Blog Archives

When Baseball Was King

When Baseball Was King, The New York Yankees Were Kings of Baseball by Dr. Len Bergantino is the full recounted story of the popular sport and its greatest players. From baseball’s history to its player’s stats and respective journeys throughout their careers. And while the main focus is the New York Yankees, there is also mention of other great teams and their players.

The peculiarity of this book is that it’s visually graphic. It includes texts and images from other sources such as magazines and newspapers. This adds a unique touch to back up the author’s quotes and citations. However, at times it seems like the author simply copied and pasted the pages of the books he thought relevant without summarizing and citing the information correctly. The book is fifty-three pages, almost a third of these being scans or excerpts from other books.

The story is narrated through Dr. Bergantino’s point of view as he discovers baseball and dives further deeper into its history and greatest stars. He tells the story of how his father introduced him to the sport and how he then fell in love with it; this gives it a nostalgic touch that I’m sure old baseball fans will very much appreciate.

While this book is non-fiction and primarily informative, having a “character” narrate gives it a storylike quality that makes it more enjoyable and feels less of an educational text and more like something to read for fun. This book gives readers a general insight into the sport and exciting facts about the most prominent players. It’s perfect for any baseball fans or as an introduction for anyone looking to get into the sport. It’s short and easy to read and quickly captivates the reader’s attention.

When Baseball Was King, The New York Yankees Were Kings of Baseball is an exciting historical look at the game with illuminating facts and entertaining stories.

Pages: 98 | ASIN : B085WMX5P6

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SOL

The beauty about Gary Evans and his book SOL: Still Our Lions – The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of Detroit and its Pro Football Team is that you do not need to be a football fan, or even a sports fan, to enjoy his introspective book. The author writes in a way that is moving, and every sentence he pens is more attention-grabbing than the former. His way of expressing his thoughts on the subject matter is well thought out and stated directly. Gary Evans writes from the heart, and that is what makes his writing so appealing. He is authentic and candid in all he writes about. In between the sports discussions, readers get life lessons that the author shares while telling his story and the stories of others.

This informative book is about the Detroit Lions team in the NFL. The author writes about the football team’s history, major events, wins, losses, relationships with fans, the community, and everything in between. Gary Evans chronicles forgotten events, little-known heroes, and the role sports play in communities. The author explains how he believes sports loyalty works, writing that the Detroit Lions were loved through both their accomplishments and failures. The rise of the team, the challenges, and the goals achieved are what make the Detroit Lions special. Reading from a fan’s point of view is the magic in the entire book.

This book may focus on sports, but as you read on, you see that other themes arise. The other themes are politics, family, freedom and independence, race relations, policy making, and love. I appreciate that the author compiled notes about unheard-of history icons as he shared inspirational tales in his narrating. Reading this book gives one a feeling of nostalgia, even if not from the area being written about. The author has created an entertaining book that will give readers an appreciation of history and get them to see sports competitions in a different light.

Apart from learning about football as a sport and the Detroit Lions, the author also enlightened the reader on how to preserve culture and how to build a community with people that share the same interests.  At the start of every chapter is a quote from historical icons. Two of my favorite quotes are “Time Slips away, leaves you with nothing, mister. Just stories of glory days,” by Bruce Springsteen, and “There is a fine line between honoring the past and losing yourself in it” by Eckhart Tolle. The lessons about life doubled with the impeccable storytelling skills make this book an interesting read. The reader gets to reflect on the past and appreciate the present.

SOL: Still Our Lions is more than a sports history book; it is a well-crafted and deeply thoughtful look at how sports impact and influence the communities they are part of. More than just a game, football is an avenue to bring people together that would otherwise not cross paths.

Pages: 396 | ASIN : B0BBKYW3XG

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The Greatest Basketball Player I Ever Saw

The Greatest Basketball Player I Ever Saw by Dr. Len Bergantino is a touching mix of sports biography and autobiography. It is likely the most unique biography you’ll ever have the pleasure of reading. Doctor Bergantino is an eccentric writer who has already written on various subjects. However, with this book, he has turned his hand to writing a sports biography. The strange part is he has chosen to write it about a sportsman you will never have heard of who died at the tender age of 18.

The book is a biography of Billy Finn, Bergantino’s high school best friend who died in a car crash before he ever had a chance to become famous. Bergantino spends much of the book explaining why he thinks Finn was the best basketball player of all time. Finn’s abilities are described as almost supernatural. This part of the book will likely appeal to anyone interested in basketball or amateur sports.

The book isn’t just about Billy Finn, the sportsman, however. Instead, it is a monument to Finn, Bergantino’s friend. I think this is the part of the book that will really appeal to most readers. Bergantino shares with us, the reader, touching anecdotes of what he and Finn got up to as young men. His love for his childhood friend, even 50 years after his passing, is evident and touching.

Bergantino’s affection for Finn is almost infectious. The book is written in such a way that the reader finds themselves caring about a young man they had never heard of before. Finn’s personality is described as warts and all. The two young men don’t always see eye to eye, and Bergantino doesn’t shy away from this. Even the best of friends annoy each other from time to time.

