New novel is based on Boys League All-Stars

“Six months before the U.S. hockey team completed its ‘Miracle on Ice’ Winter Olympics Gold [performance], a team of 12-year-old baseball players in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, were competing to complete a three-tournament sweep—a “Triple Crown” of baseball victories that had never been accomplished…”

So begins the prologue to a new sports novel based on the true-life experience of a band of young Euclid baseball players. Author Bruce Walther, a 1985 Euclid High graduate, simply titles the novel “Euclid’s Boys League All-Stars.”

And, although it is based on real people—Walther’s teammates on the All-Star squad in the summer of 1979—he uses fictitious, but often similar-sounding, names for the book’s characters. (Since it’s a novel, he wanted literary license to fabricate dialogue and inject additional creativity.)

As a young ballplayer, Walther was a pretty good second baseman whose teammates gave him the nickname Kuiper, after Cleveland Indians’ infielder Duane Kuiper. Hence, in the novel, the character representing the author is named Kuiper. Moreover, Walther opted for a literary pen name to appear on the book cover: Bruce Double’u.  (Think about it for a minute.)

Walther, who played baseball for the Euclid High Panthers during the Paul Serra coaching era, reports that it took him about a year to write the book. He was inspired to pursue the project when a friend, Ray Markiewicz, sent him an old newspaper clipping about the Euclid Boys League team.  His research took him to the Euclid Historical Museum archives, as well as the Shore Cultural Centre, the Euclid Public Library, and other sources of information about the bygone years of the city’s youth baseball program.

“Euclid’s Boys League All-Stars” is published by CreateSpace, an company. The book should be available from Amazon sometime in October, the author notes. Walther will also be selling copies himself for $10 each. Interested readers, including long-time Boys League fans, can contact him at (216) 695-0035.

The book is Walther’s second novel. The first was a purely fictional work titled “Urban Towne.” He has also produced a book of poetry, “The Immediate Excess Poems.”

John Sheridan

Retired journalist. From 1963 to 1972, wrote for and edited the Euclid News-Journal, predecessor to the Sun-Journal. From 1972 to 2000, I was a writer and editor for Industry Week magazine. Also have worked for the Plain Dealer as a part-time sportswriter, covering high school sports. And I was a contributor to the previous Euclid Observer. I have lived in Euclid for almost my entire life. I am a graduate of St. Joseph High School and John Carroll University.

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 1:30 PM, 10.06.2011