Safe at Home: A Novel
by Richard Doster
It’s 1953 and Jack Hall is a sports writer for a small town newspaper in Whitney, GA. The town’s interest in their local minor league baseball team is losing to air-conditioning and prime time television. Segregation is firmly still in place in the small southern town and the black high school on the other side of town has a star player with a .364 batting average.
Hall suggests the minor league team sign the young slugger to boost attendance and reignite some interest in the team. But even though the local folks have seen Jackie Robinson playing Major League Baseball on television, they do not quickly warm to the idea of integrating their local team. Many fear how such a move could affect the rest of the life in their small town. Hall quickly becomes a target for abuse in the town as his editorials supporting the idea draw the ire of several in the town. Relationships, minds, and traditions are tested as the town wrestles with the situation.
While this is fiction, Doster does a masterful job of wrapping the story around actual historical events of the time. If you love baseball, you will have a hard time setting this book done until you have read it from cover to cover.