The book is a short, easy read. Bergantino’s writing is energetic if a bit frantic at times. He is a fan of hyperbole, and some of his claims about Finn may have to be taken with a pinch of salt. The eccentric style is enjoyable for most of the book, but the final chapter, in which he talks about how Finn has been reincarnated, may leave some readers, myself included, feeling a little cold. It feels like this last chapter goes off on a little bit of a tangent.

All in all, The Greatest Basketball Player I Ever Saw is a touching biography of a young man you more than likely have never heard of. But, whether you’re a sports fan or not, the book is mostly a beautiful monument to a man whose best friend still bitterly misses him.

Pages: 81 | ASIN : B0865X1P48

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Squash The Boorish Louts

Don Shearer Author Interview

The Ballpark Buster follows a boy who grows to be over seven feet tall and takes the baseball world by storm with his impressive skill and strength. What inspired the setup to your story?

I had been reading about a young man known as the Alton Giant — Robert Wadlow of Alton, IL. Robert had a pituitary disorder that caused him to grow at an unprecedented rate. In fact, he was more than 8 feet 11 inches tall when he died at the young age of 22 in 1940. Somewhere around the time of that research, I accidentally rediscovered a set of captivating baseball park cartoons done by artist Gene Mack for the Sporting News in the mid-1940s. I liked these cartoons as a kid, and as I revisited the panels after all these years I started thinking about what would happen if a super-large kid (one who benefited from a surgery that Robert Wadlow did not get) landed in historic baseball settings of the past. It took a lot of fitting together of plot puzzle pieces and baseball chronology in order to make this “new” history possible, but my big kid Buster made his way and knocked down quite a few barriers. 

Buster Logan is a charming character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

I wanted to keep Buster pretty down-to-earth throughout the book. Although he has obvious physical gifts, I didn’t want him to try and intimidate anyone as he competed in professional sports and lived his life. He did not draw attention to himself. He was a quiet boy with a lively sense of humor. He never veered away from the simple values of loving one’s family and being accepting of others along the way. 

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Buster’s great size often positioned him as an outsider, and I didn’t minimize the struggles he had as a young person who sometimes took abuse from competitors, unruly fans and insensitive strangers. In the book, Buster rubs shoulders with others who are outside the norm in one way or another — players like Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and Ted Kluszewski. Buster both provides and receives encouragement from them. He interacts with a number of vicious people (including one major league manager) and, with great effort, learns to conduct himself with restraint even though he’s tempted to squash the boorish louts.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

This isn’t anything traditional, but these days I’m writing and assembling a large compendium of comedic wordplay puns paired with images. (You could even say they’re memey.) I’m likely to release them as a collection in early 2023.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Every once in a while, a miracle of nature occurs in our midst. This is a story about Buster Logan, who was born a normal Pennsylvania boy but soon begins growing much bigger than those around him. It turns out he has a medical condition that causes him to grow to the point of a near-giant. Although modern medicine is able to intervene and slow his growth, Buster has already become a very large person at over seven feet tall. He’s also extremely powerful, as he takes up weightlifting after his recovery from surgery. Bringing great size and strength to the realm of sports, he becomes a true force on the field. Eventually making it to the major leagues in his late teens, Buster takes many of the classic ballparks of the 1940s and ‘50s by storm, hitting astonishing home runs in baseball cathedrals like Forbes Field, Ebbets Field, Sportsman’s Park, the Polo Grounds, old Yankee Stadium, Crosley Field, Braves Field (Boston) and Shibe Park. Travel alongside our good-natured baseball giant as he conquers these hallowed ballparks with jaw-dropping blasts.

Acknowledge Fear And Indecision

JP Mac Author Interview

How to Run a Marathon in 13 Years details the variety of obstacles you faced while fighting to regain the ability to run a marathon again. Why was this an important book for you to write?

At first, I thought it would be a fun book about running. But as I went back over the years, I saw my life had been collapsing financially, physically, emotionally; pretty much in all areas.

Running became the scaffolding upon which I hung my reactions to the challenges that arose. Hopefully, readers will glean a few good lessons.

I appreciated how candid you were in your book. What was the hardest moment in your life to write about?

The deaths of family and friends. Recalling their passing triggered varied memories and emotions, often reminding me of times when I was petty or mean.

I can’t repair the past, only strive to be less self-centered in future.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is struggling to find motivation?

Acknowledge fear and indecision, then think of one tiny action you might do right that moment that will guide you toward your goal. Small things, little deeds got me in motion.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

We never lose the choice of how to respond to the cruelty of time and the unfairness of life. And maybe a couple of laughs.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

“. . . a real, raw, beautiful journey . . . . “

— Coach Kate Martini Freeman, ultramarathoner, Ironman finisher, co-founder of Coyote Runners Training Group
Injured while training for a marathon, distance runner JP Mac learns his knee is wrecked. He’s finished for good. Or is he? Discovering a revolutionary new method of running, Mac attempts to reinvent his form. But over time, fate unleashes a series of cruel challenges.
Knee surgery is followed by shoulder surgery. Mac is diagnosed with cancer. A new form of cancer strikes next. Massive weight gain balloons him above 270 pounds. Mac plunges into a Marianas Trench of depression. He battles self-destructive urges. But the hope of running another marathon will not fade nor “go gentle into that good night.”
Part training log, part diary, this award-winning, non-fiction memoir relates Mac’s incredible journey from washed-up marathoner to reborn runner. If you’ve ever been injured in a sport, this astonishing story is for you. If you’ve ever watched a dream slip away, this breath-taking tale is for you. Learn the amazing power of perseverance and mental toughness. Buy this book and discover the wonders that await when you allow your reach to exceed your grasp.

