Welcome! It’s Day 1 of the “EMPTY SEATS” Blog Tour! @EmptySeatsNovel @4WillsPub #RRBC #baseball #Giveaways!

Welcome, my beautiful guests to another post (not by me) but by a fellow member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.  First, here are some goodies she’s offering, just for you following along with her tour!

GIVEAWAYS:  During this tour, the author is giving away (1) $10 Amazon Gift Card, (2) $5 Amazon Gift Cards, (2) e-book copies of EMPTY SEATS & (1) copy of the author’s acclaimed “SINGING ALONG WITH THE RADIO” CD which features many prominent folk music singers (a $15 value)! For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below as well as leaving a comment on any other stop along this tour. GOOD LUCK!

I know a lot of you are missing your sports right now, and especially baseball, due to the social distancing guidelines we’re having to follow thanks to COVID19.  Well, Author, Wanda Adams Fischer is going to take some of your pain away for the next 10 days on her “EMPTY SEATS” Blog Tour.  Yes, that’s really the title of her book and how appropriate for the times that we are living through right now.

Wanda Adams Fischer (2)

Wanda, take it away!

***

Where did it come from, this fascination with baseball?

My father was not a fan. My mother was not attached to the game. My uncle was more interested in the Friday-night fights. My grandfather, who may have liked the boys of summer, passed away in October during my eighth year of life—the year when I first started to become attached to the Boston Red Sox. I do remember that he listened to some of the games on the radio.

But that cannot explain what planted a seed in my mind more than 60 years ago, just before I turned eight years old, that blossomed into a full-blown obsession with baseball that has followed me as both a blessing and a curse over my lifetime.

In 1956, little girls did not like baseball. In fact, girls who liked sports were the subject of taunting and teasing, and the boys—well, baseball was their domain, you know. Football and basketball were off limits as well. And on the South Shore of Boston, hockey was completely king—and totally off limits.

I never developed a liking for either football or hockey. Basketball, yes, but it didn’t develop into an obsession like the one for baseball. I followed the Celtics on a casual basis.

But oh, those Red Sox.

I listened to Curt Gowdy and Bob Murphy on WHDH radio. In truth, many of the things they talked about, I had no idea what was happening. But the inflection in their voices, the passion I absorbed through them over the airwaves, and the love of the game came alive. The reverence with which they spoke about Ted Williams was magic.

I started to read about the Red Sox in our local newspaper, The Quincy Patriot-Ledger. Every day. Even in the articles, I didn’t know what they were writing about when they described double plays, infield hits, line drives or other run-of-the-mill baseball terms. I was in the second grade, and, although my reading and reading comprehension was better than many of my peers, I had no one to explain these things to me.

Most Red Sox games were only televised on the weekends, on black-and-white tv, so the radio was the place to hear the games. I sat back, closed my eyes, and imagined what it would have been like to be at Fenway Park for those games.

Since I was a Red Sox fan, the season was over by the time the World Series rolled around. My team was out of it. They finished in the middle of the pack—fourth out of eight teams that existed at the time in the American League. But they were still my team, no matter what their win-loss record was.

My Boston Red Sox.

Instead, it was the dreaded Yankees facing off against their cross-town rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers. and it was the year when Yankee pitcher Don Larsen pitched a perfect game against the Dodgers in game 5.

A perfect game. I asked my Uncle Walter, the Friday night fights fan, what that meant.

“Twenty-seven up, twenty-seven down,” he said.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“It means that the pitcher’s so good that he doesn’t have anyone reach base for any reason. No walks, no hits, no errors. No one has a chance to score. You can have a no-hitter and the other team can score on you. In a no-hitter, you can walk a batter and there are other ways the other team can score against you. But a perfect game—no chance.”

A perfect game. Wow. I closed my eyes again and tried to imagine what that must feel like to a pitcher. A perfect game.

That phrase left a mark on my mind. Baseball is a perfect game.

But I didn’t know all that much about it. In my tabla rasa of an almost-eight-year-old mind, I set out to discover what it was all about.

