Well, folks, I did.
If These Walls Could Talk will be landing in book stores and websites starting on May 1. Larry Bowa graciously penned the foreword. Triumph Books out of Chicago is the publisher. They’ve published books written by Bill Giles, Dallas Green and Gary Matthews. Pretty lofty company. Mine is more peaceful than Dallas’ “The Mouth That Roared.”
But, here’s the really big news….an early-bird signing will take place on Wednesday, March 26 at Bright House Field from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. More signings will take place back home the next couple of months.
Been involved in hundreds of publications but never solo on a book. When I approached Triumph a year ago, the response: “We like it. Your manuscript is 15,000 words. We need 60,000-70,000. More stories about the Phillies. Can you do it?”
Challenges are challenging. Believe Yogi Berra first said that. This challenge was definitely going to be conquered. Long hours, including late nights, were required trying to remember and research more stories. At times, it was exhausting, creating a mindset of “What did I get into?” Full manuscript deadline was last September 30 and it was met. At the same time, photos were required with full captions.
Now, a year-old idea has turned into “Coming Attractions.”
The book is filled with notes, quotes and anecdotes from 50 years in the game, stories from the field, clubhouse and front office; spring training, championship seasons and jewel events such as All-Star Games and World Series. Those who wore the red pinstripe uniforms offer their many memories down through the years. There’s a history of uniform numbers worn by the Phillies and stories behind those numbers.
There’s my first encounter with the great Howard Cosell and an unusual request from the famous broadcaster, a story that will make you chuckle.
There are behind the scenes settings and insights into Phillies general managers, managers and players, including Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts, Mike Schmidt, Jim Bunning and Steve Carlton.
Learn the thought process behind the emotional closing ceremonies of Veterans Stadium and the opening of Citizens Bank Park.
Hey, you might even fall asleep reading the epic but that’s OK. Don’t tell anyone, but I dozed off a few times while writing this book.