Jalfieri’s comment tilted me toward baseball stories. I was in the process of ePubbing “Almost Perfect” and had made these observations in the online introduction to the story: “My own favorite baseball stories are all novels. Bernard Malamud’s The Natural is a critical favorite, and justly so, but there are four other books I like even better. Three are by Mark Harris—The Southpaw and its two sequels, Bang the Drum Slowly and A Ticket For a Seamstitch. (Harris wrote a fourth novel about the same character toward the end of his life, and it can be charitably described as disappointing.) And Charles Einstein’s The Only Game in Town is a book I’ve reread several times, with undiminishing enjoyment.”
I unaccountably failed to mention W. P Kinsella’s magical Shoeless Joe, which I enjoyed immensely as a book and again as the film, Field of Dreams. And I’ve ordered the Shaara book on Jalfieri’s recommendation.