(Minor league baseball field in the 1960s)

McCoy

Fenway Park

It would be many years after that before I would actually get to see the inside of Fenway Park.

When we were 14, two of my friends from junior high school, Elaine and Charlotte, also loved baseball, and we convinced our mothers that were were capable of maneuvering the two busses, one train and a trolley that it would require for us to make our way from our homes in North Weymouth, Massachusetts, to Kenmore Square, then walk to Fenway.

It was 1962, and the Red Sox were not exactly a championship team. Carl Yastrzemski was probably the only recognizable name from that team, although I remember most of them—Frank Malzone (third base), Pete Runnels (first base), Gary Geiger (center field), Eddie Bressoud (shortstop), and pitchers Bill Monbouquette, Earl Wilson and Dick Radatz are the ones who come to mind.

We took the first bus from the front of Thayer Pharmacy in Bicknell Square to Quincy Square, then we waited for the second bus to Fields Corner. When we got to the Fields Corner MBTA station, we waited for the train that took us to the Park Street Station. At Park Street, we took the stairs up one flight to look for a trolley that would take us to Kenmore Square.

We really didn’t know what we were doing or where we were going. We just read the signs and followed what we saw. Of course, in the back of my mind, I was hearing The Kingston Trio singing “Charlie on the MTA”— “Did he ever return? No, he never returned, and his fate is still unlearned…He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston…He’s the man who never returned…” But I never told Elaine of Charlotte!

Two different trolleys go to Kenmore—Riverside and Boston College. (Don’t get on Arborway via Huntington—that goes to Northeastern University.) We waited for one of those and got on. We even got a seat. Back then, the trolley signs simply read “Kenmore,” and made no reference to Fenway Park.

We knew we had to pay attention.

We were positively giddy when we walked through the turnstile at Kenmore, walked up the stairs and looked around. We were in the big city. We were going to a Major League Baseball game.

“EMPTY SEATS” 

Empty Seats by Wanda Adams Fischer

They were all stars in their hometowns. Then they were drafted to play minor league ball, thinking it would be an easy ride to playing in the big time. Little did they know that they’d be vying for a spot with every other talented kid who aspired to play professional baseball. Young, inexperienced, immature, and without the support of their families and friends, they’re often faced with split-second decisions. Not always on the baseball diamond.

Connect with Wanda via…

Twitter: @emptyseatsnovel

Facebook

***

Thank you for supporting this author and her tour.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on the author’s 4WillsPub tour page

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking HERE.

33 Comments

  1. Hi Wanda, I used to play and watch baseball, but never gave much thought to the human side of it. Thanks for the eye-opener! Thanks for sharing, Nonnie.

    Like

  2. Oh my gosh, Wanda! The Red Sox have been my favorite team since 1967– Yaz, Lonborg, Pudge. I must grab your book now. Thanks so much for this uplifting, energizing moment of my day.

    Like

  3. Hi, Wanda. I loved baseball as a child, also. Your post brought back a lot of memories of camping out on cheaters hill to watch the Tacoma Cubs play. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  4. I got so excited about reading the post & responding that I forgot to thank you for hosting, Non. So thank you for sharing your site with us!!! 🙂

    Like

  5. I love this so much, Wanda! I was always more into baseball growing up, too, and I come from a family of football fanatics. I look forward to the other stops of your blog tour!

    Like

  6. Thanks, Shirley. I have many other autographs in that book. It’s something I cherish.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The only baseball I’ve ever enjoyed watching was my son’s games when he was younger. I went to a few MLB games and even a world series game, but it’s never held my attention. I am passionate about football, so I can appreciate your love for baseball. Your story sounds interesting. I’m looking forward to learning more about it and you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Yvette. Now I watch my grandchildren play. But no baseball so far this year. 😦 My son played baseball, football and lacrosse. I never liked lacrosse!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My son started with baseball and soccer at 3 years old. He played baseball for six years, but soccer for just 3 years. He ran in track for one year. By 9 years old, he wanted to switch to flag football, and he’s been play that for the past four years. And I’m loving every minute of it. 🙂

        Like

  8. D.L. Finn, Author

    Hi Wanda! I remember watching a perfect game and feeling the stress of those last pitches. My great grandparents got me into baseball as a young girl and I still love it and my Oakland As:) Thanks for hosting, Nonnie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Oakland As! As in Dennis Eckersly? So terrific. I met him at a Red Sox Winter Weekend a couple of years ago. He’s hysterically funny when he calls a baseball game at Fenway Park. I’ve never seen a perfect game, It’s so stressful to watch even a no-hitter, much less a perfect game!

