What is America? For young Tommy Wall in the shady little town of Mill Gate, Pennsylvania, America is baseball. Pinch hits and outs, batting averages and the grass around the diamond make his world. But when Thomas Wall the adult is forced to confront the truth of the world around him, could it be so simple? Frank Vickers, Tom's greatest childhood friend, dies from cancer, and it falls to Tom to find meaning in the prodigious volume of the international journalist's lifetime of work. From Israel to 9-11, Yeats' "The Second Coming," and the political correctness movement, what discovery is it that Vickie wanted Tom to see? What's more—what does it mean for America and the small town life Tom knows and loves? Exasperated, Tom turns to an outside source for help. But can the Penn State college interns that he hires really do their job? If they do, what is a small town man to do to solve a problem large enough to devour a nation? Tom's answers will be bought with sweat and tears, through the shadow of a center that cannot hold, and with a little unlikely help from the pastime he knows and loves.