Exciting news! “Dizzy Dean and the Gashouse Gang” has officially hit the shelves!
The book is GORGEOUS. Ed Koehler did a phenomenal job on the artwork. It is exactly the vintage, painted, old-timey sports feel I was hoping for. This book is also larger than my other three, which is kind of fun. I am very happy with how it turned out.
I just can’t believe it’s officially HERE!
Two years ago I met with my publishers at Reedy Press about an “idea” they had for me. They handed me a book called “The Gashouse Gang” and enthusiastically proclaimed they’d like to publish a children’s book about this ragtag bunch of ball players, and that they wanted me to write it.
Well, I love the Cardinals as much as any red blooded St. Louisan, and I’m a bit of a history buff, but my first reaction was….um, what?! A book about a 1930s ball team written by…ME? No way.
I’m not terribly big into sports trivia. And ask any of my Zoo Crew softball teammates, they’ll tell you I’m not even very good at knowing all of the rules in baseball. But I told my publishers I’d do a little bit of research and get back to them.
I can still remember sitting in the waiting room of the Tire and Auto center at Wal-Mart last summer. I have no idea why I brought my car to Wal-Mart for whatever I was having done (Oil change perhaps?) but I clearly remember browsing all the usual fun aisles (Hanes tees, hair products, snack foods etc.) while they worked on my car and once I’d run out of options there I figured “Well, guess I’ll head back to the waiting room and start that Gashouse book…”
Sitting in that greasy, over air conditioned room I fell in love with Dizzy, Joe, Pepper, Branch, Frank, Paul and all of the Gashousers. They were hilarious! So silly. So weird! And such phenomenal ball players!
I decided then and there, this was a story I’d like to tell. I also figured that any writer worth her snuff should be able to research and write about any random topic. So, depression-era baseball it was!
Flash forward a year, and many, many research books later, and I was chugging away on the Dizzy serial story for the Missouri Press Association. The feedback from those stories was very positive and got me even more fired up about writing the children’s book.
Now, one year after that, it’s officially here! I am so excited to introduce this generation to Dizzy and friends. I also hope that there are quite a few grandparents out there ready to reminisce about their sports heroes with their grand and great-grandchildren.
When you go to Busch Stadium to see a Cardinal’s game, you might notice “Dizzy’s Diner” and the “Gashouse Grill” but most kids have no idea what these terms refer to.
I hope this book will open a window into a bygone era in our city’s history to this generation of baseball fans. These guys are such characters, they deserve to have their story told.
Welcome to the world, “Dizzy Dean and the Gashouse Gang.”
I really love this book. And, hey, as Dizzy, himself, would say, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can back it up!”