I picked this book up at a used bookstore around 2005, but it was clearly older than that. It felt like late 70's or early-to-mid 80's. It may have been part of a trilogy or series, but I'm not sure. What I know for certain:
- Main character was an adult man, sort of an everyman character in a fish-out-of-water situation. Might have been a football player, since I'm pretty sure he's described as fairly large.
- The book begins with him opening either a pantry or a fridge and being attacked by a large monster that comes out.
- He fights the monster with a baseball bat, which I'm pretty sure he breaks.
- I think he opens the fridge/cabinet/whatever again and a a beautiful woman comes out.
- She convinces him to cross into her world to save it- typical hero stuff. I don't remember whether he is somehow chosen, or foretold, but it's likely.
- He crosses into the fantasy world, and it's fairly standard medieval stuff. Leather, swords, fair maidens, etc.
- He and the woman go to a town (maybe located on a bridge?) to get supplies and weapons.
- He asks a wizard or weapon-monger for a bat, and gets a response along the lines of "well I can't promise it will fly"
- There are "giant dwarves"
- Pretty sure there was some kind of evil overlord or encroaching dark power
Here's the thing: the McGuffin was a talking duck. The duck might have been a person, and it might have been someone that Our Hero knew from his home world.
The whole novel was very tongue-in-cheek, a fairly respectful send-up of high fantasy. It felt like it was borrowing a lot from Thomas Covenant, so I may be confusing details. I am almost certain the author was male.
The cover art was mostly yellow, I think, with Our Hero beating up the first monster with a bat. Now that I think of it, the monster might have been part bull or part horse. The art style was fairly classic- felt like the Hildebrants but more angular.