By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network
Ray Boudreau has looked into the future and sees baseball in a different light, a different environment.
Hostile shall we say? Savage? Violent? At least from a fictionalized point of view. To get an out, you throw the ball at the opposing player.
Boudreau, who lives in Whitefish, Ont. near Sudbury, has penned A Future Pastime: A Complicated Baseball Story, a dystopian sports sci-fi novel about four young boys, who grow up playing soft rules of Alliance Baseball on the same team. When they get older, they are drafted by different major league teams and have to play the hard rules against each other in a World Series final.
"Fifteen years ago, I got the idea from a friend who said his dad played a rough form of baseball with a rubber ball when he was a teenager,'' Boudreau said in an interview. "He said that you threw the ball at the runner when a hit or steal was going on for an out. No force or tag out or fly balls for outs. Throw the ball at the opposition for an out.
"That was back in the early 1950's when there was not much work available and his dad would play with his friends over a few beers. I thought about how baseball could be played in the future in a changed world where baseball would replace war. I threw out all the rules of today and re-introduced the rough rules of Alliance Baseball where countries sent their best team to battle it out, to the death, on the baseball field to see who was the best in a winner take all World Alliance Baseball Series.''
All alarming but interesting stuff from the fingers of a former underground miner, who worked all over the world for 45 years, including a stint with behemoth Falconbridge.
Boudreau played baseball on a men's team when he was a mere 16-year-old skinny kid. He played mostly as a catcher.
"I have advanced forms of cutting edge technology of today in my novel such as 3-D printing, stem cell engineering that cures devastating injuries in hours and revamped the rules of baseball where death is ever present but some rules make it survivable,'' Boudreau explained. "Space travel plays a minor part in the novel. Other things in my book include government rules of the day, such as players not getting big contracts to play for teams is a backward take on today's time in that in my novel any poor boy can play Alliance Baseball, at any time.
"Baseball is the great American pastime in the States and and I thought I'd put a twist on the game that the Americans might take to by reading A Future Pastime. I include all areas and peoples of the Earth with some history attached.''
One of the four boys in the book was killed off the field and one of his friends wants to take revenge on the killer on the field. It's enough to have you keep wanting to read more.
Boudreau's book is available on amazon.ca, indigo.ca and barnesandnoble.com. You can also get it at Chapters in Sudbury and at Battistelli's Your Independent Grocer outlet in the Sudbury suburb of Lively. Check out his website rayboudreauauthor.com.
Danny Gallagher's upcoming book is called Blue Monday: The Expos, the Dodgers and the Home Run That Changed Everything. it will be released Oct. 13.