persona is a refreshing escape in a sport awash with problems.
As the team fights for a division title, Homer finds himself coping with the pressure of winning not only at the Major League level, but in New York, the baseball capital. But Homer plugs on, despite the press; a scandal of sorts from his past; scraps with teammates and opponents; romance and heartbreak; a search for a wayward father; his arrest in the idyllic village of Cooperstown, N.Y., the home of baseball’s Hall of Fame; and finally, a near-career-ending injury. At the end of the season he’s faced with his biggest foe of all: his own mortality.