No doubt I’m “over my skis” on this one. But I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been over my skis, in truth. So here goes: I’ve resolved to write and publish a book in 2017. The writing part seems pretty easy, surprisingly. As for the publishing part, well, we’ll have to wait and see about that.
A book about what? Looking back, I’ve put together nearly 200 blog posts since starting The Lemonade Chronicles three years ago this month. So, plenty of fodder. I suspect there’s at least one book lying dormant in there. Waiting for me to tease it out, prop it up, press down a cowlick or two, give it some shape and an unwelcome shove in the low back, arriving unceremoniously on some bookshelf somewhere. I do in fact have an inkling as to a reasonably plausible theme —
Likely something to do with my experiences over the past 10 years coaching Little League baseball here in San Francisco. And probably reaching back much earlier, since baseball, as it turns out, has been an important thread of my life for as long as I can remember. I vividly recall the knee-patched bluejeans (dungarees?), stiff red t-shirt, and “Southside American” Little League trucker cap that comprised my first Opening Day uniform.
That’s me in the left foreground, with the Shaun Cassidy locks and $5 K-Mart glove. Ready–whether I knew it or not at the time–to let baseball have its way with me over the next 40-plus years. To deliver seared memories of walk-off wins. And more hotly-seared memories of still-painful losses. A line drive straight into, and promptly out of, my glove at second base as the winning (losing) run sprinted ecstatically across the plate. And the kind words and hand on my back offered by my New York State Hall of Fame high school coach during the long team bus ride home.
Merely holding a worn baseball in my palm triggers a flood of recollections and a weak effort at holding back tears. The day 35 years ago when my father begged off from playing catch with me, realizing I threw harder than he. This introduced new dangers of broken hands, bruised eyes and egos. I am beginning to glimpse a flicker of those same dangers now when throwing with my own 15 year-old son. The dozens of unforgettable moments I’ve experienced over the past decade with a couple hundred earnest Little Leaguers on baseball diamonds sprawled all over San Francisco. The profound experience of raising my family in a baseball-crazed town featuring 3 World Series titles in the last few years. It’s one thing to listen to the games on the local AM radio station or to sit cheering in the seats with 40,000 other souls. It’s another to smile watching your son exchange high fives with a Giants pitcher working as a guest barista at a local coffee shop one random morning. Baseball keeps on creating new memories across generations.
I have zero business taking on this book project, by the way. I know that. I’m embarking on a new business venture, helping to raise my kids and dog and all that involves, and still learning what it means to be a good husband to my wife. Oh, and my 13th season of Little League starts in 59 days, 14 hours, and 40 minutes. So I will need to create some time where there isn’t any. Because I think I have something to say. Wish me luck.
Thanks for reading.