- Published on 31 August 2016
It’s November 2005, and I’m 59 years old. I’m sitting in the first base dugout of the City of Palms stadium in Fort Myers, Florida, where the Boston Red Sox will be playing their spring training games in but a few months.
Although back home in Cincinnati, it’s cold with a forecast of snow, it’s 75-degrees and sunny for our game. The grass is bright green and immaculately trimmed. There are palm trees beyond the outfield wall—kind of a Florida equivalent of the corn at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. It’s the sixth inning of a game on the Wednesday of a week-long tournament. I’m surrounded in the dugout, on the field, and in the tournament by “kids my own age,” still playing the game we love.
In one of those many moments of calm during a baseball game, I have time to think about the senior baseball community, about what the game means to those who play, and about how I’ve never seen a book on the subject. And I have time to say to myself, “Somebody needs to tell this story.”
An hour later, I’m in the car with my wife, Ann, heading back to the motel to relax after the day’s doubleheader and to get ready for tomorrow’s two-game set. I surprise both Ann and myself when I suddenly declare out loud, “I’m going to write a book.”
Baseball: Never Too Old to Play the Game had been conceived—24 months later, it was born.
Sounds easy. Right? Declare you’re going to write a book, write it, write five more. Of course, it’s not easy. I knew it wouldn’t be, but I also knew it would be fun. And it has been. What I was totally naïve about when I started the process was that the writing would be only half of the enterprise—the other half would be publishing and marketing.
Writing the story is necessary but not sufficient. A story is not told until someone hears it or reads it. It’s 2006—I’m getting close to completing the manuscript for Baseball: Never Too Old to Play the Game and beginning to submit the book to agents and publishers. No surprise to you who are authors—rejection! Yet I’m hearing from a lot of sources not to self publish. But when the frustration gets high enough, I Google “self publishing Cincinnati.”
I immediately contact Cincinnati Book Publishing, and after an hour meeting with Sue Ann Painter, I am hooked. CBP attends to each of the reasons I’d been given not to self publish. Tony Brunsman takes it from there, combining expertise, experience, and a passion for creating a quality product. Oh, and he’s just a great guy to work with.
Three of my books have been CBP published, one of them having been through a second printing and on the way to its third. Cincinnati Book Publishing—somebody needs to tell this story, and I’m glad to help.
Fast forward to 2016. I now live in St. Louis, my home town. I’m 70 and still playing the game I love with kids my own age. And I’ve finished the manuscript of book number six. Check out www.aaspector.com.