Talented college baseball player Bobby can’t get out of his own way. But fate, and TIME intercede. An underachieving right fielder in his junior year, Bobby steps from the on-deck circle in 2020 and into the batter’s box . . . in 1975, where he finds himself as a member of the Philadelphia Quakers, a professional baseball team in a century-long downward spiral.
How he arrived is a mystery, but is quickly forgotten as he becomes a pivotal player for the moribund franchise. He wonders if he can, or even wants to, return home.
Complicating matters, he finds some unsettling realities about America’s game, including mob blackmail, player disloyalty, and ownership jealousy. Over the course of the season, Bobby matures quickly, as he realizes everyone wants a piece of his talent, and are willing to kill in order to acquire it. He becomes team leader, and propels the Quakers to a World Series run.
Bobby misses his old life but finds his memories of 2020 fading. He raises sold-out crowds to their feet through his batting skills, fielding prowess, and off-field leadership. He propels the team and the fans into the franchise's first World Series.
But TIME and the Philadelphia Mafia aren’t finished with Bobby yet.
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Time Travel * Baseball * Philadelphia * Mystery * Alternate Reality
The Philadelphia Quakers
The team that could have been
In the world we know, the Phillies have been the major league baseball franchise since1890. Their predecessors, the Philadelphia Quakers, are a footnote known only by the staunchest fans who care about baseball or Philadelphia history.
But what if the nickname "Phillies" was never introduced? What if the team remained the Philadelphia Quakers? Would the team's history have been better or worse?
Bobby Young's unintentional trip back to1975 from 2020 gives every reader of TIME BLINKED an opportunity to find out.
A Year in Philadelphia Baseball History
The expectations of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1975 had finally turned the proverbial corner since the tragic collapse in 1964. The team had a core of excellent young players, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, and Greg Luzinski. Future Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton provided an anchor. The bench added Jay Johnstone, due for a few breakout seasons. Veterans Dave Cash and Dick Allen solidified the infield.
Still, the team came up short in the National League East. They battled cross-state rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates, through Labor Day then faded and finished second.
What could have made the difference? A transcendent player? A less uptight clubhouse ? A trade not made that should have been? Or vice versa? Who knows.
TIME Blinked presents one possibility. A young man with no past arrives during an exhibition game and transforms the team. His play on and off the field gives the ball club a 10,000 volt charge. But his sudden and mysterious appearance carries with it the possibility of a similar disappearance without warning.
Will the team close the deal and end 92 years of frustration? And will they do it with or without their phantom in the Lineup?
Time Travel and Philadelphia
Haven't we been there before?
Who hasn't wanted to go back in time and change something from their past? Think about the benefits of stopping Hitler's rise to power in the 1930s or if the 9/11 terrorists could have been exposed. Maybe something more personal and simple as what if you had dated the person you were too shy to approach thirty years ago? What if you invested your cash in that tiny startup Apple Computer in 1978?
Thoughts of time travel often start with a goal or a conflict, something to be fixed or the desire of a better outcome, illustrating the unintended and often disasterous consequences that might also occur as a result.
Ray Bradberry's short story Sound of Thunder, illustrates the concept of how something as small as the death of a butterfly in the past could have drastic changes in the future. It is often referenced as the ultimate example of how to apply chaos theory and the physics of time travel.
In Time after Time, Jack the Ripper uses H.G. Wells' time machine to escape to the future and continue his murder spree. H. G. Wells feels responsible and chases him, to put an end to his murderous ways that he enabled. But at the end, H. G. Wells has his 20h century woman and a choice to make: With her, without her, and when? Time After Time is PERFECT in its time travel logic. Not easy.
The Time Traveler's Wife, a New York Times best-selling book and a modestly successful film, explores the concept of time travel without the use of a gadget, machine, device, or degree in quantum physics. It is also a love story that transcends the boundaries of time.
Back to the Future is the quintessential pop culture time travel experience. Marty McFly is sent back to 1955 to change the trajectory of his, and his parents, lives. He does, but as with every continuum meddling, is it always for the best?
Quantum Leap sends physicist Dr. Sam Beckett back through time, temporarily displacing other people to correct what he discovers are historical mistakes. As he physically exists in the past, he appears to everyone else as a person into whom he had "leapt", and partial amnesia related to his own identity. His perpetual hope is that his next leap takes him home.
The Flash TV series, focuses on the Flashpoint, a moment where Barry Allen travels back in time to prevent the murder of his own mother with the devastating consequences of subsequent changes to the time line and lives of his friends.
Philadelphia itself is no stranger to stories focused on time travel and mysteries of the past. The Philadelphia Experiment is set in the Naval Shipyard of the City of Brotherly Love in 1943, and weaves a tale of tying the very real military tests of the USS Eldridge resulting in select crew members being transported forward to the year 1984 with similar tests being repeated.
While many stories require some explanation on the way time travel is achieved, that is seldom the real story being told: it's simply the device that allows the reader to suspend belief enough to accept the premise for the real story being told. What If. The real story is about people, their choices and the consequences that result.