It’s been an amazing last couple of hours in my life.
I had a visitor scheduled for noon today. At 11:57, though, I got a call from the son of the 96-year-old former baseball player I have been wanting to interview for a book on one of his teammates on the 1940 Phillies, Joe Marty. Marty grew up in my hometown of Sacramento and was once thought to be a better prospect than another outfielder of his era, Joe DiMaggio, though that never materialized. It seems like it would make a good book, and it would be my first book, if I do write it.
I wasn’t sure if and when my visitor would show, but I elected to do the interview anyhow. I hung up, with my caller’s permission, so I could grab my digital recorder, put fresh batteries in it and call back to reverse the charges (one of the few benefits of having a Metro phone is that I have unlimited minutes, local and long-distance.) I didn’t know how much time we would have, but we agreed that I could call back later if we got interrupted. The journalist in me is always willing to drop whatever I’m doing for a good story.
As it turned out, my visitor has thus far no-showed me, and I was able to stay on the phone with the ballplayer and his son for an hour and a half, all told. The ballplayer didn’t know Marty well, but he was able to offer some insight about him; I’m just thrilled to get to talk to any of Marty’s former teammates, as this man is one of three still living, all in their nineties. I’m starting to have some faith that this is going to be a good book and that I’m the guy to write it.
For search engine purposes, I am declining to post the name of the player or more details of the interview right now, though I may post a full transcript of the interview here, if and when my book comes out.
That’s not all. I called my mom just after the interview ended so I could relay the news. While we were on the phone, I got a knock on the door. I figured it would be my visitor. However, it was the mailman with another book for me from University of Nebraska Press. This time they sent me a new book by a pair of authors, Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg entitled, 1921: The Yankees, the Giants and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York. I will happily review this once I finish reading two other books I have from the publisher.
Days like this come along seldom. I’m 26, but right now I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.