Once a hard-throwing Major League pitching prospect, thirty-year-old Jim Miller, aka Buckethead, has overcome three devastating knee injuries to get one final shot in pro ball in the Class "AAA" North American League, and over the course of the 1995 season, a baseball old-timer shows him a way to keep his career viable — by egregiously cheating — which could get him banished from the sport permanently.
For the reader who wants to experience a wacky, yet absolutely authentic, look at pro ball from inside the clubhouse to out on the field to anywhere else ballplayers might go, the novel CLUBHOUSE CONFESSIONS delivers with an unadulterated season long narrative of the highs, the lows, and the wild and hysterical laughter emanating from the various ballparks, planes, buses, restaurants, bars, and hotels of the Tacoma Loggers, a club contending for the '95 Class "AAA" North American League title.
Over the course of the 144 games season, the Loggers schedule takes them from Tacoma to Tucson and Vegas to Vancouver, and along the way, Miller and Sam Stone, his catcher and roommate, perfect their relationship to brotherhood status while Miller frantically tries to stave off the immanent day of reckoning for his playing career — his impending release and forced retirement by Tacoma's big league parent club. But on the night of the rained out home opener, Miller's chance meeting with a high school history teacher ultimately transforms him from a dour woman-hater to a man who comes to discover just how astonishing life can be, even without baseball.
CLUBHOUSE CONFESSIONS will put you in the dugout, the bullpen, on the mound, and in the clubhouse alongside twenty-three Logger players, and will finally allow the whole world to hear what actually goes on in those crazy arguments with the umpires and what takes place at the bottom of a stack of players during a bench-clearing brawl. And hey — the ending might just surprise you, so don't you dare peek!
D.D. McDonald was born and raised into a family of baseball lovers and began his career at the age of five. Though he loved the sport with a passion, he was a lousy hitter until reaching the ripe old age of thirteen. One of the fathers of one of the other kids, a former pro ballplayer himself, showed him how to keep his right side high through the swing, and things pretty much took off from there. He was an all-state catcher in high school and was drafted in the Major League players draft during his senior year in the early ’70s, but chose to play college baseball instead. Then before player free agency became a reality, a college degree was worth far more than the Major League minimum of $25,000 a year. He was drafted once more, this time in the 3rd round of his senior collegiate season, and was assigned to long season Class “A” in 1975 reaching “AAA” in 1976. A serious case of “bus trip burnout” ended his playing career at the end of the ’76 season, but in 1978 he realized how much he missed the game, and his renewed desire to return to baseball led him to begin umpiring kids’ games. While balancing a business career with calling balls and strikes, he moved up rapidly and began working high school, junior college, and eventually college ball in just his second year. Ultimately, after more than fifty years of squatting behind home plate, thirty of them wearing a “blue suit” and twenty more catching, his worn-out knees compelled his retirement in 2010. Mr. McDonald is currently retired and living with his wonderful wife and cat in a log cabin in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest.