Ted Williams is alive and well and Bruce Spitzer is the one we need to thank. Extra Innings, a novel written by Spitzer where the great Ted Williams is brought back to life through the science of cryonics. He recovers from the operation that grafts his head onto the body of a young man and once again learns how to hit, throw, run and simply survive in strange yet familiar surroundings.
Extra Innings is Field of Dreams in reverse. Reanimated in the future and once again playing for the Red Sox, Williams finds himself trapped in a world he hardly recognizes: the corruption of the game he loves with über-juiced batters and robot pitchers; difficult love affairs clashing with his old habits; and a military conflict of the future in which he must harness his old fighter pilot skills.
Married three times in his former life, Williams has to learn how to treat women in a new way. Dr. Elizabeth Miles is the cryonicist who brings him back to life, initiating a dramatic sequence of medical achievements. She and her young son Johnnie are a constant reminder of what Williams lacked in his first trip around the bases, never devoting much time for love and family. Yet, this time around, old habits die hard.
With enemies and allies both on the field and off, Williams must make sense of it all and play on against a machine that he detests, pressure to take “the giddyup” he abhors, unrelenting media mania, and a dystopian world he can’t ignore.
The narrative resonates with the consequences of the major issues we face in our world today—the steroids debate in sports, global warming and flooding, corporate greed, technology run rampant, and the moral ambiguity of war.
Extra Innings is alternately poignant and humorous, heart breaking and joyous, and thought provoking throughout. It is a rollicking ride about second chances and redemption, triumphing over adversity, and the search for meaning in this life and the next.
Flawed in his first life, Williams must decide in the second, what’s more important, a chance to win his first World Series, or a chance to be a better man?
The book will be released in the spring and I had the opportunity to interview Bruce Spitzer on my latest podcast.
You can follow Bruce Spitzer on twitter @brucespitzer1
Here is my podcast with Bruce Spitzer as we talk about the novel and the amazing life of Ted Williams and his relationships with his family and his teammates Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr and Dom Dimaggio.