The ’51 Rocks is based on the true story of the Western Carolina League's 1951 Granite Falls Graniteers, the losingest team in baseball history. Ten year old batboy Bobby McRainey relates the day to day struggles of a losing ball club and confronts the moral challenges of whites only baseball in 1951. When Bobby finds out an unhittable ‘Cuban’ pitcher is really an American born black man, he struggles with the arbitrary nature and unfairness of segregation.
Through a long hot summer, the Graniteers sweat out a 14 – 96 season. New coaches, a name change (to the Granite Rocks) and even ‘Black Cat Night at Granite Falls Stadium' cannot turn things around. Then, at the end of a long and painful season, the Rocks sign five former Negro League players and integrate Southern baseball. And, Bobby learns that even a losing team can have immortal moments.
Publishers Weekly called the book ‘beguiling.' “There are some very pleasant moments (and perhaps even a Denzel Washington movie) in this novel … based on the incredible true story of the worst team in Baseball History that became the first Southern team to break the color barrier."
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