Friday, November 22, 2013

Having a blast at the St. Louis Jewish book festival

Overdue in posting about my wonderful experience at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival earlier this month.

I was part of the Sports Night panel with Oliver Horovitz, author of An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course. I will admit to a bit of jealousy as Horovitz had a "local presence" and the post-discussion line up for his book was about twice as long as mine. Childish, to be sure. Nevertheless, the hosts were most amicable (Alan Spector, one of the program's sponsors, is himself an author of Baseball, Never Too Old to Play the Game).

The panel, which was moderated by Tom Ackerman, sports director of KMOX RADIO, brought out a lot of baseball and golf fans "of a certain age" (more, it seems, of the latter; I guess more people play golf than baseball, Spector and myself notwithstanding). Horovitz and I answered Ackerman's thought-provoking questions before the audience chimed in with their queries and comments (again, mostly directed at the golf guy; how I hate him).

Right off the bat (heh) my visit started off nicely when I was met at the airport by a gentleman who had gone to high school with Art Shamsky and knew Ken Holtzman. He regaled me with stories of having attended the Aug. 19, 1951, game between the St. Louis Browns (who would become the Baltimore Orioles two years later) and the Detroit Tigers. The significance of that particular contest between two mediocre teams? It marked the one and only apperance of "Bill Veeck's midget," Eddie Gaedel. The return ride the next morning provided similar interesting baseball conversation with the woman who drove me. They truly love their baseball in St. Louis.

Many thanks to Joel Marion for providing the photos.

"And a good time was had by all."
With Oliver Horovitz, center, and Tom Ackerman. I'm not used to being the shortest guy in the picture. But I learned an impoortant photo tip from Joel Marion: keep your hands behind the back of your fellow subjects to hide "peeking fingers.

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