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Suitecase Sefton
And the American Dream
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Suitcase Sefton
And the American Dream

By Jay Feldman
2006, 229 pages, Hardback.
Book Description from the Back Cover
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Comments from Back Cover
About the Author

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Book Description from the Back Cover


The summer of 1942. A disenchanted baseball scout. A talented, young left-handed pitcher. World War II. Family honor. The Yankees. A beautiful girl. A Japanese American internment camp.

During a distrustful time in American history, a hard-luck scout discovers a potential pitching great but can't sign him to his rightful place in the major leagues because of the pitcher's Japanese heritage. Mac "Suitcase" Sefton has found his once-in-a-lifetime player, but Jerry Yamada is not entirely free to determine his own future. With his parents and sister, Yamada is trapped behind barbed wire in the Arizona desert.

Through culture clashes and difficult choices, Sefton and the Yamadas find their shared path toward the American dream.

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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

Roving the lonesome highways in search of fresh baseball talent in 1942, New York Yankees scout Mac "Suitcase" Sefton discovers a once-in-a-lifetime talent in Jerry Yamada. The young left-handed pitcher seems poised to take his place among the pantheon of major league pitching greats. However, he's being held indefinitely in a Japanese American internment camp, and he's not even certain that he wants to play professional baseball. Caught behind barbed wire in a camp in Arizona, Jerry, his lovely sister, Annie, and their old-world parents make the best of their confinement while Sefton schemes to find a way to free Yamada and convince him to play for the Yanks.

Sefton's interest in Yamada and his family changes from professional to personal when he accepts an offer to join the Yamadas for tea in their primitive quarters in a converted army barrack. Sefton's respect for their strength and the values they hold dear develops and deepens as he begins to see how his own lifestyle contrasts with the Yamadas'. A profound change takes place in him as he discusses freedom and the future with Annie. As a result, the relationships between the scout and the Japanese American family strain and strengthen as they share their cultures and lives.

Amid baseball, racism, and hope, Sefton and the Yamadas rediscover the American dream.

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Comments from Back Cover

"My mother used to talk about how, when she was a kid during World War II, her Japanese American neighbors just disappeared one day, and she never realized until 20 years later what had happened to them. In this book, Jay Feldman makes the period come alive. He has written a great story that combines a solid knowledge of baseball with historical accuracy. It's fiction, but it could just as well be actual history."
- Dusty Baker, manager, Chicago Cubs

"This wonderfully fresh and original novel by Jay Feldman is not only a unique addition to baseball fiction, but it ranges far beyond the diamond to raise vital questions of love and life in its sensitive portrayal of cultural conflict. You won't want to call a timeout once you begin this heart-grabbing story."
- Darryl Brock, author of If I Never Get Back, Havana Heat, and Two in the Field

"Jay Feldman beautifully engages and transports us with the untold stories of Americans keeping the American pastime alive within a detention camp. Suitcase Sefton and the American Dream captures the essence of culture, community, baseball, and civil liberties in a time of crisis."
- Kerry Yo Nakagawa, author of Through a Diamond: 100 Years of Japanese American Baseball

"Jay Feldman has woven a magical mix of baseball, love, and life. This is a tale that will resonate for readers of all ages."
- Jules Tygiel, author of Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy

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Background on the Author

jay feldman is the author of the critically acclaimed book When the Mississippi Ran Backwards: Empire, Intrigue, Murder, and the New Madrid Earthquakes. He is a widely published freelance writer whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Smithsonian, Gourmet, The New York Times, and a broad variety of other national, regional, and local publications. He also has written for television and the stage. He is the author of Hitting: An Official Major League Baseball Book. His website is

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