“A rawhide odyssey … meticulously historical.… By now the reader is asking ‘And then? And then?’ like a child listening to a storyteller.”—Time
“Grabs you from line one on page one and never lets go. Enchanting.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“An engrossing, even charming tale.… By its final inning, the reader is sad to see it end.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A grand adventure and joyful embrace of baseball the way it ought to be played … If I Never Get Back
should be required reading for players and owners as well as fans.”—The Washington Times
A modern-day alienated man, Sam Fowler - stuck in a dead-end job, his life and marriage in disarray - abruptly finds himself transported back in time to the summer of 1869. After a wrenching period of adjustment, he finds himself rejuvenated by his involvement with the nation's first pro baseball players. He also finds himself responding to a time that seems more vital, his senses and tastes quickening as he deals with life-threatening 19th-century challenges on and off the baseball diamond. Through his attachments to the players and to a lovely woman, Caitlin O'Neill, who he seemed predestined to meet, he regains a sense of family that he desperately needs. With Sam, we voyage across post-Civil War America, visiting its smoky, turbulent cities; riding the new transcontinental over prairies and mountains to California; going to dance halls and parlour houses; witnessing financial booms and busts, and meeting notable personalities such as Mark Twain, Ulysses Grant and Jesse James. Small wonder that when Sam is thrust back, involuntarily, into modern times, he yearns to return to the world of 1869.