The Ballpark Buster

The Ballpark Buster by Don Shearer tells the story of an average kid, Buster, who lives an ordinary life like everyone else, with just one difference: he’s well over six feet in height by the time he’s twelve years old. Buster strives to have a normal life, hanging out with friends, going to school, helping his parents at home, and playing sports, despite this unusual medical condition that rapidly speeds up his growth rate. Instead of focusing on the challenges of his record-breaking height, Buster Logan uses it to his advantage to become an athlete. He quickly learns how his size can work for him, not against his pursuits, transforming his life from ordinary to an extraordinary nationwide sports hero.

This fascinating story is set in the 1940’s, imbuing this sports fiction story a unique historical fiction feel. The story explores the golden era of major league baseball, a simpler life, and the nostalgia of this decade. Shearer writes a rousing story which feels like a classic with a clear and lighthearted tone throughout, making this an easy read. It’s a fun book for children and young adults. It conveys the importance of living your life to its fullest potential and using any attribute you have, including an unusual height, to your advantage.

Shearer adds creative and unique characteristics into a tale that could otherwise be considered ordinary. It’s a fantastic story for baseball fans as there are pictures of ballparks included, and the descriptions give the reader a decent visual of the author’s love of the game. It’s an inspirational and feel-good story that makes a great light read. I recommend The Ballpark Buster for its creativity and simple but profound writing that makes a fun story for all ages.

Pages: 287 | ASIN: B0B7QP7V9X

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When Baseball Was King the New York Yankees Were King of Baseball

When Baseball was King The New York Yankees were King of Baseball recounts some of the greatest baseball players ever. Author Dr. Len Bergantino is able to recount many of their stats, from how fast pitchers could throw and how fast the greatest players could hit! From Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Jackie Robinsons, we get to read about how great each player was. While mostly discussing great Yankee players, Dr. Bergantino also discusses some of the other great players from other teams, such as the Cleveland Indians and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

I enjoyed reading about some of baseball’s greatest players in this enlightening book. The author is correct about baseball not being such a loved sport anymore. Most people seem to enjoy football now. While I have personally heard about most of the players mentioned, I didn’t know their stats. Reading about the batting averages from back then compared to the players now was eye-opening. It makes me wonder what has changed in the players between then and now.

I enjoyed reading the letters that Dr. Bergantino wrote to Carl Erskine. It was nice to see that Mr. Erskine replied to his letters as well. He even sent a copy of his book. While he originally disliked Carl Erskine because he was a great pitcher for the Dodgers, he realized he did like him in the end because he was such a great player.

There are scans of other books that Dr. Len Bergantino wrote inside this book. There are excerpts from those books as well. They are printed multiple times as well leaving the actual story to be about 45 pages. The rest is from the other books.

This is an illuminating book that conjures a nostalgic feeling while providing readers with interesting facts about great baseball players. I enjoyed this story, especially when the author talked about watching baseball as a kid. This is a great read for any fan of the New York Yankees and anyone interested in baseball history.

Pages: 98 | ASIN: B085WMX5P6

The Golden Gladiator – Book Trailer

The Golden Gladiator. . . .

Myth? Urban legend? Hero? Antihero?

Myth or urban legend? Not at all. This is the true story of senior citizen Michael Lynch and his inspirational journey back to the gridiron and glory. In his mid-sixties, he played on one of the best semi-pro football teams in America, and was coached by a former NFL veteran.

After seeing his nephew play in a high school All-Star game on Long Island during the summer of 2012, Michael Lynch had an epiphany. He wanted to play football again. In the late 60s and early 70s, he had been a football star in high school, college, and in the semi-pro leagues on Long Island. Forty years later, he decided to turn back the clock and risk life and limb to play football again in one of the toughest semi-pro leagues in America: the Florida Football Alliance.

This is a story of courage, redemption, tragedy, and love as Lynch played for four years in over fifty football games. He was a game captain, an Honorable Mention on the 2014 Florida Football Alliances All-Star team, and was honored at the leagues’ banquet in his final year in 2018 for his inspiration and dedication to the game he loves. He played on two championship teams, in 2015 and 2018.

Michael Lynch was inducted into the Guinness World Records in 2019 as the oldest American football player ever, and the oldest American football player to catch a touchdown pass—which he did at the age of sixty-eight.

Hero or antihero? You decide, but first read Michael Lynch’s epic tale, his Iliad and Odyssey of football journeys—the true story of . . . the Golden Gladiator.

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