I had just gone through my final edits for my new trilogy Baseball Immortal, when the coronavirus pandemic suspended major league sports. The NBA was the first casualty, soon to be followed by baseball and the NHL. Opening the sports section, there were no longer accounts or box scores of yesterday’s action; rather, there was only talk of the consequences of shutting sports down. Sports talk radio and podcasts, which had been so vibrant with the anticipation of baseball’s opening day, the coming match-ups in the NBA play-offs and other events, came to a grinding halt. Now, there was only news about the pandemic and its impact on games, or which athlete was the last to test positive for the virus. For people who consume sports on a daily basis, like myself, this became a major crisis–subservient only to the tragic loss of lives, jobs and freedom, and fear of the unknown.
A few days into the pandemic, the thought came to me that maybe my story could help provide a filler for a nation of sports fans starving for entertainment. I began to ponder ways in which I could get the story out. I considered the major sports platforms and finally realized that mlb.com, Major League Baseball’s website, would be the best way to deliver my story. I also considered serializing the book, so that one episode could appear daily (until the delivery of the story was complete). I ultimately concluded that daily episodes would be the ideal way to go—in this manner, sports fans would have something to look forward to each day.
I decided to approach Major League Baseball to see if there might be a way to accomplish my goal. I was delighted when I received an enthusiastic ear from the terrific people who are involved in promotion, design and content there. Since I hadn’t yet had time to engage a publisher, a cover for my book hadn’t been yet designed. I hurriedly contacted my tech/web designer, Alejandro Rubalcava (of Lynx Design) sketching for him my book-cover concept. In a couple of short days, he had interpreted exactly what was I was looking for, and presto, the cover of Baseball Immortal materialized. MLB and myself next had to come up with promotional banners—once again, the people at MLB were a delight to work with. Everything finally came together, and on June 2, 2020, my partnership with Major League Baseball went live.
Some people thought I was a lunatic for giving away the first book of the trilogy, free-of-charge. For me, it was an act of joy to be able to share the story with a nation of sports fans suffering through a famine. I have been gratified to receive encouraging comments from friends and even strangers, who have written: “I love the prologue,” “Great start! I enjoyed the first chapter,” “The story keeps getting better; your oration is superb.” These are words that keep authors writing. We have also had phenomenal traffic from mlb.com; the first full day, hundreds of people read the first episode and the traffic had grown considerably each day thereafter.
It’s a great feeling for an author to anticipate a reader’s journey in experiencing a story that the author has spent countless hours writing and researching–toiling over each word and phrase. I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to share this roller-coaster ride with the public on a daily basis.
GET READY FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE!