Baseball announcer gets big league job, steals a woman’s heart, and wins back his problematic daughter. The Diamond Man by Michael J. Molloy. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at:
An act of bravery can elevate one to superhero status. But it will not erase a troubled past.
Career minor league baseball announcer Jim Monahan saves an elderly man from potentially drowning. His local media story goes viral on the internet and is snatched up by national television. It catches the eyes and ears of his New York-based agent, who convinces Jim that the courageous act could put him front and center for a major league announcing opening. Yet despite his heroics, Jim still can’t wash away a painful divorce caused by his unfaithful ex-wife, and repair his strained relationship with his wayward daughter, Madison. Jim grows despondent. But then an attractive and kind-hearted woman named Anne Finley walks into his life. She restores Jim's faith in love and aids him in reconnecting with Madison.
Word Count: 84750 Pages to Print: 289 Price: $5.99
Hours after the late August game and its broadcast, Diamond Jim Monahan maneuvered his Honda Civic through Richmond’s waterlogged streets. The spirits of the play-by-play announcer of the Richmond Flying Squirrels had been flattened like a pancake. After all, the team had kowtowed to the hated rival Bowie Baysox, 6-5—thanks to the play where the visitors’ Lamont McGill uncoiled like a cobra in the top of the ninth inning and jacked the pill until it was a blip off the radar past the left field fence. The loss eliminated the Squirrels from postseason consideration, thus rendering the team’s upcoming season-ending series that weekend in Reading moot. The severe thunderstorm the forecasters had predicted was a fitting end to the evening’s proceedings. Mother Nature was venting her anger as she wept profusely for the saddened city.
The rain, which began shortly before the conclusion of Jim’s post-game radio show, came down in sheets. The upcoming trip to Reading was the farthest thing from Jim’s mind. Making it home through the torrential downpour became a struggle for survival. As fast as the windshield wipers swept away a collection of water, another waterfall soon followed. Jim might as well have been driving blindfolded. He wanted nothing less than to curl up in his bed at his apartment.
Inching along Jennie Scher Road, Jim suddenly noticed the rear lights of another vehicle off the side of the road below street-level. His initial reaction was to press past and head for home. But something peculiar about these rear lights peaked his curiosity. Had a fellow motorist’s vehicle swerved off the slick road into Gillies Creek? Compelled by his own burning desire to know, Jim opted to forego the need to sleep.
“Oh, my God. I wonder if anyone is hurt down there.”
Parking his Civic in a safe spot, Jim cautiously made his way down the incline. The rain continued to pelt him unmercifully, a thousand needles stinging his face. He wasn’t the least bit concerned about getting drenched. Someone was in dire need of assistance, and that was all that mattered.
He stopped in his tracks when he saw the vehicle, a late model Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, its front wheels almost totally submerged in the rising waters of the creek. The rest of the vehicle would soon fall in. If someone were still alive in the Explorer, he’d have to act fast.
The driving rain made it difficult for him to see. Through squinted eyes, Jim noticed a figure in the driver’s seat. He tapped the window with his knuckles to get the attention of the individual, but there was no response. He tried to open the driver’s side door, but soon discovered it was locked. There was only one thing left to do: he had to break the window.
Time was critical; he frantically looked around for a sizable rock. He spotted one the size of a football and hoisted it. But before he struck the window, Jim yelled, “Hey in there! I’m going to smash the window! See if you can move away or at least turn your head away!”
The shadowy figure nodded and moved his head to the side.
With adrenalin pumping throughout his body, Jim heaved the heavy stone. The impact cracked the glass in the pattern of a spider’s web. Jim hit again and again, before the window shattered and he could reach inside to unlock the door. The third attempt was the charm.
He extended his left arm through the narrow middle opening of the broken pane. As he did, he nicked his forearm on one of the jagged edges. Ouch! He winced in pain, but pressed on in search of the button. Five seconds later he fingered what he believed was the door lock. When he pressed it, a sudden click sounded. Relief enveloped him, but the task was far from over.
After delicately pulling out his arm to avoid another cut, Jim opened the door from the outside. Just then he heard an eerie noise from the SUV, signaling it was another step closer to being totally submerged. The clock was ticking.
Jim focused on the object of the task: an elderly man, incoherent save for a few moans. The man slowly moved his head side to side. His wailing grew louder, almost ear-splitting.
“Hey, mister!” Jim yelled. “C’mon! You’ve got to get of here! This truck’s about to fall into the creek!”
“I can’t move,” the man groaned. “I think I broke my leg.”
“You can’t stay here! I’ve got to get you out!”
“No! No! Leave me alone! I’ll be all right.”
“Like hell you will!”
Jim quickly released the man’s seatbelt. The baseball announcer was about to position his arms around the back and behind the knees of the man when he heard another creak. The vehicle was yet another inch closer to slipping into the waterway.
Water rapidly filled the floor of the vehicle. There was no room for error. Jim instructed the old man to grab him around the neck. Jim fought to lift the man out. After he succeeded in doing so, he struggled up the embankment with the man in his arms. He managed to go only six steps before he heard a very loud sound behind him. He turned his head and saw the Ford Explorer sinking completely into the creek. Seconds later, only the top of the vehicle stood above the water. Diamond Jim Monahan had saved the old man’s life—but there was no time for celebration. Jim continued to transport the old man until both of them managed to reach street-level.
The announcer safely guided the injured man into the backseat of his Civic. Seconds were precious. Despite the teeming rain, he used his cell phone to contact 911 and request an ambulance. When he was finished on the phone, he noticed the old man reaching for him with his right hand. Jim clasped it as a handshake, as if he were greeting an old friend. Still writhing in pain, the old man looked at Jim through tired but grateful eyes.
“Thank you,” the man quietly told Jim.
Jim smiled softly in reply. He shut the door so that the man would be out of the torrential downpour, got into the driver’s seat and closed the door behind him to shelter himself from the rain. His clothes were soaked, but Jim wanted only to relax all of his taut muscles and be swallowed up by the bucket seat. The wait was now on for the emergency vehicle’s arrival.