Dirty Rice: A Season in the Evangeline League (Lousiana Writers Series)

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Description

by Gerald Duff

In the midst of the Great Depression, minor league baseball thrives in small-town South Louisiana, where the Evangeline League, named in honor of Longfellow’s heroine, draws hundreds to dirt fields and grandstands in places like Jeanerette, Abbeville, and Opelousas. In 1935 Gemar Batiste, a talented young pitcher from Texas, is recruited to try out for the Rayne Rice Birds, makes the roster, and immediately begins garnering fame for himself, his team, and the league.

But Gemar is not the same as his teammates and opponents, and his skills on the diamond cannot erase those differences. He grew up on a reservation in Texas, an Alabama-Coushatta Indian dreaming of hurling strikes in the big leagues. During his season with the Rice Birds, Gemar is asked to play the stereotypical Indian and enticed to cheat, which goes against his view of the diamond as a sacred place of honor. Constantly challenged as he tries to protect his identity as an Alabama-Coushatta and uphold the integrity of the game, Gemar like the Evangeline League’s namesake comes to embody loss, perseverance, and commitment.

Much like minor league baseball itself, the story of Gemar Batiste’s season in the Evangeline League is a work of satire, humor, tragedy, and triumph.

Paperback: 296 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1935754138