Guide to Baseball Novels: K
- Kahn, Roger. The Seventh Game. New York: New American Library, 1982. Big Game narrative is interleaved with the story of the starting pitcher's life.
- Keifetz, Norman. The Sensation. New York: Atheneum, 1975. A phenomenal rookie slugger harbors a dark secret: he is a compulsive child molester.
Unpleasant novel that plays its serious theme mainly for burlesque.
- Kennedy, Lucy. The Sunlit Field. New York: Crown, 1950. An Irish immigrant woman in 1850s Brooklyn befriends Walt Whitman and witnesses the formative years of organized baseball in New York.
Methodically researched and constructed historical novel that generates a lively plot line.
- Kennedy, William R. Diamond of Greed. San Jose: Writers Club, 2001. Fabulous young ballplayer insists on playing for next to nothing: is he too good to be human?
- King, Kevin. All the Stars Came Out That Night. New York: Dutton, 2005. Secret of long-suppressed exhibition game between star white and Negro teams in 1934 is finally revealed.
By Ragtime out of The Great American Novel.
- King, Stephen. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. New York: Scribner, 1999. A nine-year-old girl lost in the woods keeps her sanity by listening to Red Sox games on the radio.
Low-key King, with generous helpings of baseball; a quick read.
- Kinsella, W. P. has his own page in the Guide.
- Kiraly, Sherwood. California Rush. New York: Macmillan, 1990. Third-base coach feels like a hostage in conflict between rival managers, his old minor-league teammates.
Pleasant, low-key first-person narrative that builds toward an absurdist Big Game.
- Kiraly, Sherwood. Diminished Capacity. New York: Berkley, 1995. Nephew and uncle, sharing the title affliction, set out from rural Missouri to Chicago on a quest to sell a fabulous baseball card.
Kiraly's second novel is verbally deft and energetically comic. Fish write poetry, louts are redeemed, and old love flourishes anew -- it's a gentle and likeable story.
- Klein, Dave. Hit and Run. New York: Charter, 1982. Star ballplayer is blackmailed into smuggling drugs; the plot turns murderous.
Sleazy far-fetched pulp.
- Klinkowitz, Jerry. Basepaths. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. A rookie minor-league manager rides herd on a team of kids while his family and the team's eccentric ownership group provide plenty of complications.
A sequel to Short Season, this novel is funny, intricately plotted, and ultimately comic in the largest sense.
- Kluger, Steve. Changing Pitches. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984. Repr. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1989. An aging star pitcher must come up with new stuff to keep winning--and must admit to himself that he's in love with his young, beautiful catcher.
This novel is neither as funny nor as seriously interesting as it tries to be. It did break new ground in sensitive and realistic treatment of gay themes in baseball fiction, and deserves notice for that achievement.
- Kluger, Steve. Last Days of Summer. New York: Avon, 1998. Told in letters, news items, and other scraps of narrative: the story of a young fan's friendship with a major-leaguer.
This one has a Brooklyn Jewish childhood, the Dodger-Giant rivalry, World War II, misspelled letters from a fresh busher, and the death of one young man as a turning point in the coming-of-age of another. It may be possible to crowd more of the stock elements of baseball fiction into a single novel, but I haven't see it done.
Strike Five on Amazon.com.