Two award-winning writers take us on a romp through time, space and Ancient Rome as The Wandering Warriors tells the alternate-history story of a 1940s barnstorming baseball team that’s led by a fictional version of retired baseball player and spy Moe Berg and finds itself transported from rural Illinois to Ancient Rome in 210 AD, just after the death of famous emperor Septimius Severus.
The Romans, who the writers tell us actually played a game called “small ball,” put the captured team to work teaching the sport of baseball to the gladiators for a major Colosseum event that turns into an over-the-top, life or death finale that includes some baseball hijinks, a wild ride through Rome in a careening team bus, a hint of romance, and some viciously good hitting and fielding from two princes fighting for control of the Empire while their mother, the Empress Julia Domna, mourns her husband’s death and fears for her sons’ futures even as she takes up the game herself. As the princes and their mother play their hearts out to please the Roman crowds, the ballgames turn into a citywide riot threatening the lives of all concerned.
Will the Wandering Warriors make it home? Will Julia Domna escape the fate her evil son has in mind for her? Will the rattletrap team bus make it way through time and space and Roman roads back to Illinois? Will Chicago White Sox owner Grace Comiskey show up to make an unlikely offer to the team’s best player? These questions and more are answered in The Wandering Warriors.