Remember that time Tom Seaver wrote a mystery novel? Called 'Beanball: Murder at the World Series'? About a guy murdered by a thrown baseball? Yeah, me neither.
But it happened. Back in 1989, Seaver -- along with ghostwriter Herbert Resnicow -- released the murder-mystery thriller about a team owner murdered by, of all things, a baseball. The irony, it's killing me!
Resnicow was fresh off his classic 'Murder at the Super Bowl' -- with Fran Tarkenton -- when he elicited the support of the former Met for this hard-hitting sequel. Mind you this was before 'The World Cup Murder', with Pele of course. Noticing a trend here?
That's right, Resnicow practically invented the 'hackneyed mystery through the eyes of a former star athlete' genre. And then turned it on it's ear with 'Murder at City Hall', featuring former New York City Mayor Ed Koch as the main protagonist and sleuth.
But enough from me, why don't we take a look at pretty much the only review of 'Beanball' that I could find -- and that we can assume actually exists:
"Seaver, the former all-star pitcher for the Mets, Reds and other teams, and Resnicow, author of eight whodunits, including Edgar-nominee The Gold Solution, set their baseball mystery novel in the near future. Just before the first game of the World Series, Samuel Moultran Prager, the tyrannical, George Steinbrenner-like owner of the expansion team Brooklyn Bandits, is found murdered, apparently by a thrown baseball, in the depths of Brooklyn's stadium. The problem for the police and sports reporter Marc Burris is that more than 100 people were in the stadium when Prager died and each had a motive and the ability to kill him. The baseball sections of Beanball are, not surprisingly, solid and fascinating to any fan especially the accounts of Series games and the Bandits' unorthodox strategy. Unfortunately, much of the rest of the story has a goofy, frantic quality that verges on slapstick. Burr loses his hold on reality in the course of the novel, fearing, among other things, that his girlfriend won't marry him unless he gets a raise, that the police will arrest him for murder, that an intern will sue him for sexual harassment."
-- Publishers Weekly
Wow. Sounds thrilling. So much so that I toyed with the idea of tracking down a copy and performing a first-hand review/book club a la James' take on Moneyball. Problem is I quickly realized I'd rather eat a pair of scissors than actually sit down and read that book.
So instead it looks like we'll be letting 'Beanball' fade back into the tides of time as we're better off waiting for an entry from this generation's Mets moundsman with literary aspirations.