Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review of "Wrigley Field: 100 Stories for 100 Years"

Even though I had earlier reviewed a book on the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, when the authors offered me a copy of this book, I was intrigued as it contained many different stories about the historic ballpark from many different viewpoints. I was looking forward to reading a variety of stories and I was not disappointed. Here is my review of "Wrigley Field: 100 Stories for 100 Years." 


Title/Author:
“Wrigley Field: 100 Stories for 100 Years” by Dan Campana and Rob Carroll

Tags:
Baseball, Cubs, ballparks, history

Publish date:
November 4, 2013

Length:
224 pages

Rating: 
4 of 5 stars (very good)

Review:
Just about every baseball fan has some type of story when the name “Wrigley Field” is uttered in a conversation.  Whether that person is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, has made a trip or two or many to the Friendly Confines (the park’s nickname) or wishes that he or she could see a game there, many have a story to share about one of the most storied stadiums in sports history. Dan Campana and Rob Carroll interviewed many fans, players, journalists and others to obtain their memories of the ball park. These stories are put together in a book that is fun to read and may even take the reader down memory lane if he or she has visited the park.

Most of the stories come from Cubs fans of all walks of life.  One is from a couple who have had season tickets to Cubs games for many decades.  One is from a Cubs fan who lives in Sweden and has never been to the park but wants to take a trip to see it.  Two of them are from “ballhawks” who catch home runs hit out of the park and onto Waveland Avenue.  

The players’ stories are just as interesting as those of the fans. Kerry Wood, the longtime Cubs pitcher, shares his favorite Wrigley memory.  For those who know about Wood’s career, his story will come as a surprise, as it is not the one that one would assume.  Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins and outfielder Cliff Floyd are among the other players who share their stories with the authors.  Well known baseball journalists and broadcasters such as Tim Kirkjian and Bob Costas have something to say as well as the Cubs beat writers and broadcasters.  All of these people make for a great variety of memories shared that is a fun collection to read.

It should also be pointed out that other sports are included in this book.  The Chicago Bears played many games in Wrigley Field so some football stories are also included.  A college football story is shared about a game between the University of Illinois and Northwestern University.  Stories about concerts by such artists like Paul McCartney are included. Even hockey stories are in this book as the 2009 NHL Winter Classic game took place in Wrigley when the Chicago Blackhawks faced off against the Detroit Red Wings.  I felt that this was a nice touch as it encompasses the entire history of the ballpark, not just the baseball games.

If there is a negative to be said about the book, it is that some of the stories seem to come to an abrupt end.  This isn’t the fault of the writers, as they are at the mercy of whatever information the storyteller gives, but for those that are very short and cut off at the end, it felt like there was something missing that would make the person’s special time at the park complete.

This book is a must read for any Cubs fans who has lived through the team’s highs and lows in the Friendly Confines.  Readers who also enjoy collections of stories or reading about the game’s history will also like this book.

I wish to thank the authors for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I skim?
No

Pace of the book: 
Excellent as the stories are short and fairly easy to read.  Therefore, the book never drags and the reader will always be ready for the next story. 

Do I recommend? 
Cubs fans will especially enjoy this collection of stories from mostly fans just like themselves. Readers who are interested in baseball history or have enjoyed a trip to the historic ball park will also enjoy this book.

Book Format Read:
Paperback

Buying links:


http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wrigley-field-dan-campana/1116340222?ean=9781626190344

Monday, August 18, 2014

Short review of "October 1964"

This review is much shorter than my usual review, but frankly there isn't much more that can be said about this classic baseball book that hasn't already been said by professional reviewers.  So, I just wanted to share my thoughts on this excellent book by David Halberstam:


Review

While David Halberstam is more noted for other books, his baseball books are among the best and October 1964 is no exception.  This book chronicles the two participants in that year's World Series, the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals.  But despot the title, it's not just about those seven games in October but about the entire season.  Halberstam crafts some great tales about players from both teams - I especially liked the selections on Roger Maris of the Yankees and Bob Gibson of the Cardinals.  He wrote a wonderful anecdote on the Philadelphia Phillies epic collapse that season that allowed the Cardinals to win the National League pennant.  A great boom that any baseball fan who enjoys reading about that time will like.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review of "Nobody's Perfect"

Much like the last book reviewed, this is one I stumbled across while browsing library shelves. This time it was the New York Public Library's shelves of electronic books.  It didn't matter that it was a different format, however, as the end result was the same - a book on baseball that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.   Here is the review of "Nobody's Perfect".



