I have been e-friends with Minor League Baseball writer Ben Hill for a long time. I met Ben at the Orlando Winter Meetings in 2010 or so. When I wrote for Bus Leagues Baseball I wrote about how he visited Florida in 2012, but unfortunately I was out of the country. I did finally have a chance to meet him in a ballpark with fellow Minor League aficionado Jeff Perro in Dunedin in 2015. Check out Ben's write-up of me sampling hot dogs at the ballpark. Priceless!
When Curveball at the Crossroads finally hit the market, I knew one of the people I wanted to read to was Ben. Ben is guru of the Minor Leagues and an admirer of the whimsy, which are both present in Curveball at the Crossroads. On the list of reviewers and people I wanted to talk to about my book, Ben was a must.
I sent Ben an early copy and doggedly kept asking when it was going to make the top of this TBR (to be read) list. This winter, Ben finally read Curveball at the Crossroads.
Here is Ben's review:
As for the book itself, I enjoyed the story and thought the closing section where he was working at Inga's was particularly strong. Also appreciated the absurd humor, and that it was conveyed in a dry way that never felt self-consciously zany. On the less positive side, it still felt better served as a long short story (or a novella) to me. Plot momentum weighed down by too much day-to-day, month-to-month, season-to-season baseball details. I've always tried to accentuate the positive in all I do professionally but also want to be honest on both sides of the equation.