Today was time for “talkin’ baseball,” at the library in Crystal, Minnesota, which is a special library to me because it’s where I do “guys read” every summer. The event was sponsored by the Friends of Hennepin County Libraries.
I read and talked about Mudville, of course, but we angled this to be more about baseball and baseball books in general, which gave me a chance to promote a couple of other favorite baseball books with local ties.
For example, I read a passage from Mark Harris’ The Southpaw (which he wrote while a graduate student at the University of Minnesota), where the kid watches his semi-pro pitcher dad warm up for a game. If I’d gone on to the part where his old man gets shelled and pulled from the game early, I probably wouldn’t have made it. As much as I appreciate Harris, I get a better feel for his poetic vernacular reading it aloud. My wife said the same thing. I also talked about Mick Cochrane’s Sport and The Girl Who Threw Butterflies, and W.P. Kinsella and the whole Moonlight Graham scene from Shoeless Joe.
That being done, we moved on to Twins trivia, with plenty of Twins merchandise donated by the local ball club. I threw a few curveballs with non-baseball Twins questions in the mix. For example, name the twins in the Harry Potter books (Fred and George) and what constellation features Castor and Pollux (Gemini).
I signed a few books on my way out, one to a lucky winner and one for a kid who just struck me as needing a book (he cleaned up at trivia). Here are three fans lined up for a copy. 😉
And here are youth librarian hero Claudia and her son Jamie, who’s been my Guys Read assistant for the last couple of years and is now slated to head up his own group.
If you’re sorry you missed all this, the good news is that I’ll do it again in a couple of months, this time at the Brookdale library, on June 18. More about that as we firm up the details.