Why did I love this book?
This is the fourth and last of Mark Harris’s Henry Wiggen novels. All four novels are narrated in a charming colloquial voice by Wiggen, a star lefthanded starting pitcher for the New York Mammoths. The books trace the all-star career of Wiggin, from his rookie year through to the end of a long career. The time frame of the novels is the 1950s through the 1960s, moving beyond the innocence of the beginning (when players still had off-season jobs to pay the rent – Wiggen sold insurance) to a kind of melancholy at the end. The novel chronicles the end of Wiggen’s excellent career, an end Wiggen, as the wistful title suggests, never saw coming until too late. It’s funny, sad, and heartfelt.