Title/Author:
“Nobody’s Perfect: Two Men, One Call and a Game for Baseball History” by Armando Galarraga, Jim Joyce and Daniel Paisner

Tags:
Baseball, history, Tigers, umpires, memoir

Publish date:
June 2, 1011

Rating: 
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

Review:
Most baseball fans will recall the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians on June 2, 2010. Armando Galarraga, a relatively unknown pitcher who was trying to make an impression in his third organization, was mowing down Cleveland batters with relative ease.  He didn’t allow the first 26 batters to get on base.  Now with two out in the ninth inning, the last Indians hitter, Jason Donald, hits a grounder to first base.  Miguel Cabrera fields it cleanly, tosses to Galarraga who appears to beat Donald to the bag…but umpire Jim Joyce calls the runner safe. There is disbelief everywhere in the ballpark.  Cabrera is screaming that the runner is out, Tigers manager Jim Leyland is running out to discuss the play with Joyce, and the fans are letting Joyce have it for the bad call.  However, one of the lasting images of that play is Galarraga is actually SMILING when he is walking back to the mound to face the next batter.  

The story of that smile, the sadness in Joyce when he goes back to the locker room and realizes that he missed the call, and the background of both men involved are woven together in a terrific book that is put together by Daniel Paisner. It is well known that Joyce requested a meeting with Galarraga after the game when things calmed down to apologize and that Galarraga graciously accepted.  What isn’t as well known is that the two men, with very different backgrounds, actually took similar paths to get where they were in baseball at that time when fate brought them together.

The book is told in the first person of both men, with each chapter alternating between Galarraga and Joyce.  The different styles of the two men when speaking are quite clear.  Joyce’s sections read much like a conversation on the back porch, while Galarraga’s are more formal.  He often calls the umpire whose call cost him a chance at a perfect game as “Mr. Joyce.”   He also mentions that his English, while improving is still not great and while reading the book, I was hearing him speak in that accent while I was hearing Joyce just shooting the breeze while time passed by, even when he was in agony remembering the call. When I can hear the characters’ voices that clearly, I believe that is the mark of an outstanding piece of writing.

I was also surprised to see that the path both men took to the major leagues were just as similar as they were different.  Both of them worked their way to the major leagues over a long period of time.  Both men felt the urge to give up the dream at some point.  Both men met their future wives because of their baseball travels.  Both men expressed deep gratitude for making it this far.  And lastly, both men show humility and class throughout the book.  Not just in their roads traveled, but also in the manner in which they respected each other after the call when so many others were less flattering in their analysis of Joyce’s work that day.

This book will take the reader along the path of two men who seemed very different but because of one fateful incident, they will be intertwined forever.  An outstanding read that any baseball fan will want to pick up.

Did I skim?
No, the book was a very interesting tale of two men and wanted to enjoy every word.

Pace of the book: 
It read very quickly as both men shared their stories in their own style and Paisner put it together in a manner that was not only easy to read, but very compact yet informative.

Do I recommend? 
This book would be enjoyed by baseball fans and readers who like to read short but detailed biographies as this reads like a memoir for both men up to that game and its fallout.

Book Format Read:
E-book (Kindle)

Buying links:



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review of "Summer of '68"

It's always nice to walk into your local library and see a book that you have been wanting to read in a long time.  That was the case for me during a recent trip when I saw this book was on the cart waiting to be reshelved.  I checked it out and was glad I did.  Here is my review of "Summer of '68"


Title/Author:
“Summer of ’68: The Season That Changed Baseball, and America, Forever” by Tim Wendel

Tags:
Baseball, history, Tigers, Cardinals

Publish date:
March 12, 2013

Rating: 
4 of 5 stars (very good)

Review:
1968 was a tumultuous year in America.  The Vietnam War was becoming unwinnable and many young men were dying in the jungles of that far-off land.   Riots and civil unrest was far too often a staple on the nightly news.  Two prominent leaders were assassinated. Riots marred the Democratic Convention of 1968.  But through it all, the American Pastime of baseball was still being played.  However, even the game that would supposedly take people’s minds off the news for a few hours had its own turbulence that season and was intertwined with some of the news.

