Guide to Baseball Novels: C
- Cabral, R.A. The Pitch. n.p.: BookSurge, 2004. Alien from space plays ball, but there's a hidden agenda.
- Canton, Chamein. Not His Type. Columbus, MS: Genesis, 2007. Writer is attracted to ballplayer: but can he appreciate a full-figured woman?
Chamein Canton has built a career around support systems for full-figured women, including this baseball romance novel.
- Carkeet, David. The Greatest Slump of All Time. New York: Harper & Row, 1984. A National League team wins the World Series despite the fact that all the members of its starting lineup, plus its manager, are clinically depressed.
Forced and awkward humor blunt the impact of truly original and quirky characters; intriguing though not completely successful.
- Carpenter, Chris. Murder at the Baseball Hall of Fame. See Daniel.
- Carrington, Tori. Foul Play. New York: Forge, 2007. Female Greek-American private eye looks into the disappearances of a ballplayer and his brother.
- Cartwright, Gene. I Never Played Catch with My Father. Los Angeles: Falcon Creek, 1995.
- Charyn, Jerome. The Seventh Babe. New York: Arbor House, 1979. A mysterious, driven man assumes various identities in order to play in the major leagues and then to lead a tortured existence barnstorming after he's banned for life.
An intriguing plot idea and a haunting central character sustain a novel that relies too heavily on the grotesque and has a certain affected pathos.
- Chastain, Bill. The Streak. Baltimore: PublishAmerica, 2002. Washed-up ballplayer finds a guru and streaks off in pursuit of DiMaggio's record.
- Cochrane, Mick. Sport. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003 repr. of New York: St. Martin's, 2001. An eighth-grader follows the 1967-68 Twins as he witnesses the disintegration of his dysfunctional family.
Honestly observed and unsentimental, with strong characters; recalls Grimes's Stone of the Heart.
- Cohen, Celia. Smokey O: A Romance. Tallahassee: Naiad, 1994. A women's baseball player, traded to a rival team, first quarrels with and then falls in love with a veteran star.
Set in a wonderful parallel world where women's sports are every bit as high-profile as men's sports, where desire between famous teammates is as accepted as desire between movie stars. More novels about men's sport should be like this agreeable lesbian romance.
- Coben, Harlan. The Final Detail. 1999. New York: Dell, 2000. A Yankee pitcher is found murdered; one of his agents is the prime suspect; the agent's partner Myron Bolitar must solve the crime and clear his partner.
Competent mystery with some witty dialogue.
- Cook, Marshall J. The Year of the Buffalo. Superior, WI: Savage Press, 1997. A veteran pitcher hits the last stop in the lowest minor league and finds both redemption and love.
Well-crafted, enjoyable fiction; the theme is familiar but the writing and characters are fresh.
- Cook, Marshall J. Off Season. Superior, WI: Savage Press, 2002. Sequel to The Year of the Buffalo; the characters find sorrow and love, and a woman comes to pitch for the Beymer Buffalo.
- Cooney, Ellen. All the Way Home. New York: Putnam's, 1984. The women of a small town demoralized by declining industry are brought together and brought to life when they form a softball team to protect one woman's son from his father's murderous impulses.
Many interesting characters are evoked in the course of the novel's progress toward the inevitable Big Game.
- Coover, Robert. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, PROP. New York: Random House, 1968. A burnt-out bookkeeper crosses over and begins to live not in the real world but in the dice baseball game he has created and maintains.
Fascinating, truly original, audacious postmodern masterpiece.
- Corrigan, Jack. Warning Track. n.p.: Peakview Press, 2005. Fast-fading star turns to steroids for a last moment in the sun.
- Craig, John. All G.O.D.'s Children. New York: Morrow, 1975. Repr. Signet, 1976. A megalomaniac owner assembles a team of misfits; the misfits win the pennant.
The paperback cover announces that this novel is "baseball's zany answer" to Dan Jenkins's Semi-Tough. If you were trying to document the mid-1970s sense of "zany," you could probably do worse, but the laughs seem thin on the ground 25 years later.
- Creevy, Patrick. Tyrus: An American Legend. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2002. Psychological fictional treatment of the early life of Ty Cob, centering on the star's tragic family history.
- Cronin, Justin. A Short History of the Long Ball. Tulsa: Council Oak Books, 1990. The narrator recounts how a boyhood friend sank into drug addiction.
Prize-winning novella with an Eastern Establishment ambiance; if Holden Caulfield had sandlot memories, they probably would be like this.
- Cronley, Jay. Screwballs. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980. An old-school manager takes over a team of pampered free-agent era ballplayers.
Not badly-done, but it has a one-note humor that palls after a while, and it drags out (self-consciously) every cliché and stereotype known to the baseball novel.