The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By David Stevens

Gotta be a book in there somewhere


Last updated 9/18/2017 at 4:06am

I’ve always wanted to write a book.

I’ve written parts of several books, but never an entire book all by myself.

I have some ideas:

“Just Play Catch with Jay”

I was a terrible athlete growing up. But I loved sports, especially baseball.

I could easily fill a book with inspirational stories about my heroic, um, efforts at playing ball.

I can’t remember if my Fireballs were playing the Ginners or the Motor Men, but I remember clearly the time I struck out the side as a little league baseball player.

I fanned the first two guys, then ran into a little control problem.

The first kid I hit seemed more surprised than hurt when he trotted down to first base.

But when I hit the second kid, the kid on first and the most recently plunked batter both started crying.

The other team’s manager started yelling at my manager to take me out of the game.

My first pitch to the next batter hit him on his helmeted head.

All three baserunners were bawling like babies by now, parents were screaming that I was going to kill someone and the other team’s coach yelled something about taking his players off the field for their safety.

My coach, also my cousin Kenneth King, walked to the mound and calmed me down.

“Just play catch with Jay,” he said, referring to our catcher, Jay Payne.

“Those kids you hit are not hurt. You don’t throw hard enough to hurt anybody.”

That last comment was a little disheartening, but my confidence was soon restored.

The next kid stepped up to the plate, closed his eyes and swung at three straight pitches — all of them were way outside — while running away from the batter’s box.

No runs, no hits, three strikeouts. I think we won the game, too.

“Lone Homers”

Everybody wants to write a book about Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron or another of baseball’s great sluggers.

I want to write a book about the hundreds of players in Major League Baseball history who have hit one home run.

Just one.

The profiles would include Tucumcari-born Mark Corey whose lone homer came on July 14, 1980, off of Kansas City Royals left-hander Paul Splittorff.

“It wasn’t anything special, but it seemed like it took forever to come down. It had good hang time,” Corey said when I interviewed him in 2012.

Corey had another hit and two runs batted in during that game. “So I thought maybe I could stay (in the big leagues) another day or two after that.”

The Baltimore Orioles left fielder made it on the plane to Milwaukee following the game that night, and was in his hotel room almost 30 minutes when he got a call from Manager Earl Weaver ... telling him he was going back to the minor leagues.

“That must have been the shortest road trip in Major League history,” Corey said.

“In the Kitchen With David”

While most of my book ideas are related to baseball, I’d also like to show the depth of my life’s experiences with a collection of my favorite recipes.

My friend Nancy Bohanan is a professional cookbook illustrator, so all I need now are some literary ingredients.

There are two minor problems I’ll need to overcome with this one:

1) Apparently there is a TV show by the same name, so I may need to employ a lawyer to deal with that other cooking David.

2) Brittney Cannon, a former fellow journalist, points out that I may not have enough material for an entire book since I only know how to make three things — tuna patties, grilled cheese and Doritos sandwiches.

“Perhaps a pamphlet?” she suggests.

She won’t be laughing when I hit the New York Times bestseller list.

David Stevens is editor for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: [email protected]


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