It was a pleasure to spend the last three consecutive weekends talking DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT and baseball on MLB Network Radio, and that included an unprecedented doubleheader of sorts over the last two Saturdays on the SiriusXM network's "Remember When" show. The first audio clip here is from my Dec. 16 appearance with legendary NYC broadcaster Ed Randall, who was without fellow host and career-long Red Sox legend Rico Petrocelli. (By the way, the segment immediately followed Alvin & The Chipmunks and their holiday hit, providing context to the introductory comments.) The second audio clip is an encore return so that I could ask Rico for his thoughts about Yaz's story in the book, from the 1967 AL pennant-clinching game. Listen to that one, and you'll even get bonus material not in the book, because Rico gave me his own No. 1 hit.
DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT was listed today at No. 1 on the Barnes & Noble Top 100 bestseller list for Baseball, and it has moved up to #13 in Sports, passing Tom Brady & Shalene Flanagan. Thanks to everyone who is enjoying this new book from me and Blue River Press, with a Foreword and inspiration from the great Brooks Robinson. See the BN Sports Top 100.
Wednesday's signing at Barnes & Noble Court Street in Brooklyn was the 39th BN store across the country I have hit on the DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT book tour since our October launch, and Thursday was the milestone 40th at the BN Fifth Avenue location at 46th Street. You can visit the Book Tour page here at marknewmanbooks.com/tour and see the stops.
Thanks to all of the amazing BN team members I have met along the way, starting with our launch at the Evansville (IN) location, followed by The Grove in Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale and St. Louis and New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delware visits as well. That's a lot of signed copies of the book Cal Ripken called "the perfect gift for any baseball fan," and I also want to say thanks for everyone who has gone to those stores and snapped them up! Please make sure you like the official Facebook page at facebook.com/MarkNewmanAuthor and follow instagram.com/marknewmanauthor so we can share our experiences with the book!
On Sept. 6, 1995, I was in the press box at Camden Yards covering Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,131st consecutive game played for the Baltimore Orioles, the night he somehow surpassed Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" record. I also treasure the memory of standing next to Cal as he signed every last autograph on Main Street out front of the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum at about 1 a.m. the night before he gave his Hall of Fame Induction speech in 2007.
This post today by Cal on his Facebook page ranks right up there on my own thrill-o-meter from No. 8. Humble thanks to Cal for sharing his memory and lesson of his own personal favorite hit (it has to do with his father), and thanks for this endorsement of DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT! This is from his Facebook page.
BOOK TOUR PAGE JUST UPDATED - 38 BARNES & NOBLE APPEARANCES AND COUNTING...
From Friday through Monday, I signed each day at Barnes & Nobles stores throughout New Jersey and New York, bringing the total of BN stores visited to 38. This past weekend included a Barnes & Noble author event at Paramus (NJ) on Friday night, then the third consecutive weekend of #BarnesandNobleStormingTour store signings within the Northeast, then a meet & greet event at Barnes & Noble in Nanuet (NY) on Sunday, and then a visit to Staten Island to sign many books they have in stock. That was pretty cool, considering I usually am running over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in the opposite direction for the NYC Marathon! Great stores!
The first #BarnesandNobleStormingTour across 9 Connecticut BN stores was such a success, the Jeep made the trip on the next weekend through crazy snow and to 10 BN stores throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. This #BarnesandNobleStormingTour went to: Clifton, Clark, Edison, East Brunswick, Princeton, Moorestown, Cherry Hill (all in NJ on Saturday), then Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia (after 20-minute MLB Network Radio appearance to talk about the book while parked outside the Philly store!), Concord Pike in Wilmington, Delaware, and finally Freehold (NJ).
See the @MarkNewmanAuthor Instagram page for all the posts with a ton of pics and videos, and thanks to the BN stores that also posted about the signings! This has been an incredible journey, not just getting a book from manuscript to market, but this holiday season of helping to put DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT into eager baseball fans' hands for gifts!
All those stores now have signed copies waiting for you, at least while they last. Give them sticker copies for a gift!
Thanks to John Vorperian for having me on for an episode of his respected and long-running TV/Internet show "Beyond the Game" in White Plains, N.Y. It was fun to talk baseball and DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT in the studio. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.
The show originally aired on White Plains Community Media for Westchester County viewers on Nov. 3 and 4. If you want to see it there on TV, it will air again on Friday, Nov 24, at 9 p.m. ET, on Fios 45 and Altasce 76. Then it will air on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET.
Thanks to a standing-room-only crowd that came out to Barnes & Noble in Evansville on Saturday for a fantastic book launch event! We teamed up to raise funds for Public Education Foundation of Evansville, and I am especially thankful to PEF Executive Director Amy Walker for speaking to the audience about PEF's mission, and to Kathy Singer of PEF and Mariana of Barnes & Noble for organizing such a beautiful and memorable afternoon. Here's a slideshow of the afternoon!
One takeaway: People are buying DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT not just as a single copy, but in batches as gifts for so many people from all walks who love baseball, no matter what your team or town.
We're off and running! Looking forward to many more book signings and readings to come! Please be sure to LIKE the official Facebook page for our book at facebook.com/MarkNewmanAuthor! Ask your local Barnes & Noble if they have the book yet, and please leave a review if you order it online, as that will help us appear in search results. Thanks!
DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT was 8 or 9 years in the making, and maybe the most important step in turning it into a coast-to-coast reality was the organizational breakthrough. For anyone producing a book, I hope this visual will help you "see the ball, hit the ball."
Lisa and Rachel deserve even more thanks than I offered in the Acknowledgements, simply for putting up with this takeover of our dining room sliding glass door for late winter and early spring in 2017. I had all these remarkable stories from baseball legends, and the life lessons within them is what really made a difference as a motivational/baseball book. But what to DO with them before submitting the final manuscript?
Using post-it notes spread out at eye level was the answer. I began arranging column headers that would serve as chapters, each representing a different category of similar lessons or character traits. Over days and weeks, I would move one post-it to a different column, or in some cases toss them as undeserving of the final cut. Being able to "see" the book this way, I could then re-order chapters, rename them, and get to a point where it felt done.
No matter what project you are working on, sometimes you have to look at it in a whole different way -- whether that's a whole wall in your basement, a big whiteboard and marker, a spreadsheet, or the front of your kitchen fridge. I had to get it out of digital form and into something more visual and tangible. For my family, the best part of all was the day when I finally removed all the post-its that covered that siding glass door, so they could see our deck and backyard and birds again as I saw my new book. Mission accomplished.