“Maybe he could work around it. Maybe it was just deep-seated admiration. He was one hell of a ballplayer. Did all the little things right. Nobody in baseball made the pivot better on a double play. Whatever the case, there seemed to be only one explanation for what was going on. Randy was falling in love. And it wasn’t with his wife or with some bimbo he’d picked up on the road. It was with his second baseman." Peter Lefcourt
Baseball playoffs start today, which means that it’s time for my annual rereading of one of my favorite books, The Dreyfus Affair by Peter Lefcourt. It’s apparently out of print, but here’s a link.
It’s a love story. A love story between two men, and a love story about baseball. The fondness the author has for both parts of his story is what makes it work so well for me. Every baseball fan I’ve encouraged (okay, make that “forced by incessant urging”) to read it has loved it. If you’re trying to convert someone to our beloved genre and that person is a baseball fan, here’s the book that could do it. And if the would-be reader is squeamish, you can assure him or her that all gay sex takes place behind closed doors. Best of all Lefcourt has a hurt-your-stomach-laughing-it’s-so-funny voice. There’s more than a little social satire involved here.
In the middle of a pennant race, heretofore heterosexual major league shortstop Randy Dreyfus falls in love with his second baseman. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
The book was written in the nineties, but I don’t think professional sports have changed in respect to what would happen if a major name came out while he was playing. I might think we are long past ready for that to happen, but I can understand why it hasn’t.
If you love baseball and slash, come talk to me about it. And if you read The Dreyfus Affair, please let me know what you think. Or you could just tell me who you’re pulling for in the playoffs.