What a turnout! What a blast! So many people came to my book signing to talk about baseball – fans of all shapes, ages and team allegiances – and Hollister Brewing Company treated everyone to delicious food, as well as their special microbrews.
The festivities kicked off with an appearance by actor Tab Hunter, who starred in the 1958 movie musical “Damn Yankees” and is, therefore, a Yankee by proxy.
Tab told the crowd that a remake is in the works starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the Yankee and Jim Carrey as the Devil. He was so nice to take the time to hang out with me for a little while and get his copy of the book signed.
(Hard to believe he’s nearly 80 years old, right? He’s still gorgeous. My party outfit, by the way, was a Cooperstown replica shirt with the number 23 on the back – my “dress up” Yankees jersey commemorating Donnie Baseball.)
Other local luminaries included legendary jazz composer/saxophonist Charles Lloyd (if you haven’t listened to his latest CD, “Rabo de Nube,” you should) and Gayle Lynds, bestselling author of Ludlum-type espionage thrillers.
Also on hand was Bill Pintard, head coach of the Independent League Champion Santa Barbara Foresters. Bill was a scout in the Yankees organization for years but now scouts for the Angels.
He told me he’d just come back from Cuba, where the Foresters played the Cuban National Team. I said, “Oh, I’d love to go to Cuba. Any chance I could tag along the next time the Foresters travel there?” He said, “Sure. Might be a good book in that.” No “might” about it. I’m so there.
A few people made short speeches, including me, and people listened politely (i.e. nobody threw the book at me).
And then the signing and beer tasting got underway.
I signed for a Phillies fan who was basking in the glow of the ’08 World Series.
I signed for an Indians fan and his wife who bought copies of the book to send to family members in Cleveland.
I signed for a group of she-fans who brought friends and stayed until the bitter end.
I signed for my web master, the Red Sox fan, who drove over two hours with her boyfriend to show her support.
(Here I am swiping her cap and then experiencing a sharp pain in my brain. We decided it’s impossible to be a Yankee fan and a Red Sox fan simultaneously.)
And I signed for lots of Yankee fans who had wonderful stories to share. One of them came to buy a book for a friend in need.
“He lost his house in the wildfire,” the man explained, referring to the Tea Fire, which destroyed over 200 homes in November. “Worst of all, he lost all his Yankees memorabilia. I thought your book might cheer him up.”
That was the best moment of the party by far – the idea that my book would help a fire victim to start a new Yankees collection. A small thing, maybe. But it didn’t feel that way.