Wednesday, October 23, 2013

To all the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and Baseball fans alike...

As you prepare for this years World Series, pause for a bit and think back to your high school days. To those days of summer when you were either playing high school baseball or rooting for your team. Or perhaps when you're cheering on as a proud parent, watching your son or daughter nervously step up to the plate, your fingers crossed, sitting on the edge of your seat in the bleachers, hoping they'd get a hit; pitch a strike or turn a double play.

Sure your focus is on the Cardinals or Red Sox, but they've had their one shot at forever, many times over.  The Red Sox' drought of WS appearances and wins is a fading memory and the Cardinals, well, they've been there the most with the exception of the Bronx Bombers.

But during the off days of the series, pick up Chris Ballard's book called, One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season .

 One Shot at Forever  is a wonderfully written book about a small town in Central Illinois, its HS baseball team and their unconventional coach. Released in 2012, Ballard ventures  to Macon IL to tell us about the summers of the early 1970s, a High School baseball team and an unbelievable season.

If you've ever played  a neighborhood game of baseball, tee-ball, colt or pony league, American legion or HS baseball; if you enjoy a great human interest story; if you ever grew up in a small town, if you've ever found yourself rooting for the underdog, you'll love this David vs Goliath type book!

 When Lynn Sweet, an English teacher with a unique style, was offered the job of coaching he thought, sure, it might be fun. And that's how the story begins.

But it's more than a baseball story. It's a story of influence and inspiration; team work and tenacity; caring and community. Ballard walks us through poignant moments of Macon's Ironmen baseball seasons while "touching all the bases" of the biographies of players and their families.

He puts you in the bleachers during the games then reunites you with the grown men of that magical season reflecting on a memorable time of their boyhood.
Its been said, one misses 100% of the shots never taken, well, the Macon Ironmen of the early 70's took their shot.  A shot that stayed with them...forever.

Watch a video on the book...One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard

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