For the chance to win a free print copy of Gods, Gloves, Pop-ups, and Ponies by Chris Smith, please leave a comment on this post with your email address included in the body of the comment. This giveaway is open world-wide, and will end at 3 PM (EST) on October 12th.
Gods, Gloves, Pop-ups, and Ponies is my first published work but it is a work 44 years in the making. 44 years is how long I have been playing, enjoying, learning, and loving the game of baseball. At the age of 18 my dream of becoming a professional baseball player was taken from me due to a career-ending injury to my hip. At a loss for what to do with my life, a life that had been focused 100 percent on the pursuit of baseball, I turned to books and the love of literature. It was at that time, sitting under a tree in Florida reading a book by Herman Hesse, that I came upon the desire to one day write a book that some young person would read under his/her own tree which would then have a profound impact on their life. I have finally completed the first part now I just need to get the work into the hands of a tree-loving truth-seeker.
Gods, Gloves, Pop-ups, and Ponies tells two tales, one is the true story of my Pony League All-Star and our run to the national World Series in 1975. The other story is the telling of a spring baseball season in Colorado at the helm of the high school team that I coach. Through these interwoven time periods and events the deeper understanding of how sports and baseball in particular can help mold and create young men of character is revealed. The book is both instructional as well as motivational.
The game of baseball is more than just a game it is a way of life that has always tested me. Every time I took the field I was presented with not only the conflicts and critical requirements of the game, but also the pressing challenge of deciphering the inner workings of my emotions and my personal engagements with those around me. Down through the years the game has taken on a much larger meaning than just the throwing and hitting of a baseball. Once I started coaching the game to young men on the cusp of adulthood it became clear to me just how powerful the lessons learned on the field could be. After absorbing the blows of the game for my forty odd years I knew it was time for me to give back the knowledge I had gleaned from all those innings. I gave back as a coach, but also as a human being who has traveled long in life with the aid of the lessons learned on the field. Perhaps you think I give too much value to a simple game. Perhaps. However, what I do know is that I would not be the father, son, coach, player, and person I am today without the time I spent throwing and hitting the baseball.
Chris Smith lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and is finishing his 7th year coaching baseball at Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado. Originally from the Chicago area where he started his baseball love at the age of 7, he continues to play the game at the age of 52, finishing his 19th year playing men’s adult baseball. Injured in college in his pursuit of making it to the “big show” he now works hard to teach the nuts and bolts of the game of baseball, as well as the life lessons the game has hidden inside, to the stubborn young men who only think they have it all figured out…just like he did at their age. Chris’ wife Mary and two daughters indulge his passion for the game and encourage him to teach the game’s lessons through fungo’s and the written word.
Gods, Gloves, Pop-ups, and Ponies is Chris’ first book.
One mother with a teenage boy said “Gods, Gloves, Popups, and Ponies” was like a manual for her son! Baseball dazzles us with its complexity and beauty but also for its ability to mirror so much of the human spirit. The ups and downs of the game along with its style and grace have forever been a source of inspiration to baseball fans and especially to the young people of this country. Gods, Gloves, Pop-ups, and Ponies explores the effect baseball can have on the development of a young man’s path to manhood. It is first about how a young man discovers what it means to be awakened from the fog of his adolescent life in his life-changing summer chasing the Pony League title in 1975. It then brings the story to the present moment as we learn how baseball can help shape a young man’s character as the young boy is now a coach and we are taken through a season with the high school-baseball players he helps guide and direct. Through his many years allowing the game of baseball to mold and define his character the author brings to us a rare look at just how powerful the lessons found on the field can be to the creation of outstanding young men.