The Rough on the Diamond takes game of baseball where it's never been before: the barren plains of West Africa.
Blake Portis is an ex-backup catcher who has failed as a ballplayer, a broadcaster, a coach and a human being. All he has to show for his years in the major leagues is enough money to buy anything he could ever want and not a single thing he truly needs. Fed up with the game that turned its back on him and on the verge of a personal breakdown, Portis gets one last chance through a job as a scout in the baseball wasteland of Africa.
Portis soon realizes prospects are nowhere to be found and plans to give up, but a chance encounter takes Blake to the small nation of Senegal, where a peculiar doctor has started a baseball program out of the dust. What he finds in Senegal – young boys with a passion for the game and true, unadulterated talent – makes Blake remember why he loved baseball in the first place. In partnership with the doctor, Portis helps guide the baseball program toward its ultimate goal: an African-born player in the major leagues. Along the way, Blake Portis finds love, hope and, ultimately, his own salvation in the land of the griot storytellers.
For over 10 years I worked as an editor, reporter and sportswriter at newspapers and magazines of all sizes across the Midwest, winning numerous writing awards from the press associations of Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas.
The Rough on the Diamond is complete at 80,000 words. Thank you in advance for considering it. May I send you a synopsis, sample chapters or the full manuscript?