As seen on Oprah: This novel, based upon a true story, earned the author an invitation to Oprah.
When fame and fortune are not enough.
I Never Played Catch with My Father seems like real life.
A Texas-born billionaire's love of baseball provides him with cherished memories in a childhood otherwise without a close heart and soul connection with his strict father. He learns there is no amount of success and fame that can purchase memories of things that never were.
I Never Played Catch with My Father was the first novel of former Oprah guest Gene Cartwright. When first discovered, this novel sparked a rarity in the world of publishing: an auction for a first-time author. And not just an auction—an auction between five of the nation's largest publishers.
The title is more metaphorical than literal. Sure, a kid's love of baseball plays a large part in this story. But its about more than tossing a ball back in forth. It is about the importance of establishing a heart and soul connection within families; between mothers and daughters; father and sons, parents and their children, during our brief time here.
A Texas-born billionaire baby-boomer’s lifelong love of baseball shapes his adulthood. However, his enormous success fails to erase memories of a childhood missing a "heart and soul" connection with a now ailing father. In an effort to finally close the “broken circle”, he leaves his beloved New York and catches “the last train home”.
The world knows James T. Phalen as a Harvard-educated Wall Street icon, a onetime farm boy from rural Texas, and one of the wealthiest men in America. His advice is sought by presidents. What the world does not know is that James Theodore Phalen—the youngest of three Phalen children—is fighting personal demons.
James struggles to come to grips with stilted childhood memories he expected would have long ago faded into the foggy domain of lesser things. They had not. He finds himself at a place where fame and fortune are not enough, and he questions his whole being. Power, wealth, and fame fail to shield him. What now?
James Phalen discovers truths about himself, his family, and events past and present he could never have imagined. His view of the bucolic, god-fearing little town is turned upside down. His wealth cannot inoculate him. The outcome is "changed lives" and a lesson to us all.