Doing the Friday Happy Dance even though it’s dark, cold and rainy in New York City. But I’ve got some fun things to chase away the blues today, including some fun talk about baseball and a guest blog (with some giveaways)!
Come visit with me at the wonderful Sia McKye’s Over Coffee blog and let me know if you believe in miracles and the power of love. I sure do!
For regulars to the blog, you know I’m a sad sack fan of the Mets and baseball lover so today’s guest blogger is a special treat for me because of that and because she is a dear friend and this is her DEBUT novel!!
So please welcome Ronnie Norpel who will be telling us about her new book, Baseball Karma & the Constitution Blues. Share the love by leaving a comment on this blog or Sia‘s by midnight EST Sunday, November 7th and you could win a STRONGER THAN SIN T-shirt and copy of any one of my earlier releases – you can choose your own prize!
It is a thrill for me to guest on Caridad’s blog today. She has witnessed and supported my transformation from wannabe to published author—thanks, Caridad!
And, hi, everybody! Caridad assures me that among her avid romance readers are a multitude of chick baseball fans. My book is for them – YOU!
Baseball Karma & the Constitution Blues (Three Rooms Press) is a girl’s tale of love, luck and superstition, and it will keep you warm through the long winter without baseball. I worked for my hometown Phillies for seven seasons and so this story is “steeped in authenticity.” Whereas we could have slotted it under Sports/Philosophy, in a nod to James Frey, my publisher (the terrific Kathi Georges) and I settled on our own category: ficto-memoir.
A big theme of my book is how superstitions are all in our heads, but we perform rituals to try to relieve them anyway. A couple of baseball superstitions I touch on in the book include:
1. Pre-game Routines (p. 24):
The idea behind pre-game routines is to over-control the Ordinary in anticipation of handling the Extraordinary. Just as Einstein’s daily “uniform” of white shirtsleeves and black trousers dispensed with the Ordinary, availing his mind of the Extraordinary, so batting champ Larry Walker’s uniform number 33 paced his playing days: he would set his alarm for 3 past the hour, shower at the 3rd nozzle, and take 3 swings before each at-bat. Their embroidered vestments elevate our big leaguers to priestly status, even as they superstitiously covet their own jersey numbers: Mr. Clemens thought his 21 worth a Rolex, and Rickey H gave Turner Ward 25G for 24. (While John Kruk accepted two cases of brew from Mitch Williams for 29.) Culinary habits are also controlled: Wade Boggs ate chicken before every game. From arriving at the yard at the same time and parking in the same spot every day to wearing the same dirty jockstrap, if that’s what the Church of Baseball dictates, these guys’ll do it. On faith.
2. Adjusting Equipment (p. 125):
Meanwhile, post-game, Blues manager Teddy Mack stood in the middle of the visitors’ clubhouse as the players peeled off their muddy uniforms.
“Fellas, you really stunk it up tonight! I see no concentration in the field or at the plate, and every time we get close, we blow it! Would anyone care to explain this for me?”
Problem is, when you’re losing, there is no real explanation. But they were willing to try.
“Well, Skip, I switched brands of dip when we left on the road trip,” Mark offers.
Mack stared at Ridley.
Jack Black attempted a more traditional guise.
“What he meant to say, Coach, is that we have a young team.”
“We have to make a few adjustments, that’s all.” Doug added analysis straight from the Sports pages, those ‘few adjustments.’
“These guys just have to adjust to the bigs. They’ll be all right,” Tommy said.
“They seem like they’re adjusting just fine, Gunner.” Mack looked at Doug.
“They certainly haven’t been making curfew!”
Doug turned back to his locker.
“Sorry, Skip,” Bobby said, “I got a late call from the coast last night…”
Mack rolled his eyes, when will these boys ever learn?
“…from my mom, she found my old glove! It should be at the stadium tomorrow.”
“As should my order of new bats,” said Jack.
“Don’t forget to spit on ‘em, JB,” Moss muttered under his breath. Moss was a spitter.
“Fellas! I don’t think it’s an equipment problem. Please get your heads into the game!”
3. No Hitter Talk (p. 142):
In the Blues conference room, the front office staff sat in silent vigil sipping coffee. Hugh Sargent contemplated periodic ophthalmia and its effect on batting averages. Blake and Whitley straggled in just ahead of Lloyd Preston.
“I imagine you’ve all read today’s Sports.”
He held up a copy of the Daily View. The headline blared: “FULL MOON FULL GAINER; FULL LOSERS,” and a pair of photos showed the fan in mid-fall and then being stretchered into the ambulance.
The staffers shifted in their seats. Preston went on.
“The suggestion box is officially opens, folks. I’m not throwing in the towel, but we have a real bear on our hands, and at this point, anything goes. Let’s brainstorm.”
Whitley whispered to Blake in the corner.
“I just hope that guy makes it.”
“Shut up, Whitley,” Blake whispered back. “That’s no hitter talk.”
“What do you mean?”
“Will you NEVER get it? It’s like a no hitter in the making: you can hope for it, but whatever you do, don’t talk about it!”
She still looked confused, so Blake paraphrased.
“We ALL hope he makes it.”
Now, speaking of No Hitters, it was quite exciting as a Phillies fan to see Roy Halladay throw his no-no against the Reds in the Division Series. But, alas, my Phils did not get their rematch against the Yankees in the World Series this year. That said, I lifted the curse at the beginning of the 2007 season, so it’s only fair some other team got in this year! I gave the edge to the Giants – what with their timely Halloween-colored uniforms. And then there’s that young Tim Lincecum – he’s cute! AND he can pitch!
If you worship at the Church of Baseball and would like to get an insider’s peek – from a female perspective, you will enjoy my book. You can go to www.constitutionblues.com to order an autographed copy (PayPal).
Visit www.constitutionblues.com to order an autographed copy
or you can click here to order Baseball Karma & the Constitution Blues
Photo Credit: Thanks to Heather’s Animations for the Dancing Girl Gif.