It was just about four years ago in San Diego when then-New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon, aka Big Sexy, hit his first career home run. What was even more unique about that particular round-tripper was it came in Colon’s 19th season in the major leagues.
It's a story he talks about in a self-titled book written with New York-native Michael Stahl.
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“As Gary Cohen, the Mets broadcaster, put it: the impossible has happened," Stahl recalled.
Stahl’s book is one of a number published in conjunction with what was supposed to be the start of baseball. His collaboration with Colon was scheduled to be released at the start of this major league season, a season that's in limbo because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of bookstore appearances, writers have turned to social media and virtual events to spread the word about their books.
Brian Wright authored a book entitled “The New York Mets All-Time All-Stars.” “I have been on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, trying to reach out to those Mets fans," he said. "Twitter especially is an interesting way to connect with that niche audience of Mets fans."
Mark Healey, who is editor-in-chief of Rockaway’s Wave newspaper, also wrote a book out this spring. He went beyond the Mets for a look at the all-time team of players from the Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants. He had to cancel plans to launch "Gotham Baseball: New York’s All-Time Team" at Foley's, a baseball-centric Manhattan bar.
"You start finding that there's other authors out there that are going through the same thing, so you start to commiserate and you try to find ways to balance it out and get the book out and get the word out without trying to be insensitive to what's going on," Healey said.
These authors hope the books they put so much time into writing can help fill a gap and bring some joy to folks during tough times, while waiting for the return of that joyous cry: play ball.
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