Baseball star Cory Brand knows how to win. But off the field, he’s spiraling out of control. Haunted by old wounds and regrets, his future seems as hopeless as his past.
Until one moment—one mistake—changes everything. To save his career, Cory must go back to the town where it all began. His plan is simple: coach the local baseball team, complete a recovery program, and get out as fast as possible. Instead, he runs headfirst into memories he can’t escape ... and the love he left behind.
Faced with a second chance he never expected, Cory embarks on a journey of faith, transformation and redemption. And along the way, he discovers a powerful truth: no one is beyond the healing of God.
A novel based on the major motion picture starring Vivica A. Fox and Scott Elrod, Home Run is an inspirational story of the hope and freedom God offers each of us.
|Publisher:||David C Cook|
|Edition description:||Media Tie|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
FREEDOM IS POSSIBLE
By TRAVIS THRASHER
David C. CookCopyright © 2013 Carol Mathews
All rights reserved.
Fifty thousand fans filled the seats just outside the clubhouse, yet Cory Brand felt alone. Alone with an aching knee despite the handful of Vicodin he'd already downed.
There was no way he was going to let them start digging around his knee. The next thing they'd be doing would be telling him he'd have to get season-ending surgery. He wasn't going on DL, not this early in the season, not when he was in the middle of a slump in the final year of his contract with the Grizzlies.
I've been dealing with pain all my life. I can deal with this.
It was the middle of June, and he was moving slow. His knee wasn't getting any better, even though a week ago he'd told the trainers it was fine. If you hit the ball hard enough, he rationalized, you didn't have to kill yourself racing around the bases. All it took was one right smack. Something that had become a little more difficult as of late.
The mood before the game was about as exciting as the last five games the Denver Grizzlies had played. Cory took a sip from his thermal travel mug with the team logo on it as he sat in the chair in front of his lockers and glanced at the nearby television screen. His two lockers stood between those of the two other all-stars on the team. Once the idea of having a locker in a major-league clubhouse would have been unthinkable. Now it was just another one of those things he took for granted.
Sometimes you dream about something your whole life only to forget about it once the dream has arrived.
Because even dreams can be a lot of work. A whole lot of work.
"It's a blessed day here at the ballpark!"
The chirpy announcer on the screen sounded extra happy as he waxed poetic. Cory took another sip and rolled his eyes.
Yeah, another blessed day to take people's money.
"The spring heat is baking all this love into one slice of nostalgic, all-American pie."
On the screen a banner read Young Life Welcomes You! Happy Father's Day!
So that was the big deal. Explained why the announcer was giving it his A-game. Fog still filled Cory's head from last night—at least what he could remember about last night. Now he had to go out and smile and celebrate all the love and joy of fatherhood.
That's why it looked like a circus out there. The monitor showed the field littered with lots of fathers playing catch with their sons and daughters. The excitement was almost enough to make everybody out there forget about yesterday's loss. Or the losing streak the team was on. But not the subdued guys in the clubhouse.
"What's up, Brand?"
Rogers didn't seem to care much for Cory and his habits, but he kept his mouth shut and kept his faith to himself. Rogers had his cross and Cory had his coffee mug, but in the end both served the same purpose. Fuel and motivation to make it through another game in a very long season. They were men with jobs to do. Rogers had two lockers just like Cory did. Along with Mayhee, they made up the all-star row of the Grizzlies clubhouse, the guys closest to the exit in case the media got a little too overbearing. Cory had heard that Willie Mays had had only one locker, but times were different now, and stars got two and sometimes even more.
His mouth felt dry, and his eyelids didn't want to rise. Cory took another sip and thought of the kids out there playing. Personally, he'd rather be smiling at them than at those overbearing, overweight fans who only lived to ridicule you once your season was taking a nosedive into the dirt. Kids hadn't mastered the art of booing yet. Even though it just came with the territory, the criticism annoyed Cory, especially on days like today.
Cory's usual game-day routine involved cranking his iPod and listening to a little Foo Fighters, but his head hurt too much to do that today. He looked around and saw that Benny was rocking out with a pair of yellow headphones on that made him look like one of those guys on the airport tarmac who steered planes to their gates. Nearby, Gonzalez stood shirtless, showing off his carefully chiseled physique. You'd think a guy so disciplined and ripped could hit a ball a little better, but everybody knew it wasn't just about strength.
