Synopsis of Hitting Life’s Curveballs
Will Wallace, Jr., like his father, meets adversity with courage. In his native North Carolina, Will is a 1943 baseball star. He fights against America’s apartheid in baseball by accepting an invitation to play on an all-white team. Soon, the Ku Klux Klan decides to teach Will and the community a lesson in the status quo and attacks Will’s home. In the ensuing battle, Will suffers catastrophic losses.
The mother of his high school sweetheart, Dena, disapproves of their romance and declares Will to be beneath their social status. Dena, also tenacious and a member of the second ever coed class at nearby Johnson C. Smith University, loves Will and defies her mother.
Meanwhile, his father’s friend, a former Atlanta Crackers baseball player, devises for Will a clever escape from Klan pursuit and hides him in the US Army. In her letters, Dena urges her soldier to follow the writings of Langston Hughes whose newspaper columns and books inspire Will to stand up for his dignity and fight for the right to fight Hitler’s war machine. Will’s 366th Infantry Regiment’s first mission in Italy is keeping the pilots and planes of the 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) safe from enemy saboteurs while on the ground between aerial sorties. When Will’s wish to fight the Germans is fulfilled, he finds himself in intense combat that leaves him with flagging hope he will live to see Dena again.