Wonder Boi Writes

Countdown to Heart of the Game: 5 Weeks

Alright friends, the countdown continues.

Today I want to lead off with exciting news.  I am going to auction off the very first copy of Heart of the Game (autographed of course) right here on this blog!  The proceeds will go to support my friend Lynda Sandoval’s efforts to start a yoga studio in our economically depressed area.  The book will come from my own personal author copies and should arrive well before the official ship date for major retailers. So, you can help a good cause and be the first person to ever get a signed copy of Heart of The Game weeks before it is released to the general public.  All you have to do is go down to the comments section of the blog and state your bid.  I will cut off bidding at 5:00pm on Saturday, January 31 Eastern time (not WordPress time).  The person who has the highest bid at that point gets the first book!

Alright, now it’s story time.  This story is about how I came into the world, and how something that happened simultaneous to my arrival shaped me into the person who felt compelled to write Heart of The Game.

I was born at a very young age.  I know. I hear you say, aren’t we all?  Well, I was born early, too early, actually.  So early that my mother was in Springfield, Illinois visiting my grandmother when she went in to labor.  My father was not there.  He was in my hometown, about an hour away.  As the story goes, my mom’s water broke quite unexpectedly, and she called my father.  His friend answered.  She said, “Alby, I’m having a baby.”  Apparently he said, “Yeah, I know, in a couple weeks now, right?”  She excitedly replied, “No, right now!”

Alby quickly pulled my father away from the baseball game they’d been watching and he jumped into the car, promising he’d be there soon. An hour went by, and he didn’t arrive.  Another hour went by, and my mom, now at the hospital and in full labor, was freaking out.  She just knew something was wrong, and as much as grandma tried to tell her otherwise, as time went on, she came to the same realization.  But this was pre cellphone, and the baby was on the way whether dad was or not.

But Dad had been on his way. He’d managed to get about halfway there before he got hit full on by a drunk driver. Thankfully Dad sustained only a few minor injuries, but his car was shot, and he had to wait for the police to arrive, which took time.  At least when they did get there, it didn’t take long for them to figure out who was to blame, because the other driver opened another beer right in front of them.  They took the man into custody but left poor dad sitting on the side of the road.  Thankfully  the man whose yard his car had spun into came out to check on him, and when he heard the situation agreed to drive my dad to the hospital.

Dad finally arrived, and not a minute too soon.  The nurses initially tried to make him go to the emergency room to be treated for the car crash injuries, but mom could hear them fussing over him, and then he heard her and there was no keeping them apart for the big moment.  Yours truly burst into the world not long after midnight, a month early and weighing a whopping 4 pounds.

I’ve heard that story many times. It was a favorite of mine growing up, and when my parents told it, they usually chalked all those dramatic events and the ensuing medical bills (for a few weeks in an incubator) up to my flair for the dramatic or my insistence on making a big entrance.  I’ve also heard the story cited as evidence of my impatience and my insistence on doing things when I want to, regardless of what anybody else says (kind of how I came out of the closet, too, but that’s another story).  While it’s true that I am a bit dramatic and impatient and stubborn, I have another theory about why I had to be born so early.

You see, the night my mom went into labor, my parents had been watching game six of the 1982 World Series.  The Cardinals had taken a commanding lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, saving themselves from elimination.  It was clear there would be a game seven, winner-take-all showdown, and I think even in utero, something in me knew I could not miss that event.

October 20,1982, was an important date in my life because I was born and because the Cardinals won their 9th World Series Championship later that night. It was the first time they’d done so in 15 years. They would not do so again until a couple of months before my own child was conceived, but that moment, that night, that game, was the start of a beautiful relationship.  For me, my birth, that championship, and the team who won it have always been inseparable.  I hope that comes through for each and everyone of you who read Heart of The Game.


January 27, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I’ll start. $50.

    Comment by Karen Cobb | January 27, 2015 | Reply

  2. How about $75 – you are going to do yoga right?! The whole family hopefully 😉

    Comment by Dawn | January 29, 2015 | Reply

  3. Let’s up it to $80.00. Mary Ann B.

    Comment by mabslp | January 31, 2015 | Reply

  4. How about an even $100 🙂

    Comment by lesficreader | January 31, 2015 | Reply

  5. You should this number Rachel, and yes it is a bid: $112. 🙂

    Comment by Jane Cuthbertson | January 31, 2015 | Reply

  6. How about $125 just for fun!

    Comment by lesficreader | January 31, 2015 | Reply

  7. How about $125!

    Comment by Dawn | January 31, 2015 | Reply

  8. So the auction ended at $125 for the first copy of Heart of The Game, but because of the lag on the approval process I actually got two bids for $125 before I could approve either one of them. They both came in really close together so if Dawn and LesficReader will both email me at Rachel_Spangler@yahoo.com I have a deal for you!

    Comment by rachelspangler | January 31, 2015 | Reply

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