Pat Ryan won't offer tips on dieting in his collection of short stories, but The Baseball Diet Book will appease readers' appetites for small-town America's favorite pastime-baseball. From Idaho to Minnesota, Mexico to Panama, Ryan's stories embrace those odd, both humorous and serious, moments in life and portray a reality not many of us know. The Blessed Virgin Mary appears on a Corona Beer sign, two Midwesterners plot to steal a baseball slugged out of Wrigley Field by the famed Babe Ruth, a 400-pound pitcher perfects the unhittable gyroball . . . Each story stretches readers' imaginations into extra innings, until they are lost in timeless of the game itself.