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Dispatches from the Road: San Jose

February 24, 2008

During a reading of Miko Kings at the Martin Luther King Library in San Jose, California, on February 11, a handsome man, about 25 or 26, walked into the room wearing a baseball shirt and pants, and ball cap. He carried his well worn, but belov’d baseball glove, and a ball that had been signed by his heroes. I couldn’t help but wonder what he was looking for when he came into the library that evening. Maybe a story about the purity of the game? I was reading from my novel about Indian baseball players in 1907, the men trying to hold onto something wholly theirs against the oddsmakers: the gamblers and saloon keepers of their day. But after reading last Sunday’s New York Times story on Roger Clemens: his alleged steroid use, (human growth hormones), what they do to a body’s mind, poor Clemens sullied reputation, and Baseball’s management’s sub-text: money. Anyway, I think I figured why this man came in from the cold dressed in his player’s uniform. He wanted to escape baseball’s headlines news and hear a story about the players old-fashioned love of the game. After all, “it is what it is,” to quote Bud Selig.

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