West Virginia Book Festival

Lee Child on Derek Jeter

After one of the most spectacular days in baseball’s long and storied history on Wednesday, the playoffs start today.

What does this have to do with the West Virginia Book Festival? I’m glad you asked. Lee Child, headliner of the festival, is a big New York Yankees fan, and wrote about Yankees captain Derek Jeter this week on the ESPN sports/culture blog Grantland.

Jeter is Child’s choice if he had to build a novel around a member of the Yankees. He knows that “on the face of it, [Jeter] is the blandest man in baseball,” but then says:

Can you imagine the constant, crushing pressure involved in that? The sense of always being onstage? The caution, the paranoia, the relentless vigilance? He’s a Cold War story, a CIA guy undercover for 10 years a block from Checkpoint Charlie. Nerves of steel. Not just for the week of the World Series, but all day, every day, year after year after year. He has to be tough as hell. A weaker man would have collapsed under the strain long ago.