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  • Henry Skrimshander is a skinny 17-year-old hayseed who can't get around on a high fastball, but he is a Roy Hobbsian natural with the glove.

    Call Me Safe, Ishmael

  • The story here is about a college baseball phenom named Henry Skrimshander.

    Michael Giltz: Books: Marriage Plots, Baseball Woes, Economist Superheroes and the Opium Wars

  • "But wait a bit, Skrimshander; I've got a carpenter's plane there in the bar -- wait, I say, and I'll make ye snug enough."

    Moby Dick, or, the whale

  • 'But wait a bit, Skrimshander; I've got a carpenter's plane there in the bar -- wait, I say, and I'll make ye snug enough.'

    Moby-Dick, or, The Whale

  • The novel centers on the Westish College Harpooners, a Division III team from the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan that sees its fortunes rise and then rise some more with the arrival of a nearly magical young shortstop named Henry Skrimshander.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Its enigmatic central character is Henry Skrimshander, a shortstop with major-league potential.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Our hero with a lot to learn, Henry Skrimshander, is recruited to play baseball at little Westish College on the shores of Lake Michigan.


  • The former England cricket captain Mike Atherton last week called it "an outstanding novel about sport", saying: "Any sportsman who has choked will recognise and empathise with Skrimshander's final humiliation."

    The Guardian World News

  • It is the story of Henry Skrimshander, a boy from the Midwest with a talent for catching and throwing a baseball.

    The Guardian World News

  • Harbach seems to be laughing at the urge to write it with the device of that statue of Melville, as if to say its shadow is causing him to harbour the same debilitating sense of ambition that brought Henry Skrimshander so low.

    The Guardian World News


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  • The word in context means someone who is green, new, not truly a sailor. Ishmael wears clothes without the salt from the sea. Kind of like when cowboys are depicted with clothes that seem to be dry cleaned. (From Moby Dick or the Whale)

    May 4, 2011