This all comes together in this interesting book by Tim Wendel as he collected stories and interviews from many players and managers of that season.  He concentrated on the two teams that would end up playing each other in the World Series, the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals.  It is also fitting that a pitcher on each team would win the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player for each league, Bob Gibson of the Cardinals and Denny McClain for the Tigers. After all, 1968 was the “Year of the Pitcher” which is stated many times in the book.  Gibson set the record for the lowest earned run average in the modern era of 1.12 and McClain won 31 games, the last pitcher who has won 30 games.

Of course, other teams were part of the book, but Wendel concentrates on these two and it works out well. Where some of the other teams are mentioned is when there is a major event that took place and baseball was somehow involved.  One such incident was the handling of cancellation or non-cancellation of games following the assassination of Robert Kennedy.   Wendel takes the reader back to the commissioner’s office and the confusion about who can cancel games and who has to play.  Some players and one team, the New York Mets, refuse to play in the aftermath of the tragedy.  One of the players who refused to play, Milt Pappas of the Cincinnati Reds, ended up being traded three days following his refusal.  Events like this are well chronicled in this book.

I found two minor issues with the book.  One was that there were a few typos missed in the editing process.  They didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book too much, but were still noticeable.  The other part that took me by surprise was the amount of words written about football.  This was about the time when football was about to surpass baseball as the most popular spectator sport in American, and the amount of stories written about that game in a baseball book seemed to illustrate that.

Nonetheless, I found this an entertaining and easy-to-read book that any baseball fan interested in the game during that time frame will enjoy.  

Did I skim?
No, every story was quite interesting

Pace of the book: 
It was a fast moving book with the politics and football talk woven into the baseball stories quite well. 

Do I recommend? 
All baseball fans who are interested in baseball history during that time will enjoy this recap of that season before major changes took place.

Book Format Read:
Hardcover

Buying links:



Monday, August 4, 2014

Review of "It's Not About the Pom-Poms"

This book has received a lot of attention for the uplifting story of a 40-year-old single mom who overcomes long odds, including her personal demons, to be an NFL cheerleader.  But while the ending is inspiring, the book was a pure disappointment to read.  Here is my review of this book:


Title/Author:
“It’s Not About the Pom-Poms: How a 40-year-Old Mom Became the NFL’s Oldest Cheerleader – and Found Hope, Joy and Inspiration Along the Way ” by Laura Vikmanis with Amy Sohn

Tags:
Football (American), Professional, Cheerleading, memior

Publish date:
March 20, 2012

Length:
304 pages

Rating: 
2 of 5 stars (disappointing)

Review:
On the surface, this book sounds like a real inspiration to anyone who thinks his or her dream cannot be achieved.  Laura Vikmanis divorced her husband after fourteen bad years of marriage and was a single mother who wasn’t sure what she was going to do.  She loved to dance in her younger days and became inspired to try out for the Ben-Gals, the cheerleading squad of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. She didn’t make the cut on her first try, but that didn’t stop Laura.  She worked even harder and made it during her second tryout and at the time of publication was on the Ben-Gals for three years.  Her story was an Internet hit and a movie is in the works on this story.

So, this book is a must read for everyone, right?  The message is clear, and yes, it is nice to see a woman who was so depressed and lacking in self-confidence to achieve her dream.  However, the path that Vikmanis takes the reader while becoming a cheerleader is full of contradictions and uncomfortable passages. On the latter point, that may not be the case for all readers.  But it would have been better to know that certain personal topics like Laura’s sex life (discussed far too often, IMO) and her reasons for breast augmentation surgery would be discussed in such detail. Some readers, including myself, may feel uncomfortable with such personal information. Obviously, some of this information is needed to set the story, such as her husband locking her in their bedroom.  But I really didn’t need to know that she didn’t achieve orgasm until she slept with the first man she met after separation – and on their first date.  Details like that are not really necessary for understanding this story of hope and inspiration. 

I also felt that Vikmanis contradicted herself by wondering why first her father, then her current boyfriend would want to look at magazines like Playboy, yet she does work as part of the Ben-Gals such as posing for calendars, getting the breast surgery and working hard on her physical appearance beyond staying in dancing shape. If women being portrayed as sex objects bothers her, then why does she engage in that type of behavior or work in that field?  Especially when she states that many male fans at special events bother her because they try a “boob hug.”    

