Tagged: Doug Williams

Baseball’s Fallen Angel


I easily admit that my favorite genre of baseball books are the biographies.  They help show the real person behind the player’s public image and sometimes allows fans to get an inside scoop on some events.  On the other hand some of the biographies are ghost-written, self-serving and are just a ploy to both increase popularity and pocket a few extra bucks.  Thankfully for readers, those books are usually evident before you ever make the mistake of buying them.  Readers should also be grateful to find books like today’s autobiography, because it shows the human side of a player, flaws and all, and does not sugar coat anything.

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By:Eli Grba & Doug Williams-2016

Now we all know Eli Grba did not have a Hall of Fame baseball career by any measure but he this book shows that he is a Hall of Fame caliber person.  He had a well known problem with alcohol during his playing days and subsequent years and that honestly is just the tip of the iceberg in this compelling life story.

Eli Grba walks the readers through his entire life story in this book.  From his upbringing and his time labeled as a troubled youth and the multiple problems associated with that tag to the his showing promise as a stud pitcher.  You see the highs and lows of his life through all of its stages and it shows his true human side.  It also shows the love he had for his family, especially his mother, and how he has realized later in life the trouble and pain he has caused for those who loved him.

Grba also walks the readers through his rise through the baseball ranks and his eventual arrival to the majors.  He shows us the troubles he had along the way and how alcohol was the usually the underlying theme to these issues. He also shows us how in the end, alcohol derailed his promising career and how except for a few highlights it was talent wasted.

This book is a great look at a player who has come to terms with his demons and admirably overcome them and made his life better for both himself and those around him.  He talks extensively about his mother and the closeness they had and now realizes the pain he caused her over the years.  Throughout the book Eli is very honest with the readers and pulls no punches about his faults and failures along the way.  It is refreshing in this day and age to say anyone take responsibility for their actions, but it is even more eye opening to see a former professional athlete do it .

This is a great book for baseball fans to read.  It sheds a bright light on both Eli Grba’s life and career and shows how he was able to beat those demons.  Both Eli and co-author Doug Williams have made this a great story to read and a book that many people will not be able to put down.  It is one of those books that people dealing with the same types of problems will be able to relate to and in the end be able to take something from it that will help them with their own struggles.

Take a look around on social media sites because you can get autographed copies direct from Eli Grba as well as getting it from the standard on-line retailers.

Check it out I don’t think you will be disappointed, because the first angel has written a first rate book.

Happy Reading

Gregg

Summertime Dreams – Yes, Girls Can Play Baseball!


The movie A League of Their Own tought baseball fans lots of things.  We learned there is no crying in baseball, Jimmy Dugan also warned us to avoid the clap, but most importantly it introduced to a whole new generation of fans the fact that girls can play baseball.  It opened up a whole new arena to baseball fans, new teams, new stories and new history.  There are so many stories out there to be told I am honestly surprised there have not been more books like this one.

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Summertime Dreams, Yes, Girls Can Play Baseball

By:Dolly Niemiec Konwinski and Doug Williams- 2013

Dolly “The Gopher” Niemiec grew up in a generation where only boys and men played baseball.  It was a mans sport and at the time no one really though about girls playing baseball.  Until one day a life changing event happened.  Dolly’s father found an ad for local tryouts for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  That tryout changed her life and occupied her time as a member of the league from 1948-52.  Unfortunately her career was cut short due to an auto accident in 1952.

Doug Williams has helped Dolly compile her memoirs in this little gem.  It takes a nostalgic look back at her career in the AAGPBL but her story doesn’t end there.  Dolly and Doug also take you on the journey of life after baseball which includes careers as a professional Bowler, professional Umpire, as well as helping build aircraft for the military.  It really is an extraordinary story and an enjoyable read.

I have not found a lot of books like Summertime Dreams on the market.  I have only found a handful of books from the women who played in the AAGPBL.  In reality for the amount of players that were in the league you would think just due to the law of averages you would find more books.  Sadly many of the stories from that league are being lost due to the passing of time.  I wish some more of the former players would take advantage of sharing their story so its available for future generations.  It may not be MLB baseball as we have now, but it is still an important part of baseball history

Dolly’s story is truly inspiring and shows that women can do anything that men can.  In my life, I may already view things that way, but there are probably still some people who feel that women are inferior to men.  Those people need to read this book and see how it really is.  Baseball fans should really enjoy getting a glimpse into this period of history and hearing some of those remarkable stories first hand right from the Gopher’s mouth.

You can get copies of this book by e-mailing the co-author Doug Williams

 jdougwilliams@verizon.net

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

 

Always A Yankee


Every child around the world has some sort of dream.  It may be to become a fire fighter, policeman, doctor or even something cooler.  Some kids dream of becoming baseball players, more precisely – a New York Yankee.  Todays book is proof that some dreams do come true.

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Always A Yankee

By: Jim Coates and Doug Williams-2009

Jim Coates’ dream of becoming a baseball player is an ambitious goal no matter who the person is.  Now add in the hurdles of being from a rural coastal town in Virginia and the task becomes even more monumental.  Jim Coates’ story is one of struggle, perseverance and appreciation.  Appreciation not only for the life he has lived, but the gifts and talents he was given.  This book is almost refreshing in the day and age of the self-centered money grabbing athlete.

Always a Yankee takes you from Coates’ upbringing in rural Virginia through the accolades of being a Yankee and World Series champion.  You get an in-depth explanation of the steps he took and the sacrifices made to better his game and become a champion pitcher in New York.  He also gives the reader a glimpse of life after the Yankees and the several stops he made while winding down his career.

Jim Coates shows an overwhelming gratitude throughout the book for being who he is and the abilities he had.  He realizes how lucky he was to reach this dream of playing for the Yankees and what a charmed life that allowed for him to live during those years.  There is even a point in the book where Coates is asking himself “is this real or a dream?”  To me, that shows what kind of personality you are reading about.

Something I found really interesting about this book was that you heard about life after baseball.  Sometimes these types of books don’t really mention what the person did after they stopped playing.  These players were of the generation that you had to have off-season jobs and a career after baseball.  Coates tells you about his several careers after baseball.  He discusses the trials and tribulations encountered in life after baseball and how he was able to overcome them all.

Jim Coates was not a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher.  After reading this book, I can honestly say that I feel he is a Hall of Fame person.  His extraordinary personality came through in this book.  He honestly reflected on his life in and out of baseball and the authors gave a precise account of accomplishments.  Books like these I really enjoy, because you get to see the story of someone who was a serviceable player and one who appreciates what they accomplished.  All baseball fans should enjoy this book and I recommend it as a prefered book in the Bookcase.  Of all the books I have reviewed on my blog, this may be the one I have enjoyed the most to date.

You can get autographed copies of this book by e-mailing the co-author Doug Williams directly

 jdougwilliams@verizon.net

Happy Reading

Gregg