4 out of 4 stars
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In Willy B. Superstar by Dennis N. Ricci, Willy Beals is unique. There has never been a woman like her. At the start of the book, Beals is a minor league baseball pitcher, clawing her way to get to the Major Leagues. Then, her chance comes. Willy becomes the first female to play Major League Baseball, pitching for the New York Diamonds. A series of unfortunate events quickly lands her back in the minors, and then Beals finds success as a Buffalo Wolf, of the American League. Happy to not bat anymore, Beals seems to have found her calling.
Willy's role in history is not without controversy. With the news media following her every breath, Willy makes enemies in the form of her teammates and coaches, jealous of her opportunities. As the season progresses, Willy's encounters with others and her inner struggle to succeed professionally plagues this young star. Will she stay pitching in the major leagues through the season? Will her teammates accept her? Will the Diamonds reveal Willy's deep secret to the Wolves and the world? Only time will tell in this stunning novel.
I adored this novel. A lover of baseball, I enjoyed the detailed baseball knowledge of the writer. This book reminds me of the TV series "Pitch," which has a similar main storyline. I have not enjoyed a sports-themed book this much in a long time. Willy is a strong main character, with an excellent wit about her. She tries her hardest to be masculine during games, but her sensitive side comes out at times, making this a unique book.
This book appears to be professionally edited, with only one typo that I found. There were some formatting issues in a few places of the book, where the words were vertically juxtaposed to the right and there were only two or three letters on a line. I don't think these issues took away from my interest in the book. The author's choice of fictional names for professional baseball teams amused me, and I also appreciated his knowledge of the city of Buffalo. This is a sports story, with a central focus on the main character's life in and out of baseball.
I give Willy B. Superstar by Dennis N. Ricci 4 out of 4 stars for its excellent storyline, wonderful characters, and vivid imagery. I recommend this book for any sports lover interested in a strong main character breaking the gender barriers of Major League Baseball.
Willy B. Superstar
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