Cory once heard a guy sum up the science behind hitting a home-run ball. It had been interesting for the first thirty seconds, then began to bore him. He'd always been that way with baseball. The whole numbers game, for instance. Bored the life out of him. The history of the game. The incredible "aura" and all that nonsense. None of that did anything for him except make him thirsty.
He'd let others be enamored with this little round thing that you struck with a wedge of wood. The same way he'd let everybody else talk about his so-called batting slump and his so-declared career-worst .256 batting average this year.
Those things didn't bother him. What bothered him was the buzzing of flies in his head and the throbbing pain in his knee. He was already doing something for the former and decided to grab an ice pack for his knee.
Their relatively new clubhouse was eighty-five thousand square feet of space, with televisions all around and leather couches and love seats in the middle. On some days it still didn't feel big or luxurious enough. On days when the night games and flights back home seemed endless and it took a lot more to get the body and mind up for the game, Cory felt like he was in an expensive commercial made for someone else.
"Hey, Brand, how'd you make out with that chick last night?" It was Bruce, their tank of a catcher, asking.
"Same as always," Cory said, clicking on the flash of his grin.
Bruce just shook his head and moved on.
Cory couldn't even remember her name, if he had to be honest. It was something ending with ee, like Stephanie or Emily. She'd wanted to come over to his condo, but he hadn't been that drunk. The last thing he needed during a season like this one was to come home and find some woman boiling a rabbit in his kitchen.
By the time Helene rushed into the clubhouse in her typical high-caffeinated manner, most of the players had already gone out to the field. The start time for the game was five. Cory was taking his sweet time. Because of the knee. And maybe because he knew what awaited him outside.
"What's this I hear about you chatting with Capano last night at the fund-raiser?"
"Relax, Helene. You're the only girl for me." He admired her legs as always and grinned. "Though he did offer me his firstborn."
His fashionista agent looked as if she was dressed for a movie premiere and not a Denver Grizzlies home game. Cory laughed at her high heels that seemed to sparkle. Her chocolate skin looked smooth and soft, but Cory knew the rough and tough fighter beneath the sexy exterior.
Helene barely paid his joke any attention as her thumb worked her iPhone.
"You'd have to be really drunk to think that was a good deal," Cory added.
Which, in fact, I really was.
"That animal would eat his firstborn if it meant signing a new player."
Cory tossed the ice bag on the floor and then rubbed his temple. "Last night was all pretty much a blur. I don't think I signed anything."
Helene ignored his comment. She was like a parent who was physically in the room but hadn't left her work and office behind. Not that Cory really knew anything about that.
"How's the knee?" she asked as her eyes moved from her phone to his leg.
She was probably noticing how he wasn't standing. Not yet.
"It's never felt better," he said. "Give me a minute."
There were lots of things he spoke about with Helene, but his knee wasn't one of them. If pressed, he'd tell her the same thing he told everybody else. It was fine. Wonderful.
A knee doesn't hit baseballs. A knee doesn't spend the game in left field waiting for pop-ups. A knee doesn't really matter unless it's completely gone.
Cory knew that Helene had other players on her roster. None as big as Cory Brand, of course. But that didn't mean she couldn't find the next young stallion ready to play ball and make everybody millions. She'd gladly hop off the saddle and jump on another if she knew that fame and fortune would follow.
His eyes followed her shapely figure out the door. With only Benny still left in the clubhouse, Cory stood up and shook his leg to get some feeling back in it. As usual, he could feel the click of cartilage—it was like hearing something not quite right in the engine of your car. Eventually you knew it was going to have to be looked at.
He sighed and reached for the thermal cup. A bottle of Ketel One was wedged in some clothes in his duffel bag—the first bottle he'd spotted at the condo. He wasn't picky. He found the vodka and emptied the rest into the Grizzlies cup.
It took him a quick swallow to drain it.
