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Gordon, Alison.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1984. 204pp, cloth, $19.95, ISBN 0-7710-4325-3. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Michael Freeman

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

For five years, Alison Gordon lived out the daydream of every baseball fan. She travelled with the Toronto Blue Jays, saw every game, stayed in luxury hotels, ate and drank with the athletic idols of millions of young, and not-so-young Canadians. Yet, somehow, she makes the experience sound like a rather boring, rather onerous ordeal.

Although she was one of a small group of pioneers-full-time female baseball reporters—she seemed to expect the players, the managers, and the male reporters to accept her immediately as "one of the boys." When this unlikely eventuality failed to materialize, her resentment, even bitterness, seeped into every chapter of this book. Rather than attempting to personalize the larger-than-life characters, the Reggie Jacksons, the Billy Martins, with whom she came into daily contact, she treats every new experience as a confrontation, testing her protagonist's reaction to her as a woman, rather than as a reporter, or a person.

Her descriptions of the various ball parks, the fans, the superstitions, the traditions surrounding the game, are all clinically compartmentalized into her own categories and rankings. What results is a very narrow, rather uninteresting, and greatly disappointing view of a mystical microcosm that most of us can only dream about. There is no joy in Mudville; Alison Gordon, and her readers, have struck out.

Recommended for intemiediate and senior students.

Michael Freeman, Bathurst Heights S.S., North York, Ont.
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