The Assistant Coaches
GEORGE GRANT RETIRED from baseball after leading a professional team to back-to-back World Series Championships. George is content to return to his first love—farming. He's looking forward to getting back on a tractor and helping with the spring planting.
That won't happen for two months. In early March George and Marcy plan to spend several days visiting with their friends Toby and Mona Corbet. Toby is the baseball coach at the State University in the state capital. Toby was George's teammate when the Central High Tigers won their first state baseball championship.
Then George and Marcy are going to spend a week in Phoenix attending Cactus League baseball games before taking a leisurely trip up through California and Oregon while winter turns into spring back at the farm.
As 56-year-old George has discovered many times in his life, things don't always turn out like they are planned. A devastating accident and suddenly George is faced with a challenge unlike anything he has ever faced before.
The Thing on the Bottom of the Lake
“WE HAVE TO LEAVE HERE,” Loma, the stone-age tribe's headman, told the villagers. The guides had told him a great drought with dirt and sand-filled winds would soon sweep over their village in the woods by the lake. The lake would quickly become a dry sand-filled basin and great dunes would cover the woods. The entire region would be barren. No food. No water.
The guides who talked with the headman were mysterious beings with many strange powers. The tribe's oral tradition was that long, long ago the guides took them from a very bright star to a far distant land. When the village in the far distant land was attacked by fierce warriors the guides swooped down from the sky and destroyed or drove them away. The guides led the survivors to an isolated home in the woods by the lake where they have lived in peace for many generations.
Now the guides will lead the tribe to a new home far, far away. The journey will take many seasons. The guides tell them the sons and daughters of those who are elders when the journey starts will be the tribe’s elders when they arrive at their new home, where they will be safe with ample food and water.
Along the way to their new home the tribe endures hardship, learns to cope with change and discovers a new way of life.
The Bones of Professor Wilson
Ron Wilson is a university history professor. He discovers his back yard deck is a portal from which he can see snippets of space and time from ages long ago. The images appear to float through the meadow behind his house in fog banks that suddenly form and quickly disappear.
After seeing a herd of bison in one fog, he goes out into the meadow to investigate. Much to his surprise, he discovers they left hoof prints, even though they were from a long ago time. As he kneels beside the torn-up turf to check the hoof prints another fog bank forms around him and he is terrified when he looks up and sees a dinosaur lumbering toward him.
Those Peterson Kids
It wasn't an accident. It wasn't a disease. It wasn't a natural disaster that took eight young children from their parents in the spring of 1952. It was an act of the county government that tore the family apart.
In early April 1952, a North Dakota district court judge signed an order removing eight children from the custody of their parents. The children became wards of the State. Seven were immediately taken to the North Dakota Children's Home Society in Fargo, a state agency orphanage that was often simply called the "Home". The eighth child, a 14-year-old girl, was taken directly to a foster home.
Within a year, some of the children were being sent to foster homes and several were quickly adopted. Others spent more than six years as wards of the State. None were told where their brothers and sisters were sent.
This is the story of what happened to those children. After years of suffering under a system intended to ensure their well-being, these children, with the help of some older siblings, managed to find each other and restore the family.
It's been nearly 70 years since those Peterson kids were taken to the Home. Four are now deceased, including the oldest and the youngest. This is the story of how they endured their childhood trauma and through determination and family love put their family back together.
A Young Pitcher
George Grant is a 15-year-old farm boy who is struck by lightning while helping his dad with the summer harvest. His dad is killed but George survives with burns on his arms and back. When the burns heal George and his younger brother Roy resume their baseball practices. That fall George is a high school sophomore and his goal is to pitch for the high school baseball team.
George has lingering effects from the lightning strike. When he throws a baseball or when he picks up something heavy he gets tingling sensations from his fingertips to his shoulders. The tingles are never painful. They just feel funny, like he bumped his funny bone. They seem to give him extra strength and he can pick up heavy objects with ease. George discovers he now can pitch with great speed and accuracy. Almost every pitch is a strike.
Another strange effect is he now sees a baseball moving through the air like it is in slow motion. His vision isn’t affected in any other way. He is often checked by doctors. The results are always the same. None of the strange effects show up on the testing devices. George appears to be a healthy teenage boy.
Early in the baseball season the high school coaches and players realize that George has unique talent and he becomes a highly valued member of the team. As the season progresses he plays a critical role in helping the team achieve greater success than anyone thought possible.
A Hitting Pitcher
George Grant is a farm boy who is struck by lightning while helping his dad harvest grain. His dad is killed, but George recovers with lingering effects that cause him to get tingles in his hands and arms whenever he throws a baseball or lifts anything heavy. The tingles make him stronger and give him great speed and accuracy when pitching a baseball. His vision is also affected and he now sees a baseball in flight moving like it is in slow motion.
This second book in the George Grant Series is a continuation of George’s high school years. As a sophomore he led his team to their first state baseball championship. George has outstanding pitching skills and his ability to see the ball moving in slow motion results in him getting a hit every time he bats, unless he gets an intentional walk. He never strikes out. He again leads the team to unprecedented achievements.