He didn't rush to hide the empty bottle, nor did he look around to wonder if anybody was watching. Nobody paid any attention to him in this room. It was out there, in the open air and bright lights under the heavens ... that's when the world paid attention to his every move.
One hundred and sixty-two games. Those were the moments that mattered. These minutes right now, they were just throwaway minutes when he could do whatever it took to get ready for those games.
Some days, like today, it took a lot more than it used to.
* * *
He hears the screaming and makes sure that Clay is still asleep.
Some nights are worse than others.
He holds his breath, thinking that it might help the anger just outside the door go away. He can't make out the words, but he knows the conversation. Dad sounds like a bulldog. Mom sounds like a bird. But she holds her own.
Mom always holds her own.
He waits, listens, wonders if he should rush out there and help her. Wonders if there's going to be some big crash from Dad's hand. But Dad never touches her. He shouts and screams, but that's all.
Sometimes in the morning, Mom will smile and give him a hug and tell him everything's going to be okay.
Sometimes she even tells Cory he's going to grow up to be a great baseball player.
If he ever does, it'll be because of her, not because of the monster she married.CHAPTER 2
On a day when he should have been celebrating and feeling a deep sense of pride, Clay Brand sat in the stands next to his wife, staring at the field and worrying that everything was about to go terribly wrong. They were just above the dugout, overseeing a team of ten- and eleven-year-olds, and so far everything had been perfect. The weather and the chance to get on the field and throw balls around and even the invitation for Carlos to be the batboy. It was a dream come true for Carlos.
Of course, Carlos was their dream come true.
For a moment Clay replayed the game of catch they had just enjoyed. For the ten-year-old kid born and raised in Guatemala, it had probably been just that. A game of catch while standing on the grass of Samson Field. But for Clay and his wife, Karen, who stood nearby taking pictures, it had been more. Much more.
Carlos was an answer to prayer, a prayer they had uttered hundreds if not thousands of times. A prayer that had gone unanswered for a very long time.
"What should I ask him first?" Carlos had said. "I got a lot of questions." The joyous smile and the bright eyes were lit up as big as stadium lights after sunset.
Clay had simply smiled, the proud father of a boy who was excited to meet his famous uncle for the first time. "Whatever you want, slugger. It's your big day."
Karen had shared her doubts, but every time, Clay had told her everything would be okay. In his mind he saw the picture of their family—not just the two of them with Carlos in the middle, but Cory standing next to them as well. Cory was always a part of this family, no matter what Karen might think or how little they saw him.
"I want to know his favorite player," Carlos said. "And how to hit a curveball. And what he likes to do on the weekends. You know—when he's not playing baseball."
Clay could probably have answered that question himself, but the answer would have been R-rated. For now, it was simply important that Cory meet his nephew for the first time. And what better day for it than Father's Day?
"So Carlos. Ya think you're ready?"
"Only for like four hundred hours now," Carlos gushed. "I can't believe Cory Brand is my new uncle."
Clay had thrown his son the ball and then walked over to him. It was a good thing he was wearing sunglasses, because his eyes had teared up, and Carlos would have asked what was wrong.
The love—love he had questioned would ever come—burst out of Clay's heart and rushed into every inch of his body. He still couldn't believe God had granted it. Adopting a child wasn't a simple and easy process. Several of their friends had tried to no avail. But God had opened the doors, and through it had walked this ten-year-old bolt of energy.
Nothing is wrong, Carlos. I just still can't believe you're my son.
Clay had taken the ball back and joked, "Yep. Cory's a pretty big deal."
But inside all he could think was that Carlos was the big deal. And he hoped—he hoped and prayed—that Cory would get over himself for just a short while and realize the same thing.
Now, as most of the players were already out on the field but Cory was nowhere to be seen, Clay began to worry. The commotion of getting all the Bulldogs and their fathers off the field and into their seats was an accomplishment in itself. Clay had kept stalling, hoping his brother would come out and say hello to everybody. He understood that Cory was about to play a really big home game, but he still had hoped ...
No, I don't get it. Cory should've gotten his butt onto the field when we were all down there.
The look on Karen's face had said it all. It was the same look she gave him every time he mentioned his brother.
Now the typical look of cynicism was accompanied by concern.