I felt she also came across as judgmental on those who may disagree with her choice of profession or surgery decision.  While some of that criticism of those people may be justified, the story just seemed to be filled with too many of these, when being judged by others so much, whether her husband, father, or other women, supposedly ruined her self-esteem.  Again, it felt like one big contradiction between the message that was sent and the message trying to be sent.

The book is mainly about overcoming a horrible past and working on self-esteem.  For the most part, the book does that.  But again, some of the details to show how much better Vikmanis feels about herself now just make me shake my head.  An example of this comes near the end of the book.  She states that one of her daughters is embarrassed because some of her friends call her mom a “MILF.”  However, Vikmanis says that the comment “makes me secretly smile.”  Really?  Getting THAT kind of attention from teenagers makes her smile?  If you are not familiar with the term “MILF”, I won’t spell it out here – type it into any search engine and you will see what the acronym means. 

There is a big positive to the book, however, and that is her description of what goes on at NFL cheerleading tryouts, practices and games.  These ladies work just as hard as the players and their pay is far too low for the work they do – at the time of publication, the Ben-Gals made $750 for the season.   They have routines, need to make weight goals, and are getting less exposure on television as networks chase advertising dollars.   I thought that the writing about this issue and the activities of an NFL cheerleader were well illustrated here, as only one who has the experience can write.

This wasn’t enough to overcome the disappointment I had with this book, however, as I felt it was too much personal information and emotional.  I felt it overshadowed the powerful message to keep pursuing your dreams no matter your age or past life. 


Pace of the book: 
Very quick as I finished this in about two hours.  I admit that I did read this more quickly than most books as I just wanted to get past all her personal woes, and concentrated on the passages about the cheerleading itself.   

Do I recommend? 
I would recommend it to anyone, especially women, who want an inspiring story of overcoming a bad marriage and self-doubt.  If the reader is uncomfortable with very personal stories, whether about sex, domestic abuse or eating disorders, then he or she should pass on this book.

Book Format Read:
E-book (Nook)

Buying links:



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Review of "Pillars of the NFL"

While this book may sound like simply a recap of the careers of some successful, it is rich with stories and information that the reader may not have previously known.  Here is my review of "Pillars of the NFL."


Title/Author:
“Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships” by Patrick McCaskey

Tags:
Football (American), Professional, History

Publish date:
March 25, 2014

Length:
472 pages

Rating: 
4 of 5 stars (very good)

Review:
There have been ten coaches in the history of the National Football League who have won three or more championships.  The stories of these ten coaches, from George Halas to Bill Belichick, are found in this book written by Patrick McCaskey.  McCaskey is a wealth of information given his title with the Chicago Bears and his family lineage – he is the grandson of the first coach chronicled in the book, George Halas.

However, there is certainly no favoritism toward Halas in the book, nor a shortage of information on the other nine coaches as McCaskey follows a format for each coach.  He starts by describing the early life of the coach, then his playing and coaching career in both college and professional football. The championship games coached by each man, win or lose, are recapped in highlight-only fashion.  If there is a post-football career or life for the coach, that is described as well.  Finally, notable players and coaches that played under or gained knowledge under one of the ten legends were listed with a brief career description.

I felt each story was well written and researched.  I was especially interested in the early coaches – not only Halas but also Guy Chamberlain (about whom I knew only his three championships in the early days of the NFL) and Curley Lambeau.  Without getting too bogged down with too many details, I found those stories to be enjoyable reads along with the coaches with whom I was more familiar, such as Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs.  

I also believe that because of McCaskey’s extensive research and use of endnotes, this makes a good reference book for people who want to find out more about these coaches. The format of the book makes it very easy for someone to look up particular seasons or championship games.  If the reader just wants to check out the Super Bowls that Bill Belichick won while coaching the New England Patriots, for example, that can easily be found in this book.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book to read and one that I will keep as a reference book when I want to review information on one of these coaches – or use some of the information in any trivia contests. 

I wish to thank Mr. McCaskey for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Pace of the book: 
Surprisingly good, as the narratives for each season that the coaches were working were told in a quick, no-nonsense manner and each player mentioned had relevant information in just a paragraph.   

