A new Story Behind the Stories!
The story behind getting to know Ellen and Ari Stein
Nov 11, 2023 by Eric C. Gray
Sometime around 2012, I was at a Giants game, in the upper deck, not my usual seats. And I did what I always did, especially in the early days of the project, I looked for people to talk to who might have a story. And so it was on this day with a young man at this game against the Cardinals. Ari was there, donning Cards’ apparel, with his aunt. Ari gave me a whopping, almost “Out-of Towners” type experience about trying to get from DC to Boston to see his Cardinals at Fenway Park. It is in Bases to Bleachers, as is a story from his aunt.The connections with Ari and his family continued. Ari contributed another great tale to my second book, Backyards to Ballparks, as did his brother and uncle. And so did his mom, Ellen. In the first of many emails, Ellen said: “I am not exactly sure if this is my story or my son’s to share”.
We've Met Before!
Apr 25, 2023 by Eric C. Gray
In October 2019, Robin Young, from NPR’s Here and Now, interviewed me for my first book, Bases to Bleachers. I received a couple of emails as a result, one from a woman named Nancy Haskett, telling me how she had bought my book after hearing the interview, and including her own personal story. It was about participating in a Civil War re-enactment with her son’s family working in the commissary and serving food.
It was a great story, and I told her that when the book arrived, she should turn to page 259, a terrific story that would remind her of her own. But her name sounded familiar to me, so before I sent the email, I checked my files, and sure enough, she had emailed me several years before.
Hear Me on Top Fan Rivalry!!
May 02, 2022 by Eric C. Gray
I recently spoke to Bill of Top Fan Rivalry about my love for bothe the Giants and the Mets. You can listen to the Podcast.
The Story behind a World Series, a Tragedy and a Friendship
Feb 21, 2021 by Eric C. Gray
Walking on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in 2015, Lynn and I met a guy wearing a Colorado Rockies hat. Because I never miss an opportunity to talk with someone about baseball, I started talking with Luke. He told me that his cousin, close like a brother, might have a great story to share. When Luke gave me Gregg’s email address, he cautioned me to be very delicate and sensitive when I contacted him. When I spoke with Gregg, he appreciated Luke’s admonition, but he was open to discussing the story and allow me to use it for the book. You can find it on P. 6. in the chapter Generation to Generation: Family and Baseball.
The Story Behind a Downed WW II Fighter Pilot and a Miniature Baseball Glove
Jul 20, 2020 by Eric C. Gray
Soon after I started this project, I became acquainted with Dan, who sat in the seats in the row right in front of me. We would chat during the game about the Giants, work, and trying to marry off my daughter to one of his friends; of course, I would periodically bring up my book, and the possibility of a story. Then, at a game in 2011, the season after the Giants first of three World Series Titles, Dan turned around and said, “You are in my living room!” Click on "Read More" to find out what that was all about!
Dan's incredible story involves his grandfather Frank, a Giants fan from NY to San Francisco, who was in the Air Force during World War II and carried a miniature baseball glove, given to him by his wife. You can find the story in the chapter What Baseball Means to Me on page 147.
The Story behind a Story- Two Ball Dude Stories Couldn't Be More Different!
Mar 12, 2020 by Eric C. Gray
One day early in the 2013 season, I went down to speak to the ball dude who was working the game that day and briefly relayed a story. I asked if he had a story he would like to share. And he quickly said yes. I gave him my email address and was unsure if I would hear from him. I did.
Gary Fralick (Frano)’s story just made me cry. You will find it in the chapter Home Runs on p.244. If you have the book, read it before you read the rest of this piece. It was beautiful. The power of doing the right thing, which can be just a simple gesture, and how it affected, by my count, five lives, including his own. And all the adulation he got for just doing that simple thing which, to him, was, well, what he thought anyone should/would do. Just an amazing story.
The Story behind an Airport Shuttle Ride, a Brawl and a 12 year-old girl who saw way too much
Feb 09, 2020 by Eric C. Gray
As Lynn and I were in a van taking us from our vacation spot in Cabo San Lucas to the airport, I started talking (rinse and repeat, see my other pieces) with Marie and Larry, visiting from Seattle, about the book. Naturally, I didn’t recall that we had ridden IN from the airport with them a week earlier, but I pushed through my embarrassment and peppered them with questions nevertheless. Marie said she would send me a story. Oh, she did, and you can find it on p. 241 in the chapter Home Runs!