"Do you think Cory will remember that's Carlos down there?" Karen asked.
Clay glanced out to the field, where Carlos was talking Jesse Rogers's ears off. The all-star pitcher didn't seem to mind.
"I have no idea."
"Or who Carlos is?"
Clay only shrugged.
I should've made 100 percent sure that Cory got my messages.
But who didn't get three voice mails and four emails? Clay couldn't count how many times in the past he'd talked to Cory and his brother had said, "Yeah, yeah, got your messages." But this wasn't a simple Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas or We're all thinking about you today. Telling Cory about Carlos was a lot more than that.
He's gotta know we're all here. He's just busy.
Karen laughed and nudged his arm. "Oh my gosh. Look at him."
Carlos was now flanked by members of the Grizzlies team. They seemed to know who he was, because they were treating him special, letting him chatter and ask questions as he pointed to their shoes and gloves.
"What happens if Cory doesn't know?" Karen asked.
"It doesn't matter," Clay said, no longer thinking about his brother. "We still get to take Carlos home."
If Cory doesn't know, then he's going to miss out on the best thing that's ever happened to me.
"You know," Karen said in a voice that always reassured him, "he looks pretty good on that field."
Clay sighed. "Yeah. Well, judging by his uncle's example, I'm sorta hoping he becomes a dentist."
* * *
Cory looks at the pitcher and smiles before stepping up to the plate. He doesn't do it to taunt or to tease. He just can't help himself. He wants to come up to this plate ten more times and swing away each time just like the one before. He knows now what it feels like—what the motion and the swing and the sound all feel like—and he doesn't want those feelings to go away.
The pitcher is tall, probably twelve years old like Cory, but he's got fear dumped all over him. The poor guy just wants to go home. He probably thought he was pretty hot stuff, whipping the ball like that and striking out all the other kids. But Cory knows now he's not like the other kids.
This is his fourth time at bat. The last three times resulted in three home runs. The last one got the entire crowd cheering like it was some championship or something. People even cheered his name. He hears Clay's voice above the others. His little brother never misses a game.
Cory still doesn't have any kind of routine for getting ready to hit. At home, the balls have always come fast and furious. At home, he's had to swing in order not to be hit. There's never been time for a routine.
Excerpted from Home Run by TRAVIS THRASHER. Copyright © 2013 Carol Mathews. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Half Chapter 1 Foul Territory,
Half Chapter 2 Lineup,
Half Chapter 3 Tag,
Half Chapter 4 Cleanup Hitter,
Half Chapter 5 On Deck,
Half Chapter 6 Called Game,
Half Chapter 7 Fly Ball,
Half Chapter 8 Hit and Run,
Half Chapter 9 Error,
Half Chapter 10 Brushback,
Half Chapter 11 Backstop,
Half Chapter 12 Outfield,
Half Chapter 13 Signs,
Half Chapter 14 Infield,
Half Chapter 15 ChangeUp,
Half Chapter 16 Sinker,
Half Chapter 17 Strike One,
Half Chapter 18 Stolen Base,
Half Chapter 19 Checked Swing,
Half Chapter 20 Strike Zone,
Half Chapter 21 Cellar,
Half Chapter 22 Intentional Walk,
Half Chapter 23 Backdoor Slider,
Half Chapter 24 Steal,
Half Chapter 25 Home Plate,
Half Chapter 26 At Bat,
Half Chapter 27 Curveball,
Half Chapter 28 Knuckleball,
Half Chapter 29 Designated Hitter,
Half Chapter 30 Relief Pitcher,
Half Chapter 31 Fastball,
Half Chapter 32 Doubleheader,
Half Chapter 33 Safe,
Half Chapter 34 Strike Out,
Half Chapter 35 Bases Empty,
Half Chapter 36 Cycle,
Half Chapter 37 Closer,
Half Chapter 38 Force-Out,
Half Chapter 39 Rundown,
Half Chapter 40 Foul Line,
Half Chapter 41 Grand Slam,
Half Chapter 42 Scoring Position,
Half Chapter 43 Choke-Up,
Half Chapter 44 Complete Game,
Half Chapter 45 Home Run,
Half Chapter 46 Perfect Game,
The Beginning of Home Run,
Why Home Run Matters,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I absolutely loved this book. It is an emotionally moving and powerful journey of one man's struggle, baseball star Cory Brand, to overcome shattering obstacles in his life. This is a story of reviving a broken and shattered heart and spirit, restoring a soul, and renewing life with Christ grace, guidance and promise. Travis certainly hit this book right out of the ballpark!!! I loved it from start to finish. I highly recommend this book.
