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.”