T H E   D E S P E R A D O   G A Z E T T E
"All the News that Fits, without No Doggone Glitz"

 Cinco de Marzo, 2009

Dillontown, Californiyay 

Just Released:
Billy the Doggone Kid!

Billy the Kid Wanted Poster   Outlaw Billy the Kid, alias Kid Antrim, alias Billy Bonney, was released from the eagle claws of history today, March 5, 2009, in a spanking new novel, smacking of magical realism, known in these parts as The Desperado Who Stole Baseball.
   In this tumultuous tome, the “Kid” hightails it out West after a daring jailbreak to hide out amongst a few salty denizens of Dillontown.
   Thereafter, it is further observed by various nefarious townsfolk that the “Kid” is in the company of a runaway boy and Mr. Long John Dillon’s crackerjack baseball club, the Dillontown Nine.
   Needless to say, The Gazette will follow this story to its ultimate convolutionary conclusion.  –The Editors


    In the very big inning…
    The gruff-and-tumble founders of Dillontown were a The Desperado Who Stole Baseballscrappy bunch. From fist-fighting misfits and cattle rustlers to gold-digging drunkards and cardshark hustlers. And that’s just the women.
    The men were all that, plus they smelled bad.
    But one day, everything changed…

    Chapter 1
    May 5, 1881. Somewhere in the California desert…
    The bullet ripped into the crown of the boy’s hat with such force, it blew his black felt derby into a cactus patch. Startled, he hunched forward in the saddle, teeth-whistled into his horse’s ear, and spurred that bronc with boots a-flying.
    The next bullet nearly kissed his cheek. Gripping the baseball bat stowed in his rifle holster, he unstirruped a foot and swung himself to the safer side of the saddle.
    “Hee-yaw!” he yelled, and kept blasting whistle bursts until the galloping steed surrendered to its brighter instincts and bucked the boy off into a sandy wash, then streaked away…

“The Desperado Who Stole Baseball has it all—rich baseball lore, a rollicking Western adventure, and storytelling gold.  A terrific book.”

--Mike Lupica, author of Heat and The Big Field

See lots more at www.JohnHRitter.com!

Coming to Town: World Chumps

    World Champion Ball Club, the Chicago White Stockings, is scheduled to arrive in Dillontown any day now to play a high stakes challenge game with Long John Dillon’s Nine.
    In spite of the recent losses of ace batsman Shadowfox Coe and ace shortstop Little Lou Montegue (under suspicious circumstances!) John Dillon is still ginned up for victory.
    “Let’s just say we got a couple more aces up our sleeves,” he told this reporter, who suggests you keep your eyes peeled and ears pricked up for anything. –BJ Buck

Desperado Writer Ritter ’Fesses Up

    In an exclusive interview, The Gazette has garnered inside John Ritter portraitinformation as to the state of mind the author was in as he penned his tale, The Desperado Who Stole Baseball. 
    To wit:
    “Call this my ‘I have a dream’ story,” said Mr. Ritter.
    “I wanted to write a prequel to The Boy Who Saved Baseball, so I knew the story would have to take place in Dillontown. And I wanted to answer some questions readers asked about Cruz de la Cruz. But I also needed my ‘story beneath the story’ to keep my interest up and my ADHD down as I plugged away.  So I looked to the present.
    “About that time, Barack Obama began his run for president. Just the idea that a black man could take over the country spurred my imagination into a thundering gallop. Could he win, given our country’s racial past? Could Dr. King’s dream come true? Instantly I had my bedrock story. The images poured in. Desperado poured out.
    “When Obama announced his longshot candidacy, Long John Dillon, a one time runaway slave, announced his own impossible dream challenging the Chicago White Stockings to a high stakes game only the Wild West of 1881 could provide.
    “Enter Jack Dillon, a young dark-skinned white boy from the Midwest, soul-wounded, searching for his long lost uncle and following the three big dreams of his life.
    “As the ’08 campaign heated up, Desperado became my passion. Day by day, modern events infused my story. Dillon’s team swung from being too skilled to rowdy outsiders unworthy of their goal. My eyes in the story became Blackjack Buck’s, the Quechan Indian, the seer, the wine barrel prophet.
    “The ending? The November election would come well after my book was done. So I ‘visioned’ it. Let me just say, it’s one thing to draw on magical realism; it’s quite another to discover that the realism of your life has turned magical.”