Home Run is an emotional roller coaster, full of moving characters and heartrending difficulties. Some might see a book blatantly manipulating reader emotions but that’s ok, I enjoyed it. Full review at BookTrib or RomanticReadsandSuch on Wordpress.
First, I didn't see the movie; I only read the book. I can sympathize with Cory and Clay since I grew up in a chaotic household. It wasn't chaotic in the same way, but still chaotic. Clay had every reason to be angry with Cory. Clay stayed behind at home, dealt with their abusive father, and took care of their mother while Cory lived what seemed to be his dream life. Cory's life was more like a nightmare, though. Cory ends up back home dealing with problems he created and only he can solve. Through Celebrate Recovery, Cory begins dealing with his problems and his past. The story doesn't end all pretty and tied up with a bow which I am thankful for. Cory has more to overcome than can possibly be overcome in the time period covered in the story. The story ends on a high note, though, with the reader seeing the possibility of Cory making full peace with his past and creating a future with the woman he loves and their son. A good place to end, in my opinion.
What a beautiful story! I don't think I've ever read (er, listened to) a novelization before (movie turned into a book), but I really enjoyed Home Run and am going to have to track down the movie now. This is a wonderful story of forgiveness, hope, healing, and redemption. People are definitely used by God in this story, but God is the real hero. And isn't that how it should be? There were two things about this audio book that I had trouble adjusting to. One, the names of four of the main characters all began with the same hard C/K sound---Cory, Carlos, Karen, and Clay. I had trouble keeping the male names straight for about 1/4 of the book. Two, the book switches back and forth between the present and the past (I believe the past is at the end of each chapter). Because I was listening to the book rather than reading it, it was a little hard to tell the difference at times, which left me confused at each transition for the first half of the book. If that bothers you, stick with reading rather than listening. All of that aside, I really did enjoy this book and definitely recommend it! It's a great book for all readers. [4 stars]
This book is good from the first page and never stops. Ordinarily, I do not like novelizations of movies but this one stands out as fine accomplishment. A must read!
It's very good
Travis Thrasher has always been my favorite author. When I found out that he was attached to writing the novelization of this upcoming movie, I was thrilled. This book, as the other novels by Travis, will not disappoint. Cory Brand is "The Brand" when it comes to Major League Baseball. He has been there, done that and made a lot of money because of it. Unfortunately, there's a downside to all of his fame. After a Father's Day promotion goes wrong, Cory is sent on a paid vacation to rehab to get his life back in order. The only issue with the rehab, in Cory's mind, is that it's back in the hometown he swore never to go back to. As part of his rehab, he is tasked with coaching the little league team that his nephew plays on, and his ex-girlfriend co-coaches. It doesn't take long for the old demons of his father to haunt his every moment, which pushes him closer to the edge. Can Cory make a comeback and put his demons behind him? Does the little league team ever win a game? Is there a rekindling of romance with his ex? Stop reading my review and BUY THE BOOK! Is this a man's book? This books is not a typical male macho kill a hundred people, swim across the ocean and backpack across the Sahara, but this book is a must read for men struggling with their past and where their future fits into it. Redemption is the main theme throughout, but not only for Cory and his family, but always just the way that Cory sees himself.
