It Happened in Wisconsin
In April 1939, the Racine Robins, a minor league baseball team, become stranded in Wisconsin after a sudden spring snowstorm forces them to find shelter at the Rockefeller Hotel. The team meets a man named Spencer, who is traveling with his young daughter and who offers to buy the team dinner. In the past, the team played not for the profit earned from the game but by giving their winnings to those less fortunate. The players all carry a strong belief that major league baseball, along with big business and government, controls the lives of those who work for them and prevents people from succeeding unless you play by the rules of those who hold the power. The team will learn that Spencer, a smooth talker, is associated with those same powerful men and will attempt to steal their best player to play in the major leagues.
This is the author’s first novel. A Red Sox fan, he has written a novel about the game he loves, about a team of men playing for a just cause. These ball players would wind up after this eventful trip into Wisconsin with conflicting emotions concerning the seduction of money, and ignoring the possibility of eventually settling down in one place and leaving baseball behind.
Moraff has presented an excellent description of the economic forces that existed during the final years of the Depression. The characters are believable and likable. The plot is slow in developing (there is very little action), but as the story unfolds, the reader is caught up in the crisis the protagonist (whose name is never mentioned) faces between marrying the girl he loves or remaining with his teammates and fighting the good cause.
Highly recommended and a pleasure to read.