"You Know me Al" is a classic of baseball--the game and the community. Jack Keefe, one of literature's greatest characters, is talented, brash, and conceited. Self-assured and imperceptive, impervious to both advice and sarcasm, Keefe rises to the heights, but his inability to learn makes for his undoing. Through a series of letters from this bush-league pitcher to his not-quite-anonymous friend Al, Lardner maintains a balance between the funny and the moving, the pathetic and the glorious.
Nostalgic in its view of pre-World War I America--a time before the "live" ball, a time filled with names like Ty Cobb, Charles Comiskey, Walter Johnson, and Eddie Cicotte--this is not a simple period piece. It is about competition, about the ability to reason, and most of all it is about being human. First published in 1914, "You Know Me Al" says as much to us about ourselves today as it did seventy-five years ago.