I love sports. I love to write about sports. I love to talk about sports. People get tired of my constantly texting them my thoughts on everything sports.
I’m proud to have written Tom Candiotti: A Life of Knuckleballs without being an established journalist with a major publication. This was in 2010, when I was able to score interviews with Candiotti, Fred Claire, Pat Gillick, Mark Shapiro, and others. The book ended up getting published by McFarland & Co. in 2014.
In 2011, I began working for the Vancouver Canadians, hoping that it would help me get into a full-time program at BCIT that fall. Months later, I decided to pursue a different path and wound up with the Canadians from 2011-2012 in my first stint with the organization. My second stint would come beginning in 2015, and by that time I was finishing the book The End of the Montreal Jinx: Boston’s Short-Lived Glory in the Historic Bruins-Canadiens Rivalry, 1988-1994.
During Christmas 2016, Fred Claire, the former Dodgers general manager whom I’d spoken to in 2010 for the Candiotti book, reached out and suggested I write a book on the 1988 World Champion Dodgers. From April to September, I worked hard at it, and by the end of the summer I got a contract for the book. Ironically, my contract stipulated that my final manuscript would be due November 1, 2017. It just so happened that the 2017 Dodgers made it to the World Series and needed a seventh game. I had to get an extension for the due date because several chapters needed to be rewritten if the Dodgers won the Series to end their championship drought dating back to 1988!
I’m proud that I’ve done all these without having been a journalist with a major publication. I’m proud that I finished the 1988 Dodgers book without needing to ask for time off work. (Most of the interviews I conducted were by phone and took place before or after work, or during lunch breaks. Thankfully, with my being on the West Coast and many of the interviewees being in the East, I was able to do quite a few interviews at 10 a.m. Eastern, before I had to go to work.)
All in all, I’ve been happy with my writing achievements. As of 2017 I was still an English instructor working in minor-league baseball during the season. I’ve written Candiotti’s biography, a book celebrating the 1988 Dodgers’ title, and a book highlighting the Bruins’ glory years. I’ve had a chance to speak with Hall of Famers (Gillick, Denis Savard, Larry Robinson, Grant Fuhr), good players but even better people (Rick Dempsey, Jay Howell, Tim Leary, Stephan Lebeau, Bob Sweeney, Peter Douris, Gilbert Dionne), and a bunch of guys I never thought I would have a chance to speak to.