Tommy's Choice

Tommy's Choice

by Robert Anthony Aiello


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Tommy Bilotti was born with athletic ability that was developed during his early years at Palisades West where he earned a statewide reputation as an athlete at George Washington High School as a baseball and football star. He set school and state records and led his American Legion baseball team in all categories. College football and baseball scouts and Major league baseball representatives and scouts followed him every game he participated in.
Ted Piano a former minor league star became his baseball mentor, while Carmine Longo, a swab honest businessman working for dishonest men became Tommy's friends. Palisades West was a gambler's paradise, where loan sharks obligated to pay the mob for the right to run their business were easy to find. A bet could be placed in most corner stores and young men played craps and gin rummy in social clubs, in the parks, or on deserted street corners. No one in law enforcement paid attention. Gambling was expected and it harmed no one, they concluded at police headquarters and by the cop on the beat.
Tommy was part of the gambling environment that eventually led him to Frankie Pellegrino Jr. who unlike his friend Carmine Longo was one day to become his nemesis and a threat to his family and career.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781500765477
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/14/2014
Pages: 430
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

How many times have you the reader heard someone say, I could write a book on ... whatever? Well I am a first time author, who had the urge to write something, anything which might be of interest to someone who would take a chance on the work of a novice, an unknown 82-year-old with a background in Minor League baseball and 43 years in the Fire Service. The book is fiction although there is some authenticity in it because of my honor to have played with and against many of baseball's best-known players. Willie Mays and Roger Maris are among them. I had the pleasure of spending time with the Cleveland Indians when I was 19 years old as a non-roster player called to Cleveland from a minor league team. Hank Greenberg, Al Rosen, and several other players worked on my basics, and at the end of my two-week stay, I was advanced two leagues higher than the league I came from, finishing the season at Wilkes-Barre in the Eastern League. My background in baseball that took me all over the country to many cities and towns I have never returned to enabled me to recall experiences similar to those I have attempted to write about. I consider baseball to be the greatest game on earth, although it has changed dramatically since the 1950's when I had the good fortune of playing it on a professional level and in the U.S Army.
On this, my first attempt at writing a novel, I never had writer's block, the words and the story just seemed to flow from my mind into my computer, thus we have Tommy Bilotti, my main character, who if you read this work, you would have found him to be a great athlete with a bad habit. It is possible. I knew someone like him in the area I grew up in which, to some degree was at one time similar to Palisades West during World War 2 and many years afterwards. Finally, if you have a story or stories in your mind write about them. Put it on paper.

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Tommy's Choice 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
LoneAlaskanGypsy More than 1 year ago
Anyone who can appreciate a good sports story (whether it's nonfiction or fiction) is going to love Tommy's Choice. Although this story is fiction, it's written in such a detailed manner that you will certainly be engrossed in the realism of the story. Tommy's Choice follows the life of a young man named Tommy. Essentially a star in all aspects of the word. This kid just has 'it' in the sport's world. Naturally talented, ambitious, driven, and surrounded by tons of opportunity, Tommy was seemingly born to play major league baseball. In New York City, during the 1950's, at the height of Tommy's opportunity there's more going on in his part of town than mere baseball games. Mob games are just as popular- more popular actually, and the law enforcement is willingly turned a blind eye. With the popularity of gambling games, the ease of falling into the wrong crowd, and befriending the wrong people, may become Tommy's demise. And so comes the title of the book 'Tommy's Choice'. What choices does he make- and how do they affect him? This book has an interesting concept, basing itself on the idea that a choice you make earlier in life can affect you later. It sets up Tommy as a likable character, someone you want to see succeed, and yet someone real enough to connect to- to relate to. He's not just a mere sports star, but a person who you can picture in real life, well beyond the confines of the pages of the book. It takes talented writing in order to turn someone who's essentially a star into someone that mediocre normal people like myself can easily relate to, and I found that to be such a beautiful part of this story. I am not extremely familiar with New York City; with that being said, as I read this story I felt completely transported into the time and place the author was trying to take me. From the vivid scenery descriptions to the behavior and attitudes of the characters- everything just fit together in such a perfect way. I was completely enveloped in the storyline until the last page. A bit historical fiction, a bit sports fiction, a bit mob fiction- this book combines so many aspects of 1950's NYC in such a perfect way that it's impossible to put down until you've finished the last page of Tommy's story.
EveN84 More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting to read baseball story centering around talented Tommy Bilotti and his life as he weathered through the negative influences of vice, organized crime and many other things that were holding him back. Set in post WWII America, I enjoyed the atmosphere of this book and following Tommy into adulthood and through his decision was fascinating to read. Intensely intriguing from start to finish, this was a sports novel that has truly captured my imagination from the very beginning. Two thumbs up.
Writerartist1010 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Tommy's Choice from Robert Aiello. I was amazed to read that Robert Aiello published his first novel at the age of 82! That in itself was motivating and inspiring. I found that the book was well-written and interesting. The book follows the main character Tommy Bilotti who wants to make it in baseball and is willing to do anything to do so. Tommy has to face many obstacles that involve gambling and making adult decisions. The book is fast-paced and well-written. I found that the author did a great job with details and made the plot feel real. This is a book that I would reread and I will tell my friends about this one.
SuperReaderTA More than 1 year ago
Excellent sports literature! - I am a female sports fanatic and simply love reading any sort of story that centers around sports.  Whether it be a non-fiction account of sports history or some sort of historical fiction that weaves sports into the story, these books get me hooked so easily.  I was so intrigued to see this fictional story written by Robert Anthony, an 82-year old first time author who has some real life experience in professional baseball and in the setting that he is writing about. "Tommy's Choice" is the story of Tommy Bilotti, a sports star in the 1950's who is adored by everyone in his town as he has dreams of making it big.   Tommy gets the chance to play baseball professionally but there are some serious obstacles for him to overcome that have a lot to do with where he lives.  Gambling and the mob are a way of life in Tommy's neck of the woods and he gets tangled up with people who claim to want what's best for him.  Tommy has so-called friends, like Longo, who are torn between being honest and the unlawful people that have them under their thumbs.   In the end, it's up to Tommy to figure out what actions are going to protect the career that he has worked so hard for. This was a fantastic novel that had so many enjoyable elements, such as history, sports, suspense, crime and much more.  The intensity of the rivalry that was built up between Tommy and Pellegrino was a central part of the story and I loved how this one progressed.  A very talented writer that I would be happy to see more from in the future. 
cindyc2015 More than 1 year ago
I don't have much background experience with baseball, but I still feel like Robert Aiello was spot on with its representation in this book. It felt very realistic and believable to me, and the characters simply came alive--their flaws, merits, goals, everything. This book captured my attention right from the beginning. The plot was original and compelling... the words were very well written. An easy read overall, very accessible, even as a person who is not a huge sports fan. Fantastic read, enjoyed it quite a bit!