When baseball is no longer fun, it’s no longer a game. – Joe DiMaggio
Jonathan Young did a very bad thing. Something so bad that he was turned into a pariah by an entire city. You might not think it such a bad thing. I certainly don’t. The very bad thing that Jonathan Young did? He caught a baseball. Not just any baseball, though. The baseball that Jonathan Young caught could have been the ball that landed the Boston Red Sox in the World Series for the first time since 1918.
Baseball fans in Boston take their Sox very seriously. Jonathan was harassed from every angle. The photographers wouldn’t leave him alone, so he lost his job. He changed his phone number five times. His boyfriend of five years couldn’t take the pressure, so he left. Even his own brother wouldn’t speak to him. All over a baseball. Jonathan refused to talk to any reporters regarding the incident, no matter how much money they threw at him. All this over a baseball. He earned the nickname The Bane of Boston.
Jonathan changed his name to Jack and moved to Chicago. Jack thought he could easily get lost in such a big city. For three years, this proved to be true. Then Jack me Ryan in a bar near Wrigley Field. Ryan was the first man Jack had met since moving. Unfortunately, Ryan recognized Jack. Even more unfortunately, Ryan is a sports reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
Ryan sees in Jack the possibility to have the career he always wanted. He had the chance at an exclusive interview with the Bane of Boston! He would take Jack home, and after spending the night with him, get him to open up about the very bad thing.
After spending some time together in and out of bed, Ryan confesses to Jack who he is and that he took Jack home in hopes of writing an article about him. He also tells Jack that now that he knows him, he can’t write the story, because he wants Jack more than he wants an exclusive. He wants to spend every day proving it.
Jack leaves, but not before Ryan writes down and gives him his phone number. That piece of paper seems to burn a hole in Jack’s pocket. He avoids the bar where he met Ryan. Ryan searches for and eventually finds Jack in a new bar and repeats his desire to have Jack in his life.
My favorite thing about this book was Jack and Ryan’s ability to forgive and forget. Ryan was willing to forget that his Jack was Jonathan Young, the Bane of Boston and was willing to sacrifice his career goals for Jack’s love. Jack was able to forgive Ryan for starting their relationship on a lie and he finally found someone to love him in spite of being the most hated man in baseball.
Bane of Boston was a short, but sweet read. I highly recommend it to the romantic in all of you!
Reviewed by: Tina