Sixteen-year-old Cole McKay's struggle for independence is put to the test as his South Boston Irish-Catholic family implodes around him. Older brother Terry is descending into a life of drugs and crime, pregnant sister Kathleen is being sent away to cover the shame of unwed motherhood and Cole's father, Desmond, spends his days in a fog of alcohol and self-pity, silently torturing himself over what might have been. The one thing keeping young Cole's head above water is his love of baseball. A talented pitcher, Cole overcomes self-doubt and family indifference to fight his way into the state championships. To get there however, he must make a life and death decision, a decision that will change the McKay family forever. The term Black Irish has also been used pejoratively to describe Irish people from hardscrabble roots: hard-drinking, brawling, of a lower class tracing back to the 19th century American sentiment Irish Need Not Apply.
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