I Never Played Catch With My Father

Book Cover


20th Century (multiple decades)

Gene Cartwright

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A Texas-born, billionaire baby-boomer’s life-long love of baseball shapes his adulthood. However, his enormous success fails to erase memories of a childhood missing a ‘heart and soul’ relationship with a father now near death. In an effort to finally close the “broken circle,” he leaves New York and catches “the last train home.”


Biographical, Drama, Family, Memoir, Romance,,Family

Short Summary

James T. Phalen —a one-time farm boy from rural Texas is one of the wealthiest men in America; his advice is sought by Presidents. With his father near death, and haunted by childhood memories, he leaves New York for home, to try and close the broken circle.

Jim and his father put a lie to the book title, in one fleeting moment before the latter passes. Jim builds a little league stadium named for his father; witnesses a heart-pounding game pitched by the home team's only girl player, and later has a 'Field of Dreams' experience no one will see coming.


New York, Texas

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,,Rags to Riches

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending, Meaningful Message, Twist,,Philosophical Questions,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: James T. Phalen

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Complex, Educated, Honorable, Perseverance, Selfless, Strong Moral Code, Confident, Romantic, Sexy, Empathetic, Engaging, Sophisticated, Aspiring, Leader,Leader,Aspiring,Educated,Outspoken,Decisive,Engaging,Empathetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Alise

Age: 34

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Confident, Engaging, Sophisticated, Decisive, Empathetic, Romantic, Aspiring, Beautiful, Charming, Faithful, Honorable, Strong Moral Code, Educated, Sexy,Educated,Romantic,Sophisticated,Sexy,Charming

Additional Character Details

Name: John Quincy Phalen

Age: 70

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Complex, Decisive, Leader, Unapologetic, Blunt, Masculine, Outspoken, Religious, Aggressive,Masculine,Religious,Blunt,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Crane Vanderpool III

Age: 39

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Insecure, Manipulative, Power-hungry, Greedy, Blunt, Crazy, Desperate, Villainous, Aggressive,Villainous,Aggressive,Crazy,Manipulative,Greedy,Narcisstic

Development Pitch

What is the value of a child's dream? "Catch" is a not just about baseball or fathers and sons; it is about life, family, love, and time gone too soon. It's unique appeal is as a feature film, and/or TV series focused on the deeply personal issue of parent/child bonding (or absence thereof) during the vital formative years. My Oprah invite, 2-year book tour in major bookstores and media events nationwide, taught me that men and women may carry emotional baggage related to the absence of a heart and soul connection to one or both parents. Fame and fortune only provide a mask. My audience was mostly female - women determined to deliver a message to the men in their lives. Many brought sons/husbands and poured out their hearts to me. The world knows "James T. Phalen" as a Harvard educated, well-heeled baby-boomer banker/investor/lawyer, a one-time farm boy from rural Texas, and one of the wealthiest men in America. His advice is sought by Presidents. What few know is that James Phalen struggles with stilted childhood memories; he finds fame and fortune are not enough. He is surprised at 41, such memories weigh so heavily upon him. "Surely, by now, such things would have long ago faded into the foggy domain of lesser things." They had not. With his father in failing health, he leaves New York and catches "the last train home." "Catch" may be called bio-fiction. It mirrors principal aspects of my life which serves as core inspiration. - (12-18mm)

About The Author

Gene is a father, a former Oprah guest author (12 books), a past Pulitzer-nominee, former engineer, (A Family Gathering epic novel), inactive Marine and screenwriter. Gene wrote his first novel at age 12, inspired by his mother teaching him to read at age 4. Of all the writing processes, he enjoys the rewrites and editing: "That's where the real writing takes place - the perfecting of the story," he insists. Two more novels are in progress. His detailed bio is available at GeneCartwright.com

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Falcon Creek Publishing Co.

Year Published: 1997

Hard Copy Available



ISBN-13: 978-0964975675