Saturday, July 30, 2016

THE Introduction

It was my pleasure to introduce Bob Sands, one of the five authors of From Worst to First: A History of Major League Baseball in Kansas City, 1955-1985. The president introduced me by explaining that the speaker had brought his own "introducer", implying that Bob Sands might have told me what to say. Truth was, as I remarked when I began, Bob had no idea what I was going to say.

As follows:

In the interest of TRUTH in journalism, you're going to hear the truth about this book. Today. From me.

The truth is, the credit for this book belongs to Laura Hockaday and me.

There is a weekly lunch meeting of former Star employees -- and although my tenure was brief, I do qualify as a former Star employee .

Laura and I arrive prepared to discuss the important journalistic issues of the day, such as how is the Washington DC Press Corps going to report Donald Trump's newest comb-over hair style? Or, what color coat is Kate Middleton going to wear for the queens' 90th birthday party?

Bob Sands, usually the first to open his mouth, will reply with something like "Do you remember that scorching day in July, 1971 -- "

And as soon as Bob stops to catch a breath, Sid Bordman will jump right in with, "when Len Boehmer hit that line drive off Monty Montgomery -- "

Del Black can hardly wait his turn, and adds "Rich Severson caught that ball and tagged Felipe Alou for a double play."

Joe Henderson, always the most deliberative of the bunch, in his courtroom voice, will remind everyone, "But that was before Richie Scheinblum signed with the Hiroshima Carps."

Meanwhile, never one to remain unnoticed, Jim Murray will be waving his sketch book in the air and yelling "Take a look at Charley Finley being pulled around on his rear end by a Missouri Mule."

One day, Laura and I had tolerated enough. We looked at each other and Laura issued an ultimatum: "Why don't you guys shut up and write the damned book?"

So, I claim that this book would never have come into existence without the push from Laura and I.

Now, in the interest of FAIRNESS in journalism, I'm going to turn the podium over to Bob Sands, to give him an opportunity to defend himself. If. He. Can.