      Liked by 1 person

      • D.L. Finn, Author

        Huge fan of Dennis Eckersly:) No-hitters are stressful, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sound like a movie in the making!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Baseball is the #2 sport!

    Like

    • Not to me. But I love pretty much all sports, except when my son played lacrosse, it was weird. I don’t understand cricket, either. I missed March Madness this year (I’ve been known to make a little moola on college basketball every year, but I’m not telling my secrets…).

      Like

      • March Madness betting always tend to screw my over haha

        Like

  11. It’s most important to me. I remember the day he gave it to me. I also ran into him at the Baseball Hall of Fame a few years ago (2009, I think). He was there for induction day. What an honor to shake his hand again.

    Like

  12. Hi, Wanda, good to know you. It is so interesting to hear a female raving about Baseball. I see Baseball as the game of secret signs understood only by men. I hope they never find out you know those secret signs. 😀 Thank you, Nonnie for hosting.

    Like

    • Yes, I understand the secret signs. I also know how to keep score the way they do in the broadcast booth! I had to teach my husband everything I know about baseball. He wasn’t interested in sports at all before we were married in 1973. Thanks for your encouragement!

      Like

  13. Hi, Wanda. It’s so nice to meet you here and to learn more about you. The passion you have for baseball comes through loud and clear in your words. It’s an interesting phenomenon as to how certain things grab us at a young age. Thank you for sharing that story!

    Like

    • Hi Jan–Thanks for your nice comment. And thanks for hosting the radio show today. I was on the call but don’t know if you got my comments. Excellent questions you posed. Great to meet you here as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello, Wanda! Thank you for such an informative and interesting post! Huge congratulations on your tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi, Wanda. I’ve been to Fenway Park twice in the 1980s when my daughters were playing softball. We live in Maine and Boston was a great adventure! Wishing you the best with your book–have a wonderful tour! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bette–Isn’t Fenway great? It’s way different now than it was in the 1980s. It’s such a charming place. Maine is pretty incredible as well. When I was a kid, my father always liked to take us to Nubble Light in York Beach, and my husband and I had our honeymoon in Boothbay Harbor. Thank you for your encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Wishing you great success with your book, Wanda. Enjoy your tour. Thanks for sharing Nonnie.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gwen M. Plano

    Hello, Wanda! It’s wonderful to meet you on this blog tour. Your book sounds intriguing, and I look forward to reading it. All the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    Nice to meet you Wanda Adams Fischer! I love your baseball story. The closest I came to enjoying baseball was when Ernie Harwell used to narrate it on the radio. He had such a soothing voice that I fell asleep everytime I listened to him. We loved playing it in the neighborhood and my mom was a diehard baseball and basketball, and football fan. I started liking basketball when Isaiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, John Salley, and Dennis Rodman played for the Detroit Pistons.

    Thank you for such a wonderful post and congratulations on your tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shirley–I’ve heard you on some of the online meetings. One of my all-time favorite players was from Detroit. Al Kaline–he died about 10 days ago. He was such a gentleman when he came to play in Boston. He was always nice to “us kids” back then. I have his autograph in my little red autograph book–something that’s only valuable to me. It wouldn’t be worth much to anyone else, but it’s precious to me.

      Like

      • Shirley Harris-Slaughter

        Al Kaline– you didn’t have to be a fan to know who he was. May he rest in peace. Wanda, you might be surprised how important your autograph could be.

        Liked by 1 person

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