Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mudville Madness By Jonathan Weeks Excerpt & Giveaway

Mudville Madness
Jonathan Weeks


The beauty of baseball is that you never know. The game you’re watching may have somebody turning an unassisted triple play, a pitcher flirting with his second consecutive no-hitter, three guys on third base—you just never know. In Mudville Madness, Jonathan Weeks takes us on a whirlwind journey from the nineteenth century through the 2013 season—through the wild, weird, wonderful world of baseball. Fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride!” (Jan Finkel, SABR Biography Project)


August 24, 1919

            A game between the Indians and Athletics at Dunn Field in Cleveland featured one of the most bizarre finishes in baseball history. Released by the Red Sox three weeks before, Ray Caldwell was making his mound debut for the Tribe and pitching a gem. Through eight and two-thirds of an inning, he had yielded just 1 run on 4 hits. The sky darkened suddenly and, to the complete astonishment of players and spectators, a bolt of lightning descended upon the field, knocking the hurler flat on his back. He lay there for a full minute before getting up and polishing off a 2-1 victory.

            Caldwell was not the only one affected. The bolt knocked catcher Steve O’Neill’s mask off along with the cap of Philly’s third base coach Harry Davis. Numerous other players were jostled by the impact though none were injured. Davis received a second jolt when A’s catcher Cy Perkins came over to see if he was okay. The lightning had charged his hair with electricity and his whole body reportedly tingled after Perkins touched him.

            Speaking to reporters after the game, Caldwell said: “It felt just like somebody came up with a board and hit me on top of the head and knocked me down. Then I looked around to see if anybody was hurt.” The veteran moundsman theorized that the bolt had struck the button on his cap then moved through his body before exiting via his metal spikes. He was left with a minor burn on his chest.

            Caldwell had been roughed up in three straight outings before being dumped by the BoSox. He pitched six games for Cleveland in 1919, notching a 5-1 record and 1.71 ERA. He would win 20 games during Cleveland’s championship run of 1920.  


Weeks spent thirty-eight years in the Capital District region of New York State. He obtained a degree in psychology from SUNY Albany. In 2004, he migrated to Malone, New York, and has continued to gripe about the frigid winter temperatures ever since. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, he has authored two non-fiction books on the topic of baseball: Cellar Dwellers and Gallery of Rogues. His first novel, The Bridgeport Hammer, (a baseball story set during the WWII era) is being released in the summer of 2014. He writes about the game because he lacked the skills to play it professionally. He still can’t hit a curveball or lay off the high heat.

Link: Check out his “Cellar Dwellers” blog at:

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  1. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to share information about my work with readers!

  2. Thank you for the chance to win :)

  3. I look forward to reading your work and thanks for the chance.