The Story Behind an Airplane Ride and a Couple of Stories
Feb 01, 2020 by Eric C. Gray
Lynn and I were on our way to Washington, D.C., to visit our son David, and his girlfriend Lisa, in November 2015. We were sitting in adjoining aisle seats, and a nice young woman, Anna, had the misfortune of sitting in the seat next to me. It has been well documented, by self-admission, how I will talk to any unfortunate soul within range about this book. On this flight, Anna was my target...When the plane landed, and I turned on my phone to check my email; imagine to my great shock and delight, I had received a long-anticipated email from Lisa with the wonderful story (that involved me) which you can find in the chapter Triples on p.232! I read it through, smiling the entire way at my own expense, and turned to Anna. “Look”, I said, “this is amazing, this is the story I told you I was waiting for, look at the date, it is today” As promised by Anna, I also got a great story from her boyfriend Billy which is in the chapter Love and Baseball, on p.45.
The Story Behind a Story- How a Friendship is Born
Jan 13, 2020 by Eric C. Gray
The greatest and most unexpected positive outcome of writing this book has been the making of new, good friendships. I have detailed some of them already in other posts, and, as Sonny and Cher sang in 1967, The Beat Goes On. Four or five years ago, I connected with a guy on one of the Facebook baseball groups I had joined. I contacted Rick Lenaburg on Messenger, or whatever it was called at the time, telling him about my book project and asking if he had a story he would be interested in sharing. You can find Rick's story on page 213, in the chapter Triples.
The Story Behind Two New Friendships - Fastball John, DJ, and Me
Dec 08, 2019 by Eric C. Gray
One day I was messaging with a guy from Ohio. He suggested I contact someone he was friends with, former MLB pitcher John D’Acquisto, who began his career with my team, the San Francisco Giants. I was reluctant at first, because I have never felt comfortable contacting famous people, especially to ask a favor. It just isn’t my nature. Nevertheless, I contacted him through messenger, and thus began a series of conversations about the topics I love best: baseball, music and politics. At one point, as I described my project, I asked if he had a story he would like to contribute. He apologetically said he was not able to do that as he was in midst of writing his own book. When we later had a chance to meet in person, when John was on his book tour for Fastball John, he came over and gave me a bear hug like we had known each other for a hundred years.
John D’Acquisto was gracious enough to write a testimonial for Bases to Bleachers which you can find in the very front of my book before the Table of Contents.
The Story Behind a Story - Vin, Jose, Karla, David, and Me
Nov 22, 2019 by Eric C. Gray
From the outset, I knew that there were a few stories I really wanted to get from a first-hand perspective, the only way they would appear in the book. One that I truly coveted was the first home game the Marlins played after pitcher Jose Fernandez died. I heard all about the game and hoped I would find someone who was there to share that memory. I was lucky to meet David Clemmer who lives in Florida and I asked him if he knew anyone who might have been to that game in which Fernandez was honored by the Marlins, Mets and, of course, the fans. David had been to that game and did he have a tale to tell! You can find it in on p. 302, in the chapter Famous, Historic, and Memorable Games.
The Story Behind Sarah's Story - How This One Shaped Bases to Bleachers
Oct 26, 2019 by Eric C. Gray
As I read the story Sarah sent me on my phone, I had to contain myself while reading her amazing tale. It was not only one of the best, but one of the most important stories I had received. My first thought was “This is great” followed by “but there’s no place for it in my book since it isn’t game-related.” My last thought was the key one, which was that I HAD to find a place for it! YOU can find it on page 242 in the Chapter, Home Runs.
The Story Behind All the Stories - How I Did This
Oct 10, 2019 by Eric C. Gray
How did I collect the stories for the book? First I asked friends for stories, and then asked them to ask their friends. I asked people around me, whereever I was. I used Facebook to extend my reach online. For more than seven years, I could not be contained. Just ask Lynn, she will confirm.
The Story Behind a Story - Worth the Wait - A Story from My Son
Sep 28, 2019 by Eric C. Gray
The first “story” submission I got from my son at the beginning of this project was not exactly stellar. After several years of encouraging, urging, nagging and scolding, he finally sent me the story that appears on page 13 and 14 in the Chapter, Generation to Generation: Family and Baseball. I gotta say, it made me blush a little.
The Story Behind a Story - Lynn gets coffee; Eric hits a home run.
Sep 15, 2019 by Eric C. Gray
Lynn wanted her usual morning cup of coffee so we set out to find a coffee shop. Eric, as usual, was in pursuit of stories, so he found his way in -- a young woman wearing a T-shirt with the name of a baseball stadium. But it was the eavesdropper who had the real story! Find it in the chapter, Mickey, Can I Have Your Autograph , on page 269.
The Story behind a Story-The story that inspired the book
Sep 10, 2019 by Eric C. Gray
You never know when a random act and its unintended consequences can end up changing a life, in this case mine. Andy Berger’s story is about going to his first game with his Cub Scout troop. It is in the mini-chapter My First Game, on page 319. His story was also the inspiration for the book, Bases to Bleachers.
The Story behind a Story- It's a small world after all.
Aug 30, 2019 by Eric C. Gray
This is the story of how I met Dean Zemel, the author of a story in Bases to Bleachers on page 23 in the chapter Let's Beat the Traffic, and the surprising discovery we made several years later.