As a rule, I don’t read Christian fiction for various reasons. One of them being my fear of such books turning into a preaching fest. Luckily this is not the case with Home Run. I haven’t yet seen the movie, so this story was one hundred percent fresh and new for me. At first it took me some time to get used to Cory’s character and see things the way he did. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t let go of his anger. He was stubborn, he was miserable and he kept making the same mistakes over and over again, and he continued to push away the people who cared about him the most. Cory’s self-loathing started to get on my nerves after awhile. But once I got to the last thirty percent of the book, I could see where the author was heading with Cory’s story and why he behaved the way he did. I’m not saying the story started getting predictable, because that’s one thing it is not. I’m saying that in order for Cory to come to the realization that he had to take control of his life and that only he could make the changes necessary to let go of his abusive past, he had to work through all his anger first before he could step onto the road to recovery. Like I said before, the story wasn’t preachy at all. It focused on the theme of forgiveness and coming to terms with the things we cannot change, but also the things we have the power to change. This message was neatly packaged in a story about a man who fought every attempt made by himself and others in helping him overcome his demons. The characters are endearing and makes you feel part of their lives. Two things that stood out for me were that Cory wasn’t the only one who had to deal with events from his past and who had to make changes in his life; and the other is that – and this is what really surprised me – Cory and Emma didn’t fall into each other’s arms or followed the clichéd, predictable pattern of many love stories where the long-lost lovers have this happy reunion and make a brand new start. Instead, Emma and Cory have to deal with a lot of resentments and face up to their past actions before they can attempt being a couple again and taking responsibility for their son. The only drawbacks for me where the flashbacks Cory had. I realize the point of these was to give the reader more insight into Cory’s past as a child and as a young adult, and for the reader to better understand where all Cory’s resentment stems from. However, it was sometimes confusing as to exactly which part of his life the flashbacks were taking me to as a few of the flashbacks were of his present day life. Also, I was sometimes confused with the dialogue and not sure which character was doing the talking. This didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the story, but it did take me some time to orientate myself again during a flashback. And then, the ending. The beautiful, unpredictable, ending which made me cry. For that alone I highly recommend this book, but overall Home Run is a touching story which left me feeling inspired and thinking how easy it is to stay angry at someone, and how much work it is to forgive that person who did you wrong. It also showed me that forgiving someone is life changing and the burden of anger and hate, worth letting go. The author did a fantastic job with the writing and I’m happy to recommend this story to fans of the book/movie Fireproof and those who enjoy baseball. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
This is one of those books that grabs your heart and doesn't let go, even when the last page is turned. Cory is a baseball star on the field but off the field, he's really a victim of child abuse and then he starts having a problem with substance abuse. Even though he's aggravating at times, your heart is rooting for him because of what he's been through. It was wonderful how they wove God through the book in a realistic way. How Cory was forced to face his past but he found out that God was there with him. Celebrate Recovery helped him to find his way from a difficult past to a hopeful future with God! There were so many ups and downs throughout the book - it will keep you reaching for a tissue to wipe your eyes here and there. It's an extremely emotional yet encouraging book and I highly recommend it. This book is based on the movie that will be coming out in theatres April 19th so you'll definitely want to see that, too! *This book was provided to me for my honest review by David C. Cook
I can't but help think of how God has THE greatest sense of humor.... the lengths he goes to bring us back to Him are amazing. I read this book in 2 days because I couldn't put it down. Travis gives little snippets to the road Cory had to travel before reaching the dark valley that is his life. Cory is given the chance to face how his past has shaped the man he is and forgiveness from the choices that cripple him. Travis literally hit it out of the ball park for me with this book. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone. I received a copy of this book from TBCN for my honest opinion.
Could not put it down! Can’t wait for the movie! This is the story of addiction. The main character, a professional baseball player was an abused child of an alcoholic, and is still carrying around his pain and making choices that prevent his escape. When he accidently bloodies the nose of his nephew, whom he does not recognize, and pitches an angry fit on the ball field, he is suspended for eight weeks. Circumstances force him to return home and come face to face with his pain and his poor choices. Everyone should read this book. We all carry around remnants of childhood that affect current choices, not to mention dealing with addictions. The theme of this book is that everybody has to deal with bad things in their life, but with the forgiveness of the Lord, everyone is capable. Beautiful book. I would recommend it for everyone. Received from NetGalley.
