Bigger, Faster, Stronger--that's what Mick Johnson needs to become if he's to fulfill his dream of becoming a star running back not just in high school, but in college and beyond. But how does a person keep getting bigger, stronger, and faster?
For a second his eyes met mine and locked. Blue friendly eyes, confident eyes. . . . I reared back and fired the ball harder than any ball I've ever thrown in my life. Only I didn't throw it outside. I threw it inside. Up and in.
REVIEWS OF HIGH HEAT
"HIGH HEAT joins the Deuker canon with yet another fine study of a conflicted soul whose ethical salvation is determined in a sporting arena, and once more readers are left to ponder whether a tainted success loses its sweet savor."--The Bulletin, June 2003, Advance Review
"Deuker fills the pages with dozens of exciting
play -by-play sequences; these serve not only to move the story along, but also act as the metronome for Shane's personal story of loss, recovery and renewal. It is a dark story in the first half. but the arc of redemption reminds readers that love conquers all--as does the pursuit of personal excellence."--Publishers Weekly, May 19, 2003
Click below to see trailer for High Heat made by a reader.
From YouTube--a clip of perhaps the most famous home run of all time. Here's the situation Dodgers/Giants playoff for the pennant. 4-2 Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth. Two on, one out. (Adding even more drama, the Giants were 13.5 games behind the Dodgers on August 6th, so they had already gone on an amazing tear just to get into a playoff.)
Dickie Thon's career was changed by one pitch from Mike Torrez. Before being beaned by Torrez on April 8, 1984, Thon was the NL's premier offensive, and some said defensive, shortstop. Afterward, Thon suffered from poor vision and frequently spent time on the disabled list. Though his fielding returned to major league status, Thon's power and baserunning savvy were diminished until 1989, when he recalled some of his past excellence with 15 home runs, 60 RBI, and a .271 batting average in 435 at-bats.
A righthanded pull hitter, Thon played briefly for California before being traded to the Astros for Ken Forsch. He became Houston's starting shortstop in 1982 and led the NL with ten triples. He led all NL shortstops with 20 homers and 533 assists in 1983, and led the league with 18 game-winning RBI, driving in 79 overall.
Thon had three decent seasons with the Phillies, but never approached the production that was the norm during his Astro days. His renaissance 1989 season was still far from dominant -- he scored only 45 runs in 435 at-bats, and his all-around numbers were even less impressive in 1990 and 1991. Thon's most famed moment in his latter years was being suspended three games for bumping an umpire on June 26, 1990. (ME/GL)
Like the game of baseball, life is quirky and unpredictable, as Shane Hunter discovers in the spring of his sophomore year. Suddenly and without warning his life of privilege is turned upside down. And just as suddenly, life begins to sem utterly without fairness of purpose to him.
The game of baseball becomes a means of vengeance. A game meant to be played in the bright sunshine takes Shane instead into his own personal darkness--a darkness both strangely comforting and ultimately terrifying.