Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.
For any St. Louis Cardinals fan it instantly brings back a flood of memories from that historic night but it now also serves as the backdrop for “One Night in October” a new novel from Chad Cain which details how after fifteen years of separation, a father and son put their relationship back together with the help of baseball.
“I wanted to somehow work in the Cardinals because I’m a passionate, lifelong fan,” shared Cain on St. Louis Baseball Weekly. “When I thought of that game, in my lifetime–I’m 37, I can’t think of a game that’s been more dramatic or more memorable. I just thought what a perfect backdrop. A dramatic backdrop in that you sort of see the emotional swings, kind of the rollercoaster of the game back and forth and then also the rollercoaster of their night together trying to mend the past wounds and knowing this is their last night together and the father is about to die. So, I felt like it kind of just lended itself perfectly to that structure of going inning by inning.”
Cain loosely draws on his own and other family experiences to tell the story.
“My grandfather, on my dad’s side, was an alcoholic and so some of the stories came from him. Some of the stories came from the other side of my family and some of it is just made up,” shared Cain. “A lot of it is personal. It was fun to write, it was also I guess a bit cathartic because yeah, there was a lot of pain involved.”
The flashbacks and conversation of the two are mixed with the play by play of the game in a manner which helps you relive the excitement of the dramatic victory, but also bonds you with the characters of the story–which feels more like a first-person discussion from a friend than a work of fiction.
The idea of this novel being adapted for the big screen is obvious and if Cain were able to be in charge of casting, Jon Hamm and Billy Bob Thornton–two fellow Cardinals fans, would be at the top of his list for the two main characters.
“One Night in October” is available on Amazon.com and Cain expects the novel to be on local bookstores around St. Louis soon.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports