Fielder's Choice takes back to Birmingham Alabama in 1968. We take a Southern Journey with Brad Williams a 18 year old boy that loves to play baseball. That would be too easy. He struggles with racism on his team and how he should handle it. The Vietnam draft is approaching and he desperately wants to get away from the steel mills of Birmingham. So many choices for a young ball player. We are introduced in a very descriptive manner to his family, his teammates and how the attitude of the times affects him. What shapes his character. Should he just take the easy route and put blinders on? Fortunately, Brad has a conscience and we follow this struggle within the teen.
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The next year John Lennon sang, "The dream is over." And it was.
The Sixties movement died. You knew it when the rednecks grew long hair. We didn't change the world like we thought. But then again, it wasn't the same world.Along with the sixties passed the hope for a quick end to the war and more tragedy lay ahead-on the college campuses and in the rice paddies.Writing Fielder's Choice brought back so many memories of my upbringing. I was fortunate to have such a strong solid family that could be my sounding board. It was easier to stand up for what you believe. The New South and all that comes with it is a great place to be, a wonderful place to raise a family and enjoy our unique culture. Yet even now, when people move in from out of state and say Birmingham is a good place to live, a good place to raise a family, their kind words always surprise me. I must expect them to say something else, it must be that weight.
In 1969 Brad Williams thought baseball might save his life - if he wasn't shipped off to Vietnam. That spring he desperately needed a college baseball scholarship to escape a dreary future of working in Birmingham's gritty steel mills - and he wanted a girl, a sweet girl of his own. Just when it looked like his dreams might come true, violence from integration shattered his neighborhood and tested his conscience. The time came to choose sides. He could keep his dreams if he played it safe and went along, like he always had. But how could he play it safe when so much was at stake? Finally, he made an agonizing choice. But was it the right one?
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