Thursday, August 3, 2017


Will's third historical novel from Out of the Park Worldwide is set to hit amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Chapters and other international retailers next month. The Only Del is based on the life and loves of Big Ed Delahanty, a three-time .400 hitter and the best of the Irish players who dominated baseball in the 1890's.
As a teenager, confident and charismatic Ed Delahanty leaves no doubt that he’s the most outstanding player on the sandlots of Cleveland but is subjected to the same persecution as his fellow immigrants from the Emerald Isle and bristles when he reads the signs that say, ”No dogs or Irish allowed.”

Del is the darling of the base ball boosters in Mansfield and Wheeling but struggles in his first three years in “the big league.” After floundering in the infield he’s finally given a chance to display his strong arm and blazing speed in the outfield. He begins to hit to all fields with remarkable power, striking fear in the hearts of enemy fielders who now wear gloves and twirlers who still don’t. With his carefree manner and handsome features he becomes a favorite of the Philly rooters. He escorts lovely women, including a vivacious model, to opera houses where he’s eyed jealously by his boyhood tormentors.

Del adjusts to the myriad changes in the rules of baseball. Players can no longer ‘kick’ against an umpire’s calls with impunity nor instruct the twirler where they want the ball pitched, but the home base is no longer a round metal plate that’s painful to slide across and now you’re allowed to overrun first base.

He steadily climbs the National League rankings, but suffers under the yoke of the imperious and tight-fisted Phillies’ owner, Colonel Rogers, and is paid a fraction of what he deserves. Del makes up for it with his uncanny skill and luck in gambling, sometimes raking in more in a week at the track than he earns for an entire season on the diamond.
He’ll need the money, his gorgeous and amorous young bride aspires to a life of glamor. Men’s eyes are nailed to her when Del takes Norine to glittering parties and swank hotels, restaurants, and resorts. He’s on top of the world, oblivious to the cruel fate that awaits him.

Praise for "The Only Del"
W.G. Braund has fashioned - marvellously reimagined - a life of the legendary Philadelphia Phillies’ Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty.  Filled with authentic turn-of-the 19th century American-Irish vernacular, Philadelphia local color, and well-researched historical narrative, The Only Del reveals a deeply loving, humanly flawed, tragically fated, unmistakably talented Delahanty (“the greatest batsman in the land”). Readers old enough to remember John R. Tunis and Clair Bee, will appreciate Braund’s grownup rendering of those great young-adult novels in this well-crafted fictional biography.

Richard Orodenker, Author of The Phillies Reader

Journey back to a time when twirlers ran as they delivered a pitch, catchers without masks fielded balls on a bounce, and “wearin’ a glove just ain’t manly.”  The 19th century’s biggest star, Ed Delahanty was a five-tool player before the term existed. Will Braund wonderfully recounts Delahanty’s fascinating life through an engaging story, while adding charm to one of the finest batsmen in the history of the game. The Only Del is one great read.

Scott Butler, author of So You Think You're a Philadelphia Phillies Fan? and founder of the "Phils Baseball” blog