Excerpt from "The Prospect"
If you asked the folks of Boonpickin, Georgia, to name the greatest baseball player they ever saw, Austin Colt would surely be among the names you heard most. They’d tell you how the six-foot-fiver rocked back slowly, dawdling to collect himself, as quiet as the eye of a hurricane. They’d tell you how he’d uncoil with the suddenness and ferocity of a rattlesnake striking venom into its dinner, the result so blistering that it couldn’t be seen, only heard, as it crackled against the humid Georgian air.
You might begin to think that Austin Colt was some sort of mythical hero, that Paul Bunyan merely traded in his axe for a pair of metal spikes and a five-ounce sphere of cowhide. As tall as the tales might be, Austin Colt was indeed as real as you or me. He was born to Jim and Jodie Colt and came to possess one of the best fastballs in the southeastern United States. The scouts who descended upon the town elbowed each other out of the way in both literal and figurative manners to sign him. Baseball journalists described him with the same reverence normally reserved for bearing witness to the face of God.
Though history confirms his existence, it uncovers an additional and potentially more intriguing mystery: With all his talent, along with the vicarious hopes placed upon him, he managed only to pitch a single game in the major leagues ...