High Heat by Karl Deuker This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 12, 2010
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In my life there have been many things that have happened to me, both good and bad. One good thing, and perhaps one of the best things, that happened to me was baseball. In turn, the worst thing that has happened to me was the passing of my aunt Carla. Your book, “High Heat” deals with issues that are along the same lines as both of these. This is how your book “High Heat” changed my life.
The way I feel for baseball can only be described in one word, passionate. I absolutely love the game. In my career, I began at T-Ball and played all the way through Majors select and now am apart of high school baseball. I love the sport with all of my heart and that will never change. This, however, was not always so. Not too long ago, in the 7th grade, I felt that baseball had been shoved down my throat. Since my grandfather played on the Yankees and my dad was an athlete as well, it seemed automatic to my parents that I should play. This was all fine and well until they decided I would play select baseball, which happened all throughout the year, including football season. This made me angry seeing as I could not play football, and in a way, I resented my parents for it. In this book, the main character, Shane Hunter, is an excellent baseball player who is a closing pitcher for the team at an exclusive school in Seattle, Washington. This is similar to me because I too am a great pitcher. Baseball, like me, is a big part of his life because he has a real shot at going to college for baseball. At the point in the book when Shane loses baseball forever, (or so he thinks) I began to imagine myself in that situation. I began to realize that I could not live without baseball and I really loved it. This truly helped me appreciate the fact that I get to play baseball, even though it takes place during football season. I have now come to realize that this was selfish and my parents were only doing what was best for me.
Coincidentally, I read this book at the same time in my life as the tragic death of my closest aunt, Carla. We had a very special relationship, and I loved her dearly. Hunter was in a similar situation when his father died, whom he loved dearly as well. Reading about how Hunter coped with the death of his father through playing baseball helped me cope with the passing of my aunt as I did the same. I always thought of her as I was on the field and if I scored a run I would look up into Heaven and say, “That was for you, Aunt Carla.” I began to not play for my personal benefits, but instead played for her. I was depressed for several weeks prior to my reading of this book, but after reading it, the process of healing slowly began.
In summary, the reading of this book changed my life. It helped me appreciate baseball more and deal with my aunt’s death. As I witnessed what Hunter did, I really learned from his example. I am very happy I read this book; it affected me for the better.

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