Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Constitution Blues

The Constitution Blues is a baseball lover’s roman á clef, a girl’s story of faith, doubt, sex, hope and a superstitious curse on her hometown team. The backdrop is America’s pastime, the issue is Choice.

Our Irish-Catholic heroine, Mary Katharine “Mick” Carmichael, goes to work for her hometown ball club, the Constitution Blues, gets involved with a rookie, makes a tough call, and then quits in the midst of personal turmoil when it seems a curse befalls the team. The Blues’ fortunes only grow worse, though, so Mick decides she must tell the owner the truth—“to change the luck.”

With the persistent misbehavior of professional sports figures, the crisis in the Catholic church, and recent attacks on the Constitution and women's rights, the time is ripe for this story, for it sits at the crossroads of these hot-button societal issues. Quotes of statesmen and those of letters and lyrics are sprinkled throughout the text to add historical color and contemplation to the play-by-play.

The Constitution Blues is grounded in authenticity. I worked for the Phillies for seven seasons, sold group and season tickets, at other times started their Fan Accommodations office and wore the team jersey as a ballgirl—playing behind Schmitty and Pete, those two entwined in Major League Rule 21, the twisty curse-causing broken rule of the book.

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