Want a little more of a sneak peak into Rookie Season? Here are some excerpts:
Excerpt #1 (beginning of chapter 2):
Lots of unexpected things had happened in my life. When Joel walked out on me after ten years of marriage that was unexpected. When my grandfather died a few months later that was unexpected, too. It seemed like all the unexpected things in my life weren’t the good kind. Until now.
The game moved slowly. Painfully so. Then there were extra innings. I wanted to pound my head on the railing. The only real bright spots were when Clay ran out to take left field. I sat on the edge of my seat and watched his long easy stride. Did he really ask me out? I asked myself again and again. Twice during the game he’d run over to the stands on his way to the dugout and give me the ball he had just caught. The first time he leaned forward and whispered in my ear, “I can’t wait to see you later.” The second time, he handed me the ball and playfully whined like a little kid, “When is this game going to be o-o-o-ver?”
I was thinking the same thing. That’s when Sam chimed in again, “There’s no way he’s twenty-five. No way.” I rolled my eyes and sat down. It looked like Sam was falling into one of his melancholy moods, the kind that started hitting him out of the blue after his wife passed away. But even that couldn’t ruin my excitement.
Finally, the game ended. By that time, I didn’t care about the final score or who won. I hurriedly said goodbye to Sam and jogged my way up the stairs, dodged a bunch of people, and jumped over a few seats to get to the stadium exit.
He shared about missing his mother’s last days because he had been out on the road with his AA team, and how he regretted it. I thought about telling him about my grandfather, but I didn’t. I knew I would cry and there was no way I wanted to cry right then. I did tell him, though, about how my dad left when I was six, and I was raised by my mother and her father, my grandfather.
And we talked about baseball – how it was my first love, how he only really felt comfortable and at home out on the field, how I hadn’t missed a Giants home game in 10 years, how excited he was to finally be playing in the majors.
There was a pause again and we were silently looking at each other. I was thinking how comfortable it was just to be quiet with him, how I didn’t feel like I needed to entertain him…when he leaned forward and kissed me.
It was gentle and tentative at first, then it became more aggressive and forceful. My mind went blank for a moment. I leaned toward him and he wrapped his arm around me, pulling me closer. His kiss just pulled me in. Any hesitance I’d had about him evaporated, and I knew I’d never be the same.
Steve, Joe, Dave and I were waiting in the living room. I called up to Sam several times. He didn’t answer.
“He’s probably having trouble deciding which Clay Love jersey to wear,” Dave joked.
I ran up the stairs and knocked on his door. “Sam?”
I turned the doorknob and pushed the door open slowly.
“Sam, are you ready?”
Still no answer.
I walked through his room toward his bathroom. When I came around the other side of his bed, I saw him. He was laying on the floor unconscious.
I screamed, “Call 911! It’s Sam!”
In less than two seconds, Steve was in the room. He must have taken the stairs three at a time. He pushed me out of the way and knelt next to Sam, checking his pulse, listening for breathing.
“He’s alive! Let’s not wait for an ambulance. We can get him there faster.”
“No,” said. “The hospital is close. The ambulance is probably already here.”
I was right. Within a couple of minutes, the paramedics were lifting Sam onto a gurney. Dave and Morrison held the photographers back so the paramedics could get Sam to the ambulance.
Steve took my arm. “Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital.” Then he looked at Joe. “Do you have that paperwork?” Joe nodded. I had no idea what paperwork they were talking about, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get in the car and get to the hospital as fast as possible. Joe and Steve got me into the car. Dave was going to watch the house and Morrison would be following to the hospital in another car to help with security there, if needed.
All I could think about was Sam.
In the car, I asked Steve, “How long was it since anybody saw him? How long could he have been lying there?”
“I don’t know,” Steve said.
“I saw him several hours ago, right after lunch. He said he was tired. He was going upstairs to rest.”
“So he could have been there for hours? Oh my god.” I put my head in my hands.
“There’s something I need to tell you.”