The Pitcher’s Kid is Jack Olsen’s memoir of the first 18 years of his life, years that formed his voice, his ear, and his passionate concern for the underdog. It is a story of a young boy’s desperate yearning for a father during a time of extreme poverty and confusion. The book has been compared to Frank McCourt for its poignant depiction of deprivation, to Geoffrey Wolff for its sad depiction of a deceptive father, and to David Sedaris for its hilarious depiction of childhood. This is an unforgettable tale of coming of age during the hard years of America’s Depression and of a family’s struggle to not just survive, but to triumph.
“The book becomes less somber and downright funny when Olsen shares tales of his teenage rites of passage raunchy humor abounds. Although he finds his own niche through bowling when he becomes a city doubles champ, most of the author’s youth was spent as an underachiever and social outcast. This delightful memoir has a timeless appeal that allows readers to identify easily with the young Olsen and will find an enthusiastic audience in public libraries.” – Karl Helicher, ForeWord Magazine
“The Pitcher’s Kid is wonderful with Jack Olsen’s personal voice making this a laughable, delightful, realistic, and memorable read. Yes, there is definitely adult language but in this particular novel, it does not seem inappropriate, but genuine to the situation. The society pressures of the communities makes this feel like you are right there with Jack in many of his awkward situations during his first seventeen years of life, prior to our country entering World War II. Also, the places in New Jersey and Philadelphia had their own identities, and sometimes languages, making this a perfect glimpse into life in these times and places.” – From an Amazon comment – Teri
Born June 7, 1925,in Indianapolis, Indiana, Jack Olsen was the award-winning author of 36 books published in 15 countries and 11 languages. A former Time bureau chief, Olsen wrote for Vanity Fair, People, Paris Match, Readers Digest, Playboy, Life, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, New York Times Book Review and others. His books included The Misbegotten Son, The Bridge at Chappaquiddick, the eco-thriller Night of the Grizzlies, and his monumental study of a Nazi massacre in Italy, Silence on Monte Sole. Three of his works were adapted for the screen, including Have You Seen My Son? on ABC. The Philadelphia Inquirer described him as an American treasure. Olsen’s journalism was recognized with the National Headliner Award, the Chicago Newspaper Guild’s Page One Award, the Washington State Governor’s Award, and the Scripps-Howard Award. He was described as “the dean of true crime authors” by the Washington Post and the New York Daily News and “the master of true crime” by the Detroit Free Press and Newsday. Publishers Weekly called him “the best true crime writer around.” His crime studies remain on required reading lists in university criminology courses. In his obituary, The New York Times described his work as “a genuine contribution to criminology and journalism alike.”Jack Olsen passed away on July 17, 2002 in Bainbridge Island, WA.