When I first heard about the Home Run movie (and book!) I knew right who I wanted to give it to. I have a sports fan in my family who is also a movie fan and has had trouble with all the issues dealt with in this book. A story might be the way to reach them. Film is a great blessing to Christians, to be able to use a powerful medium to give the Gospel message in a way that stays with viewers for a long time. Home Run is the story of an out of control alcoholic who vowed he would never be like his father- and is. Cory's life was tormented by his father when he was young. He lived in fear and tried to protect his little brother Clay from their father's rage. Cory met a sweet girl in high-school, and left her with a baby boy. He went to play baseball, and she married a soldier who adopted her son as his own. Cory went to the big leagues and Emma's soldier went to Afghanistan and died. Emma's son Tyler mourned the loss of the good man who had taken care of them...and Tyler never knew he had a father who had left him ten years before. Cory Brand is now famous... and drinking and medicating himself heavily. When Cory attacks an umpire and hits an honorary batboy in the nose, he is suspended for eight weeks. For PR reasons he is told he is going to coach the boy's little league and attend a Celebrate Recovery Group. The batboy turns out to be Carlos Brand, his nephew, newly adopted by Cory's brother and his wife Karen. They had brought Carlos to the field to meet his uncle. Cory finds himself in the middle of the family he had left behind...his brother who continues to forgive him, Karen who "just doesn't understand what it is like to have a hard life", and Carlos who thinks Cory is a hero. The other family he left is here in this town too. Emma and Tyler. Home Run is an exploration of the healing process from alcoholism in a man and his family. In every movie that is made into a book, each one will have its strengths. I always wanted a book when I really enjoyed the movie, because the book can be re-read slowly, and usually has more depth. Ultimately, I think that a well written book can capture more emotion than a movie, although a movie's visuals can get right into the brain, so to speak. The movie often captures the emotion in a much shorter period of time, while books need to set the stage with words. I can see how both the film and the book Home Run will move people. This novelization is written with flash backs to show you Cory's youth, and has several story lines going at once: Emma, who knows that the things Cory did that were supposedly "fun" when he was young were setting the stage for what is just plain old sin now- drunkenness and sexual immorality. Emma wants nothing to do with the immature and shiftless man in front of her, who is trying to be charming. There was nothing innocent or admirable in him then, and I was glad to see restraint from Emma until he changed his behavior. (The idea of someone less than Godly weaseling or worming their way back into your heart is thankfully unBiblical. As is the "Good Girl can't help but be attracted to the Bad Boy" myth.) Tyler, the son who breaks his mother's heart because he looks like his father. Tyler, the boy who has always loved baseball, and who has a treasured box of baseball cards given to him by the old man who used to mow their lawn. Tyler who loves his Coach Cory. (My personal favorite scene when Cory was trying to come back into Tyler's life was when he brought him a puppy--and Emma sent it back home with him.) And Cory himself. Spoiled by his money, thinking he can fix everything from DUI's to car accidents to suspensions by telling his agent to just pay it off. Of course, the things he can't pay off are the ones most broken: His son, His past, and Emma. He undeniably carries a great deal of pain from his father, but needs to accept responsibility for his own choices. His incessant justification of his sinful actions is keeping him trapped, and his insistance that no one understands in patently false. (This is a lesson his sister in law Karen teaches him, in an unforgettable manner.) He lives in the netherworld of knowing that the God his Mom talked to is there, and yet not wanting to acknowledge his guilt before Him and ask Him for help. It is a men's group that leads him to His Savior. The group is Celebrate Recovery, where men speak honestly of their sins and God's Grace that changed their lives and now sustains them. When Cory has men who care, whom he can call in a struggle against temptation, the pieces are coming together for his life to heal. And when his life heals, several other lives will be knit together and a multitude of prayers will be answered. I think this book and movie will do what stories have the power to do- show viewers that there is hope for people with these temptations and addictions. The ministry of Celebrate Recovery is a very commendable ministry. I received this book from Cook Publishing to review.
