The Latter Days (Paperback)

The Latter Days By Monte Dutton Cover Image
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Clyde Kinlaw is a washed-up baseball coach who wants to prove it isn't so.

Kinlaw was a good ballplayer who became a loyal company man once he retired. He managed his old team, the Portland Loggers. Now he's a scout who doesn't feel as if the new generation of talent evaluators puts any stake in his judgment anymore. He wants to prove them wrong but doesn't know how.

Then Kinlaw stumbles upon Taiquon Wattson.

Kinlaw's only ally in the Portland front office, Frank Staley Jr., sends him to evaluate Ryne Standback, a first baseman considered one of the country's top high-school prospects. Standback doesn't impress Kinlaw, who dismisses him as a privileged white kid with all the skill money can buy. What draws Kinlaw's attention is a catcher on the other team. Wattson has all the tools but none of the attention. He's a poor kid who lives with his grandmother in a predominantly black town on the banks of the Savannah River. He's known locally for his football, not his baseball, skills. He's a catcher because it's the only position he can play without owning his own glove. Teams always provide a mitt. Taiquon is as raw as the crappie he hauls out of the river to help feed the family. All he knows about baseball is approximately how to play it.

Stay away from Sandberg, Kinlaw advises Staley. Let Kinlaw take Wattson under his wing and make him a player. Wattson's not ready. The minor leagues would chew him up and spit him out. Staley finds a place for Kinlaw and Staley to hide. They get to know each other on a long, gradual drive to Texas, where Wattson is playing semi-pro ball and Kinlaw is coaching him.

Kinlaw is not rid of Standback, however. Drafted first by Houston, Standback predictably flops in Triple-A, where his agent insisted he be assigned. All of a sudden, Staley smells a bargain and dispatches Kinlaw, already in Texas, to Corpus Christi for a second look. The humbled Standback, his life in ruins, sees that Kinlaw is the only scout who ever dealt with him honestly.

Both young men change. Wattson loses his innocence. Standback loses his arrogance. Kinlaw regains his respect.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781959682172
ISBN-10: 1959682172
Publisher: Citiofbooks, Inc.
Publication Date: February 8th, 2023
Pages: 188
Language: English