The paperback of “The Pitcher’s Mom” is now available exclusively on Amazon. Enjoy!
I was given a wonderful opportunity to share my own baseball story to promote “The Pitcher’s Mom.” If you like it, please push like at the bottom of the article on the HuffPo page and repost to friends. That’s the best way to keep it featured. Thanks,
Eight years ago I was sitting on some dilapidated bleachers in a pile of weeds on the visitor’s side of the baseball field at University High. My son, Graham, who had been put on the varsity as a 13-year old freshman, was there; he played an inning or two in left field, as I recall. What I remember most about that day was the man standing by the fence clicking a stopwatch off and on as the baserunners went past. He was there for a reason, and it wasn’t to cheer on the Venice High baseball team.
Writers have a funny habit of trying to see things from 10,000 feet. Or in my case, from a little bit higher. And when you pair that curiosity with a maternal desire to do whatever is necessary to support your kid in doing the thing they love, well—— watch out. Down the bleachers I went, across the rocky dirt that led to the fence to stand beside him. “What are you doing?” I asked.
“Timing the baserunners,” he said, never taking his eye off the field, the watch, and back again. For the next half hour I asked him questions. About what made a good ballplayer, a good pitcher, about how someone could recognize those things. About what a player should do to get noticed, about how much was in their control. About schools and leagues and the level of play throughout the city. He never stopped timing. I never stopped probing. By the end of our chat, he pulled out a card and handed it to me. It read:
Artie Harris, L.A. Dodgers Scout, Draft Room Coordinator, Elite Team Coordinator.
“If you have any more questions,” Artie said, “Feel free to give me a call.”
A year later, I began writing “The Pitcher’s Mom,” and when I had a draft done, I called Artie to read it. He gave me notes on that draft and several others: we met at Maxwell’s in Venice over pancakes and eggs and we talked about baseball and my kids and his: his daughter, who was younger than me, was battling cancer. He and his wife were trying to keep their grandkids busy and happy and stable. I told him I would pray for them all. When I heard, later, through the grapevine that she had passed, I sent a note, but other than that we had not been in touch since my son graduated from high school.
Last year, when the movie Moneyball came out, I almost died laughing to see Artie and some of the other scouts we’d come to know in our time in the world of scout league baseball in Southern California. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that those scout scenes are pure gold, and Artie is one of the gems of the bunch. This week, when I knew that The Pitcher’s Mom was finally going to be released, I wrote him. Within a day he responded, offering whatever help he could, including this incredibly lovely and humbling quote:
“Heather Davis has a much better insight into the whole baseball process than almost any of the parents I’ve known over the last 50+ years. If you’re a mom with a kid in the game, and you want to look at the big picture, ‘The Pitcher’s Mom’ is the book you should be reading.”
There is a wonderful verse in the Bible that says “…all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
I cannot tell you how much delight it brings me to think about that funny little chat we had on a field so long ago, and how it helped to plant the first seeds that would lead to me writing this novel, and how now, it’s come full-circle with him playing a part in helping me promote it. If you have a chance to read the book, be on the look-out for a character based on Artie and our first stopwatch chat by the fence. It is one more moment that makes me smile as I am reminded— once again —that in God’s good economy, nothing is ever wasted.
(to order a copy of “The Pitcher’s Mom” just click on the title on the menu above)
Well, the day has finally come! The book is now available for sale. To buy a copy, just click on The Pitcher’s Mom on the menu above: it’ll take you straight to the Amazon page. I hope you get a chance to read it, and share it with any baseball-loving moms and dads you might know. Please join me in praying it goes out in the world and connects with people.
The reasons I haven’t been blogging much are twofold. Primarily, it’s because of school. Not that I can’t find a moment to jot down a few words, but because the nature of the studies and the desire I have to swallow them whole is making it difficult to imagine little bite-sized reflections on, say, whether or not I think Augustine or Pelagius or John Cassian got it right on original sin and good works. Or whether Constantine did more harm than good to the church, then and now. Or the beauty of icons and the sad human truth of schisms over what feels nothing like idolatry and everything like sacred art. At least to me. Since, as I progress in my theology studies, I tend to see things differently from week to week, and find myself forming ideas that the month before I didn’t even have the words to imagine, I think it’s best not to go on record with every passing thought. At least not yet.
The writer/actress/comedienne Susan Isaacs posted a great quote by Frederick Buechner yesterday:”Faith is different from theology because theology is reasoned, systematic, and orderly, whereas faith is disorderly, intermittent, and full of surprises… Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting.”
Which brings me to my second reason for being a preoccupied blogger lately. I was given a lovely gift a few weeks back in the form of an epiphany. Seven years ago I wrote a novel called The Pitcher’s Mom, based on all the years I’d spent around the game watching my son, Graham, and coming to understand the larger picture of what it is we hope for for our kids, and what it is they’re really meant to be and do, and how, as mothers, we help to navigate all that. It’s not a “true” story in the sense that it’s not my story, but it is a book that I believe will ring true to every mother who’s ever washed a Little League uniform. And perhaps, give us each a little peace as we envision all big dreams over the arc of a lifetime.
At the time, publishers—despite their fondness for it—wouldn’t take the risk. The numbers didn’t support it. Women, I was told, don’t buy books about baseball. Well maybe, I said, that’s because no one ever publishes baseball books from the woman’s point of view.
So now we have. Today you can click on the link above and read a sample chapter from The Pitcher’s Mom. By tomorrow, you can go to that same link and buy the actual eBook on Amazon for your Kindle. If you don’t own a Kindle you can download an app that will allow you to read it. You can also buy a copy and gift it to any baseball-loving moms in your life. I sure hope you do.
Until then, we continue our journey to Easter (and Opening Day), where each of us is given a clean slate and the promise of new life.