Sighed and heard her from upstairs, trying to ignore it
Travis Thrasher in his new book, "Home Run" published by David C Cook brings us into the life of Cory Brand. From the back cover: It's Never Too Late... Baseball star Cory Brand knows how to win. But off the field, he's spiraling out of control. Haunted by old wounds and regrets, his future seems as hopeless as his past. Until one moment--one mistake--changes everything. To save his career, Cory must go back to the town where it all began. His plan is simple: coach the local baseball team, complete a recovery program, and get out as fast as possible. Instead, he runs headfirst into memories he can't escape ... and the love he left behind. Faced with a second chance he never expected, Cory embarks on a journey of faith, transformation and redemption. And along the way, he discovers a powerful truth: no one is beyond the healing of God. A novel based on the major motion picture starring Vivica A. Fox and Scott Elrod, Home Run is an inspirational story of the hope and freedom God offers each of us. ...Freedom Is Possible. "Home Run" is a novelization of the original motion picture of the same name. Mr. Thrasher has taken the story and expanded the character's roles and back story. "Home Run" is a baseball story. It is also a story of one man's battle against alcohol addiction and the haunting memories of his childhood. Cory Brand is a talented player at the top of his game but he is suspended because of his self-absorption. So he goes home to coach Little League in Oklahoma because of an accident he caused to his brother, the real coach. Now he is given the opportunity to recover from his alcohol addiction and repair the broken relationships in his life but he cannot do any of it on his own. Not only does he need the power of God he needs to rely on others to help him. "Home Run" is a remarkable story of healing, recovery, restoration and love. It is a with real life situations that have faith-based answers. Mr. Thrasher brings incredible realism to Cory Brand and the rest of the characters that you will be sorry to see the book end. The good news is that there is a movie out there that you can go see and eventually own on DVD. I recommend it highly. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from David C Cook. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Do you ever read a book so amazing that you almost don’t want to see the movie? That’s how I feel about Travis Trasher’s Home Run. The book is brilliant and completely consumed me the entire time I was reading it. The movie is coming out April 19th and I can’t even imagine how it will live up to the picture in my mind (even though the book is actually based on the movie). Initially I imagined this to be just another baseball story and in all honesty, it started out that way for me. Cory Brand is your typical baseball star who has everything money can buy. What I did not anticipate was the troubled past that caused and explains his wreckless behavior, drunken rants and total feeling of inadequacy and failure in spite of his worldly successes. Trasher took a character that could have been easily perceived as shallow and gave him a deep spirit haunted by his abusive father that he is still trying to please even after his death. It takes a rude awakening for him to realize that he is repeating the cycle with his own son. Will he break it or is he destined to repeat history? I fell in love with Trasher’s writing in Hurt which I read just a few months ago. I am even more impressed after reading this book in a totally different genre. He has the capability to get inside any character and make you know them, love them and hate them all at the same time. I loved the way this book was formatted. Between each chapter is a short flash back to Cory’s past, beginning with his early childhood memories of abuse and catching up to the present by the end. It’s very reflective and introspective and gives Cory a whole new layer as a character. Equally impressive were the chapter titles. Normally this isn’t something I would notice, let alone mention. However, all forty six chapters are baseball terms that also describe the chapter in a deeper abstract way. The chapter titles alone are their own work of art. God can heal the broken, change the unchangeable and love the unloveable. Can Cory accept that love with the help of his program and new friends, or will he let himself be dragged down by painful memories? Home Run by Travis Trasher is going to take you inside human despair and then hope, deeper then you thought a baseball story could go. I am still left thinking on it days after completing it. You can win your own copy below. It is an absolute must read!
Home Run by Travis Thrasher ***** Home Run is a suburb book. I really enjoyed it. Cory Brand is a household name. As a baseball great, he has it all. When he left home to be a star baseball player, he left behind his pregnant girlfriend and the past. He has been running ever since. Ten years later his life is falling apart. Suspended from the major leagues, he is sent back home to Okmulgee to face an uncertain future. He is fighting alcoholism and anger problems telling himself he will never be like his father. Part of his suspension is to coach a little league team and take part of Celebrate Recovery, a 12 step program. He meets his son for the first time and has to face Emma his lost love. Will he throw it all away to alcohol or will he find a way to climb out the dark hole he finds himself in? He is in for a long bumpy ride. Can he find redemption, forgiveness and God? Are second chances in his future? I am grateful to have received this book from The Book Club Network. The author Travis Thrasher did a great job portraying the what an alcoholic and their families face daily. Great job.