“Wanczyk gets it—that disability is a cultural formation and not a defect. The book offers a great example (much in the manner of early Tom Wolfe) of entering a relatively unknown and essentially closed world and making it entirely compelling and fully realizable for the general reader. It’s unusual, witty, and quite needed.”
Stephen Kuusisto, author of Planet of the Blind
“Beep is a fun and funny and supremely humane piece of sportswriting, a reminder of what sports are for. Wanczyk tells a great story, one that's alternately gripping and goofy, that’s not only about a particular game and the people that play it, but about why we play games in the first place.”
David Roth, writer, VICE Sports and cofounder, The Classical
“[Wanczyk] eschews cliches about athletes overcoming adversity in favor of warts-and-all accounts of the often-obsessive characters who play the game.”
Joe Blundo, Columbus Dispatch
In Beep, David Wanczyk illuminates the sport of blind baseball to show us a remarkable version of America’s pastime. With balls tricked out to beep three times per second like a troubling EKG and with bases that buzz, beep baseball is both innovative and intensely competitive. And when the best beep baseball team in America, the Austin Blackhawks, takes on its international rival, Taiwan Homerun, no one’s thinking about disability. What we find are athletes playing their hearts out for a championship.
Wanczyk follows teams around the world and even joins them on the field to produce a riveting inside narrative about the game and its players. Can Austin’s Lupe Perez overcome his temper and lead his team to victory? Can Ethan Johnston, kidnapped and intentionally blinded as a child in Ethiopia, find a new home in beep baseball? Will Taiwan’s MVP Ching-kai Chen—“the looker” who is suspected of having better vision than he claims—keep up his incredible play as he fights legal troubles at home? Do players come to terms with their blindness through the game, or does it inflame their close-to-the-surface frustration about their disability?
Beep is the first book about blind baseball.
David Wanczyk grew up a Red Sox fan and once gave up twenty-seven runs in an inning before realizing he’d never make it to Fenway Park—or varsity. He’s coped with that by writing on novel sports for Salon, Slate, Boston Globe Magazine, Texas Monthly, and other venues. The editor of New Ohio Review, he lives in Athens, Ohio, with his wife, Megan, their daughter, Natalie, their son, Ben, and the family heirloom—an autographed Pedro Martinez hat.
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