Do I recommend? 
I recommend this to pro football fans, as they will like this book for additional information on the winningest coaches in the game. 

Book Format Read:
Paperback

Buying links:

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Interview with Tom Swyers

I had the pleasure to ask Tom Swyers questions about his book "Saving Babe Ruth" and his answers show that this is a topic of which he has a great deal of passion. 



1. What inspired you to write a book on saving a youth baseball league in a small town?

A few years ago, I experienced firsthand the pressures that community baseball and its volunteers undergo while I managed my hometown league’s 13-18 year old baseball program. I had to endure sheer craziness (threats, harassment, and a three year lawsuit) brought on the promoters of a travel baseball outfit simply because I was trying to save a community baseball program so that all kids of any skill level could play baseball in their hometown. Everything, including the kitchen sink, was thrown in my direction.


I’ve been silent for years about what happened, but now it’s time to tell the story through Saving Babe Ruth. It needs to be told because Saving Babe Ruth’s storyline is playing out in communities across the country to one degree or another.


Community baseball leagues have told me similar stories about how their leagues are struggling in the face of travel baseball and other pressures. The Washington Post ran an article on how travel baseball is eroding community baseball in May of this year. I was invited to speak at the New Jersey State Little League Championship Banquet last week partly because community leagues throughout the state are facing similar pressures.

If anything, Saving Babe Ruth is timely.


2. There is a lot of talk in the media today about youth sports and how many of the organizations and parents seem to lose sight that this is supposed to be about the kids having fun playing a game.   From the research you did for this book, would you say that this is accurate or more of an urban legend?   What really is the state of youth sports in comparison to some of the stories and rumors?

Let me answer that question by focusing on youth baseball before making a generalization with respect to all youth sports.

Saving Babe Ruth offers an unprecedented look at the underbelly of youth baseball today and the underlying forces at work. I don’t think there’s a published book available like it in that respect.

I have talked with representatives from a number of community baseball programs around the country. I think there is a parent population in every town or city that loses sight of why community baseball is important. The size and strength of that group varies with the town or city. Sometimes, the group can be small, but it can make up for its size by being loud or powerful, sometimes both.

In order for the community baseball model to live up to its full potential, players of every skillset have to make a sacrifice. The lesser skilled players generally do not have the opportunity to play on an all-star or travel teams in the summer. That’s their sacrifice. Summer baseball is not readily available to them after the league’s recreational season ends.

The more skilled players must spend part of their time playing on teams with lesser skilled players in their recreational league composed of all kids from their community. That’s their sacrifice. In exchange, these better players have the opportunity to play on travel or all-stars teams in the summer through their community league.

The problem occurs when parents of the more skilled players or the parents of the more financially well-off players (not necessarily the more skilled players) decide they don’t want their child to sacrifice anything. They just want their child to play pure travel baseball not necessarily affiliated with their community league. They don’t want to bother with the recreational league and the other lesser skilled kids (in their view) for a variety of reasons.

But the blame doesn’t rest solely with this group of parents. Usually, there is a local travel baseball promoter who tells the parents that their kids are too good to be playing in recreational leagues, that they must play with better players to become better players themselves. They offer promises of exposure and scholarships to parents who have their kids play travel baseball exclusively in their baseball programs.

The spiel plays to the vanity of parents regarding their kid’s talents to make it at a D1 or D2 school, or even to play professional baseball. The spiel isn’t backed by statistics as only about 2.7% of all high school baseball players will ever receive a baseball scholarship and it will be a partial one at that, averaging $5,800 with no guarantees of continuation according to a New York Times study. Baseball offers one of the lowest average scholarship amounts of any NCAA sport based on this same study, second to last to only riflery. But parents either don’t learn about this until it’s too late or feel the pressure to pay up to keep up with other paying families. The fees for these travel baseball teams can be outrageous.

When enough players and families bolt for the Promised Land of travel baseball, community leagues struggle to survive and some fold. Sadly, there are a significant number of kids who are then deprived of a baseball experience in their hometowns. They must find something else to occupy their free time. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of other positive outlets available to them because schools and governments are cutting back on their programming. As a result, these kids find other things to do and often find themselves getting into trouble and undermining the health of their communities. I’ve seen that happen.

