When the Jumpin' Jimminy - a Flying Fortress shot up in a raid over Nazi Germany - crash lands in neutral Sweden in the autumn of 1944, its crew couldn't dream they would wind up playing a World Series. Especially a Series against tough enemy Japanese sailors from a submarine that went aground on Sweden's rocky coast.
The Jumpin' Jimminy crew, the best ball team in the Eighth Air Force, is a heaven-sent gift to the baseball-crazy Swedish Major responsible for American internees. The Japanese have made meatballs of the Major's amateur Swedish ball players. Now, he can field a hard-hitting, determined American team to battle the Japanese in a Swedish World Series.
Waiting for spring training, the Yanks get "essential" jobs. Two carry out daring undercover assignments for the OSS. The team's shortstop, the only black GI assigned to a U.S. bomber crew, speaks fluent Swedish which he learned working for Swedes in Chicago. He helps his Swedish moonshining "cousins" create Sweden's absolutely greatest akvavit. And the other Yanks valiantly help the Allied war effort in the cold, grim, oasis of peaceful Swedish neutrality. And then it's Spring of 1945 and "Play Ball" in the first and only Swedish World Series.
Although this book is definitely fictional, its feet are very firmly planted in historical reality. The author's take on little-known Swedish-American-Japanese trivia and culture comes through loud and clear. Above all, this book is well-crafted and thoroughly researched. Its words describing Swedish towns and forests are worth a thousand pictures. In short, Jumpin' Jiminy should be required reading for all sports and World War II fans. Plus, it's delightfully funny.