Stories Behind the Stories

The Story Behind a Downed WW II Fighter Pilot and a Miniature Baseball Glove

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 an Airport Shuttle Ride, a Brawl and a 12 year-old girl who saw way too much

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

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

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

The Story Behind Two New Friendships - Fastball John, DJ, and Me
Dec 08, 2019 by Eric C. Gray

 One day I was messagin g 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

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. 
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