Not every player that makes it to the big time is a Hall of Fame player on the field. In real life though, some of them are Hall of Fame caliber people. Thousands of players have graced the playing fields throughout time in Major League Baseball. Some playing careers have been better than others, while others have fallen into obscurity due to the passage of time. The common denominator with all these guys is that they realized their dreams. To whatever degree they have succeeded on the field, it is nice to read about players that have appreciated how lucky they really were. Todays book is about a player who may not have been a HOF player, but he had a HOF attitude that has carried him throughout his life.
Hank Foiles came from humble beginnings in Virginia, growing up in an era marked by the depression and World War II. Always one of positive character, Hank grew up happy and excelled at sports in his native area. Feeling that Baseball was his true calling Hank pursued that sport and made it his life’s work. First signed and called up by the New York Yankees and crossing paths with superstars like Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio, Hank always keeps his humble persona. The book follows Hank through various stops in his MLB career and you get interesting stories about teammates and friends he has made along the way at each stop.
An interesting aspect of the book is Hank talks about his personal pride in being a Mason. It is something he is very proud of and dedicated his life to giving back. It is enjoyable to see a player who does take the time to give his time and service to a community organization. It is not something you see in today’s game, unless it is pre planned publicity. Finally the book gives you a look at Hank’s life after baseball and the jobs he held.
The book is very easy read and fans should enjoy it. It is nice to see a player who had a solid, but not superstar career, appreciate what he accomplished. By todays standards Hank may have been a superstar. So many time it seems players don’t appreciate what they have and it makes me so mad. Hank comes across as a great guy that has spent his life appreciating what he has been given and trying his best to give back to those around him. In my book that makes him a Hall of Fame person. Our game needs more guys like this!
You can get signed copies of this book direct from Hank himself
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.
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