First of all, I'm jealous.
No, not because Mike Luery went to 32 ballparks. Well ok, I am jealous about that, too.
But mainly I am green with envy because his adventure came with a sidekick: his son, Matt. You see, my son sees baseball the way Mike Luery's wife sees it: like watching paint dry. (Luckily, my son and I have something in which to bond us: football.)
The travels of Mike and Matt are detailed in "Baseball Between Us". 16 Years. 32 Ballparks. 43,000 Miles. And while there is a lot of baseball between pages 1 and 266, there is also the right amount of "us": a father and son arguing over things like Teddy Roosevelt versus 50 Cent, and ultimately finding out they had more in common than they ever would have dreamed.
Mike Luery speaks from the heart. Sounds like someone I know. He is, as Matt points out near the end of their journey, a hopeless romantic seeking the fairytale ending. But that is not where there the similarities between the elder Luery and I end. We were also introduced to this game - like many others, I suppose - by our fathers.
Mike's recollection of his dad scoring a pair of tickets to the opener of the 1963 World Series called to mind my dad doing the exact same thing - alas for my older siblings - during the A's run of three consecutive World Series triumphs in the early 70's.
We also received ringing endorsements for our books by our very own Ken Korach. Says the voice of the A's of "Baseball Between Us":
"Mike and Matt experienced that baseball could serve as a conduit for them to grow as a parent and son. Any parent, or anyone who loves baseball, will appreciate the stories and the messages in the book. This is a book for fathers, mothers, sons and daughters."
The eloquence of Korach - and much more! - can be found on the "Baseball Between Us" website, including his upcoming book-signing schedule.
And even though Mr. Leury ranks that "other stadium" first on his list, and our (cough) lovely ballpark at Number 28 (which would be last if not for the two Florida ballparks), "Baseball Between Us" is a heartwarming tale of a father and son, and their love for baseball and each other.
A book, that as Blez pointed out when he introduced Mike to me, is right up my alley. If you love baseball - and you wouldn't be here if you didn't - you will find that "Baseball Between Us" is right up your alley, too.