On top of this, sometimes school districts and local governments are unsupportive of community baseball for a variety of reasons.

While I can envision situations where travel baseball alone could support a community, those situations are by far the exception in my experience. Most of the time, in my view, everyone loses when the pure travel model is at work, except for the youth sports business interests, like the travel promoters.

Overall, I see that community baseball and youth sports in general today are under extreme pressure from individuals and outfits that seek to make a business of youth sports at the expense of kids, families, and their communities.


3.   Some of the characters in “Saving Babe Ruth” may seem to not be realistic to some readers and reviewers.  Two examples would be the main character of David and his obsession with not only the Babe Ruth league but also his use of weapons in defending the field.   Another example is the high school principal who moonlights as a professional sports agent (or maybe it is the other way around).  What was your inspiration to create characters such as these?
I guess the characters’ realism depends on the reader’s life experiences.

I was invited to speak at the New Jersey State Little League Championship Banquet last week in Berkeley, New Jersey and said this about the state of youth sports today:

You will simply not believe what is going out there and that’s understandable because our perceptions have not caught up with the reality of what is happening behind the scenes in youth sports.

There are plenty of “Davids” out there who are passionate about supporting or fighting to save their community baseball programs. I met quite a few while in Berkeley and in talking with people across the country.

One thing that makes some of these volunteers so special is that a number of them don’t have kids involved in baseball any longer because they’re in college or pursuing a career. These parents have stayed on because they know what baseball meant to their kids and what it means to the health of their communities. They are unsung heroes.

Many people are fighting a civil war over their community baseball programs today in their towns or cities and I think they can relate to David’s character in Saving Babe Ruth.

Yet David’s appeal, I think, goes beyond a story about youth baseball. Margot Livesey, a New York Times bestselling author and a wonderful writer, felt that David was a “man for all seasons” who rises to the occasion. One reviewer thought David reminded her of Kevin Costner, a man who maintains his wholesomeness even while firing an antique weapon at his rival. Carl Strock, a reporter who is mentioned in the novel, said you don’t have to be a baseball fan “to relish this story of intrigue and dedication on and off the diamond.”

With respect to the realism of the sports agent/school principal character, I understand why readers and reviewers don’t think it’s possible.

You said in your review, “I mean, really, an agent representing a superstar NFL running back can double as a school principal? It was a nice touch to the story, but for a character it felt like overkill for what the author was trying to illustrate.”

I totally understand and fully appreciate your point of view. I’d feel the same way if I were in your shoes. But don’t forget that Saving Babe Ruth is a novel based on a true story.

A news reporter asked about this character before I spoke at the New Jersey State Little League Championship Banquet. I’ll tell you essentially what I told him, and I’m challenging readers and reviewers here.

Saving Babe Ruth offers clues on the sports agent/school principal character. Research them. A stunning reality awaits.

There are specific news accounts and incidents referenced in the novel naming real, high-profile professional athletes and citing their interactions with the sports agent/school principal character. Research them. A stunning reality awaits.

The more a reader fully understands this reality, the more he or she will see an entirely new and shocking dimension to Saving Babe Ruth.

Saving Babe Ruth is a thriller novel based on a true story that also reveals a real mystery about a town and its secrets.

I think it’s wonderful that readers and reviewers seem to enjoy Saving Babe Ruth even though they appear unaware that this dimension exists.

4. Are you a baseball fan?  If so, what level of the sport and/or teams do you follow?  If you are not a fan, then why baseball as a subject?
These days, I’m more of a fan of the sport as opposed to any particular team, though I’ve always been a Yankees fan. While I like to watch a good baseball game, my interest in baseball goes beyond the game today and extends to the history of the baseball dating back to its origins. Baseball is so much a part of our heritage. I find it fascinating to see what was going on with baseball at any particular moment in our history.

5.    Are you currently working on any other projects and are there any other books that will soon come out?   Feel free to shamelessly plug your works here!  
I have some projects in the early stages, but I want to spread the underlying message of Saving Babe Ruth first and foremost. Baseball should be available to every town and city across the country. All kids, regardless of their race, religion, sex, background, or skill level should have the opportunity to play.            


Links

http://www.tomswyers.com/saving-babe-ruth/