I know what you’re thinking: why is An Unconventional Librarian reviewing a book about sports? Because I love baseball?
Not really. More because there is a lot of local Philadelphia references in the book that many people will enjoy.
Long Shot by Mike Piazza is his autobiography that hits the stores this week. And if you know anything about Piazza, you’ll know he’s from the Philadelphia region, Norristown and Phoenixville areas, specifically.
That’s where I get involved. Piazza’s family has long standing ties to this area. As you read the opening chapters you’ll see how Piazza’s grandfather and father grew up during the hard times of Norristown in the early 20th century. Hard times is probably an understatement. Poor and hungry. Not exactly what you think of when you think about Mike Piazza, right?
But what you learn from their meager family beginnings is that the family instilled a work ethic and family unity that positively affected Piazza’s success. I can’t speak to Piazza’s baseball career because I know very little about the sport, but what I’ve learned from his autobiography is that he became smitten with the game as a little guy and Dad’s work ethic and pushiness turned Piazza into the famous ball play and potential Hall of Famer that he is today.
In addition to lots of stats and baseball information, the book includes delightful family photos that make the book feel more like sharing a family scrapbook than a famous autobiography. Let me rephrase that, a family scrapbook that contains photos of Tommy LaSorda, and other famous ball players.
Wednesday, February 13 my bookstore, Towne Book Center & Cafe, will host Mike Piazza for a book signing. I’ll be sure to get my copy signed and impress him with my knowledge of baseball, which up until now, has involved beer, popcorn, and hot dogs.
I can’t wait!