He and his brother, Roy, suffer another tragedy as they lose their mother to cancer. Their Grandpa and Grandma Grant become their guardians and help them run the farm, which now belongs to them.
George develops a deep affection for Marcy Caldwell, a classmate who helps him with his studies and who somehow can sense when he has tingles in his hands and arms. George is surprised that Marcy can tell when he has tingles because no one else, not even the doctors, can do that. He also realizes that he gets tingles whenever he’s near Marcy. When George and Marcy graduate from high school they plan to go to college. They also plan to get married. However, the summer after they graduate George learns that things don’t always work out as planned and his dream of becoming a professional baseball player is in jeopardy.
The Vintage Rookie
This the third book in the George Grant Series. It starts 35 years after George graduates from high school. In the summer after George graduates an essential farm worker leaves and George is unable to find a replacement. George must forego college and give up his dream to play professional baseball. Keeping the farm running is the top priority. His brother Roy is still in high school. It takes more than a year to find a replacement farm worker and by then George and Marcy Caldwell, his high school sweetheart, are married and managing the farm as a successful family business.
Even though George can’t leave the farm, he and Roy continue to practice baseball. As he ages, George’s pitching speed and accuracy improve. He still gets tingles in his hands and arms and he still sees a baseball flying through the air in slow motion.
Finally, when George is 54, he and Marcy, accompanied by Roy and his wife Sally, go to Phoenix for an early spring vacation. It is still winter on the farm but the Cactus League baseball spring training season is in full swing in the Valley of the Sun. They plan to enjoy the warm weather and watch some baseball games.
Unknown to George until he arrives in Phoenix, Roy has arranged for him to give a pitching demonstration to a professional team. The players, managers and owner of the team are impressed with George’s speed and accuracy as a pitcher. When he steps to the plate as a batter, they are even more impressed. The team owner gives George a contract to pitch for his team for the last two weeks of spring training.
When the owner learns that an injury to one of his pitchers will sideline him for the entire season, he signs George to a contract. The result is a baseball season beyond the wildest expectations of the players, coaches and owner.
The Perfect Rookie
The Perfect Rookie is the fourth novel in the George Grant Series. George was struck by lightning as a teenager. The doctors said the tingles in his arms and hands would fade away as he recovered. That was almost 40 years ago. He’s 55 and still has them.
The tingles were initially known to his family, a few close friends and the doctors who examined him. Now only his wife Marcy, his brother Roy and Roy’s wife Sally know about them. Marcy has always been able to sense and feel them in George’s arms and hands. He doesn’t understand how she can. No one else, not even the doctors, could do that.
When he’s excited the tingles race through his arms and hands and he feels much stronger. He has phenomenal speed and accuracy when pitching a baseball and rarely throws anything but strikes. A strange result of the lightning strike is George sees baseballs moving through the air like they are in slow motion. Nothing else about his vision is affected. He can get a hit every time he bats.
George wanted to be a professional baseball pitcher but had to forego that dream to run the family farm. His chance to play professional ball finally came when he was 54 years old and he led the team to the World Series Championship. Then he retired to return to farming.
When George retired he committed to be at the next spring training in the Cactus League in Phoenix. He would coach a rookie pitcher who had been struck by lightning and had tingles in his arms and hands that didn’t go away like the doctors predicted.
Under George’s tutorage Bo Bowman becomes a pitching and hitting wonder. Early in the regular season George helps the team when the pitching coach suffers a broken leg. Then, late in the season George is again called on to help when two starting pitchers are hurt in a car accident and cannot play for the rest of the year.
What happens with Bo and George pitching and hitting for the team is beyond the wildest expectations of the team’s owner, the players and all the teams they play against.
The Amazing Player
The Amazing Player is the fifth novel in the George Grant Series. When George was 15 he was struck by lightning. Doctors said the residual tingles in his arms and hands would soon fade away. George is 55 and he still has them. The only people who know that are his wife, his brother and his brother’s wife.
The tingles give George extra strength and greater accuracy when he pitches a baseball. He rarely throws anything but a strike. His vision was affected by the lightning strike and he sees a baseball moving through the air like it’s in slow motion. Nothing else is affected. When he swings a bat at a baseball he always gets a hit.
When George graduated from high school he wanted to go to college and then become a professional baseball pitcher. He had to forego that dream to run the family farm.
A chance to play professional ball finally came when he was 54. His pitching and hitting demonstration impressed a baseball team owner and George was given a contract. He was instrumental in the team winning the World Series. Then George retired.
Shortly after he retired he committed to be at the next spring training in the Cactus League in Phoenix to coach a rookie pitcher. The 19-year-old had been struck by lightning and had tingles in his arms and hands that didn’t go away like the doctors predicted.
Under George’s tutorage Bo Bowman became a pitching and hitting wonder. When two starting pitchers were injured in a car accident late in the regular season George came out of retirement to help the team. They won their division and are in the playoffs.
The playoffs are about to start. George and Bo are premier pitchers and hitters. It looks like the team will breeze through the playoffs and claim their second World Series Championship.
Things don’t always turn out as expected. George and the team struggle to win games and keep the dream alive. Suddenly they trail 3-2 in the World Series and are faced with a do or die situation.