ONE FINE SEASON tells the story of a promising young athlete who must rise from the ashes of devastating personal loss to fulfill a pact made years earlier with his best friend. The book uses baseball as the medium of expression for spirituality and philosophy, human interaction and personal stories, morals and ethics, love and selflessness, and other universal concepts. The goal was to stretch the reader’s mind while he or she enjoyed an entertaining sports/love story. Some of the philosophical discussions are lengthy, but I hope you find them interesting, and perhaps even enlightening. I contemplated writing this book for many years, driven by the desire to, in some small way, honor the memories of two childhood friends who died young. Their names were Danny Dettling and Pete Callinan. Danny and I hung out a lot between the ages of 12 and 14, playing on the same Pop Warner football team and spending summer nights camped out in my parent’s backyard in a blue-green pup tent that we routinely shared with my brother. Danny was always fun to be around and we became close friends. Pete was a fine all-around athlete and excellent baseball player, smooth and stylish, and a good person. Both died in their early 20s, Danny from a terminal illness and Pete following a tragic accident that left him paralyzed. Even now, three decades later, the picture of them remains clear in my mind. As for future works, I’ve started writing another novel, which takes quite a different turn from ONE FINE SEASON. It combines plenty of action with commentary on today’s political situation. My first book was a labor of love. The second will delve into the concepts of freedom, liberty, self-reliance and integrity in the face of governmental tyranny.
As the late afternoon transitioned to early evening, shadows rolled across the well-groomed infield. Perplexed by Danny’s array of blazing fastballs, exquisite curves, and baffling changeups, the New York Mets hitters found it more and more difficult to pick up pitches in the fading light. Entering the top of the sixth inning, only one Met had managed to hit a ball to the outfield, which Johnny gobbled up for a routine out. Everyone in the Miners dugout sensed a profound determination in Danny, one they had never quite witnessed before, as their young teammate obliterated each opponent, then retreated to his own silent world at the end of the bench. At the plate, Danny collected a double and two singles, helping Sacramento amass a 5–0 lead. When the top of the ninth inning rolled around, no New York runner had yet touched first base. Consumed with excitement, the Sacramento fans evolved into a thunderous wave, chanting and stomping their approval. Danny blocked out every sound. His tunnel vision allowed him only to see Josh’s mitt. Throughout the game, Danny had thought of Pete and Haven, saying a little internal prayer following each of his strikeouts when he asked God to grant them eternal peace. Now, he dug down deep and forced every ounce of energy from his body, resolute and single-minded in his greater purpose.
Michael Sheehan is CEO and founder of a natural medications company. His debut novel, ONE FINE SEASON, was written to honor the memories of two childhood friends who both died young. Mr. Sheehan graduated from Santa Clara University, and received a Master’s degree in Science Journalism from Boston University. He lives in Northern California.