I was recently interviewed on the New Books Network Podcast to discuss The Least Among Them.
You can listen to this interview below.
From the site:
The Least Among Them: 29 Players, Their Brief Moments in the Big Leagues, and a Unique History of the New York Yankees(Artemesia, 2021) is a most special baseball book that looks at the New York Yankees history in an original, unique, and never before written manner. Throughout their history, the New York Yankees have been defined by the legends and the successes of their most famous players. But, as part of their long history, the Yankees have also fielded players that have become lost to history. This book is those players’ story, telling the unique histories of the men whose entire major league baseball career lasted but a single game with that game being played as a New York Yankee. While these players may be forgotten, their stories are compelling. Filled with a unique Yankee history, single game stats, and a love of baseball, The Least Among Them tells the story of baseball’s most successful franchise in an entirely new way.
Opening Day is a month, a week, and a day away. That’s my Opening Day. The day my baseball season begins.
In 2019, after not pitching in any competitive baseball game for over 34 years, I made a comeback as the old guy, a 50+-year-old pitcher, in a highly competitive wood bat 35-year-old + baseball league. I pitched again last year.
The upcoming 2021 season will be my third.
After proving to myself that I can hold my own on the mound, and even pitch complete nine inning games, I am no longer content with just being able to do that.
I just got off the treadmill. I’m tired. I’m in some pain. I’d like to go to bed, but it’s morning. I’m tired. Real tired. But, underneath all of this exhaustion, I feel alive. I feel more alive than I’ve felt in a long time.
On June 23, I enjoyed pitching against Jersey City. Then, on June 25, I had my first visit with an orthopedist who did as I feared he would… he shut me down.
On June 25, my baseball season ended. On June 25, my softball seasons ended. And, on June 25, my hopes for running the 2019 New York City Marathon also ended.
The orthopedist looked at my swollen right ankle, the MRI that showed tears in the Achilles tendon, and his own X-Rays. He said, “This isn’t good, Paul.” The word “surgery” came up, but he also said, “I’m not ready to go there yet.” I think the thing that made him shut me down totally was when I could perform a simple exercise in his office – standing on just my right foot and going to “tippy toes.” When I couldn’t do that, it cinched the deal.
I was given a night brace, an anti-inflammatory prescription, and little hope.
I left the office with the brace, a discouraged countenance, and a follow-up appointment.