Here’s a press release one of the Oakland A’s Boosters alerted me to:
“OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics players have decided to donate one full playoff share to eight local and national charitable efforts, a total of $34,325.16.
Reliever Jerry Blevins, the team’s player representative, informed the front office that he and his teammates voted to donate one playoff share to charities – including Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The other charities are the MLB Players Trust, UMPS CARE, Oakland A’s Community Fund, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area, United Way of the Bay Area, Donnie Moore Ministries and the ”Strike 3 Foundation.”
The AL West champion A’s lost in five games of the AL division series to the Detroit Tigers after a sensational final week of the regular season that included a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers to capture the division crown.”*
The A’s full share of Playoff money was $2,124,312,75. The players decided to split the money into 51 full shares, 9.786 partial shares, and 20 cash awards. They took the 51st full share and gave it to charities of their choosing. We all knew that this team was special. This is another example of what wonderful human beings these guys are.
Apparently, Johnny Gomes (now with the Boston Red Sox) was the player who urged the others to set this share aside for charity at a team meeting held in Texas near the end of the season. It seemed a long shot at that time, as the A’s were 5 games back of of the Rangers with only a few more games than that left to play. But do it they did, winning the division on the last game of the season against Texas!
As Casey Pratt of CSN wrote, “Some of the lowest paid players in the league offering up their hard earned money to people that need it more. That tells you all you need to know about the character of these Oakland Athletics.”
* * *
An Apology: I started this bog a few years ago while I was writing my book, Contract Year: a baseball novel. During the final rewrites and publications phases, I neglected my blog, posting only sporadically. To my followers, I am truly sorry. But now that the book is published, I will have more time to devote to it and will try to live up to my original promise to post at least 3 or more times a month. Today is the first step in that direction.
People have asked me how the book is doing, and the answer is very well. I am proud of the fact that it enjoys a 5-star rating on Amazon! Check it out on my website by clicking on this link: www.contractyearnovel.com, where signed copies are available as well as ebook versions in both Kindle and iPad versions.
That’s all for today. See you again here soon, I promise!
*Press release courtesy of Yahoo Sports.
Larry Gordon has it all. He’s a successful major league pitcher and is dating the perfect woman. He’ll earn big money in the free agency market at the end of the upcoming season if he plays well during this, his Contract Year. But his girlfriend walks out on him and turns his world upside down. Larry heads off to spring training to forget about her and get ready for the season. He learns quickly that his self-absorbed carefree way of life won’t cut it anymore, that he’ll have to find a new way to succeed on the mound and in his personal life. Follow Larry’s funny and poignant journey, and get a peek inside the world of professional baseball.
Recent praise for Contract Year:
“Contract Year tells not only the story of a superstar’s emergence in the key year of his baseball career, it presents the journey of a superstar’s heart in the most pivotal year of his personal life and shows how the glory we seek is sometimes right under our nose. A great read.” — Rick Hurd, National Baseball Writer
“The author gives a good glimpse into the trials and tribulations that a professional baseball player faces, including the stress and outside distractions we deal with on a daily basis. Although I am the polar opposite of Larry off the field, its’s a good story and I enjoyed reading it a great deal.” – James Simmons, Oakland Athletics pitcher
“Memory of a fan waving a sign “Marry Me!” was the inspiration for Contract Year, and the author lit up with joy and excitement. I know. I was there. And it’s been a joy watching Bee Hylinski develop the plot, deepen her characters, enhance the scenes, and tighten the writing, all for the love of baseball, and for the love of love.” — Clive Matson, author Let the Crazy Child Write! and Chalcedony’s Songs
“What fun to experience a young man’s success as he struggles to become more than he ever imagined becoming! When we first meet Larry, he seems a shallow and callow youth with a one-track world view: his baseball career and himself. But then–slowly and not too willingly–he looks beyond and sees more in his universe than himself, and he begins to change, to open up, to become. For this reader, he moved from a boy I did not much like to a person I enjoy knowing.” — Jean G., Walnut Creek, CA
“I just finished Contract Year and the ending was wonderful. Wish we heard more stories like that.” Ray D., Walnut Creek, CA
“It’s really good! Very well written.” Ned L., Seattle, WA
Several people have asked me to post something about my novel. So here is a teaser:
Larry Gordon leads a charmed life. He’s is dating Gina Green, a beautiful pediatrician working at a local hospital, a five-tool player in baseball lingo. Larry is a successful major league pitcher for the Oakland Renegades. He’ll earn big money in the free agency market at the end of the upcoming season if he plays well. Larry isn’t worried. He’s at the top of his game.
As the novel opens, Gina has just walked out on Larry. After having making love, Gina brought up the subject of marriage. He freaked out and inadvertently admitted he’d had sex with other women on the road while he’s been sleeping with her. Angry and hurt, she walked out on him, ending their five-month relationship.
Determined to put Gina behind him, Larry goes off to spring training to prepare for his contract year and forget about her. Unfortunately, things don’t go so well for him on the pitcher’s mound, and the one-night stands with the baseball groupies aren’t as satisfying as they once were, largely because thoughts of Gina haunt him while he’s having sex. Sometimes he can’t perform in bed, which rocks him to his core.
Once the season starts, Larry’s ups and downs on the mound continue, and his earned run average balloons to over 6.00. Bob Jacobs, his agent, tells him in no uncertain terms that he’d better get his act together, or he won’t be able to get him a big-money contract in the fall.
Thus begins Larry’s journey to find himself on the mound and in life. It’s a bumpy, at times hilarious, and poignant coming of age story of a gifted athlete trying to win his girlfriend back and take the Renegades to the postseason.
I have queried 5 agents, but haven’t heard from 4 of them (not uncommon as the new rejection is now silence). The rejection I did get was very nice and encouraging. I will also query some smaller publishers, but if I don’t have any serious interest in the next few months, I’m going to publish it online (Smashwords and Amazon) and market it aggressively. Let me know what you think and I’ll keep you all posted on my progress. And thanks for your interest in my magnum opus.