How are the Dodgers different than most other baseball teams or sports franchises? There are more similarities than differences, but for the purposes of this book the differences were easy to find. The Dodgers have been around way longer than most teams (125 years since joining the National League). The number of people who have worn their uniform, or worked for the Dodgers in another capacity, is staggering. One was Jackie Robinson. They’ve called the two largest media markets in the United States home, which is rare if not unique.
Did you choose a monumental game like Jackie Robinson breaking the sports color barrier or the first-ever televised game or did you choose something significant like a perfect game or a World Series win as your greatest game? I’d rather people read the book to find out, but let’s just say I had my Top 3 games picked out before the other 47 games -- and I didn’t decide the order of the Top 3 immediately. They were (in no particular order) Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, a perfect game, and a World Series win.
My dad grew up in Brooklyn rooting for the beloved Bums, is there a feeling in LA that the team is still a NY transplant that broke the hearts of millions like my dad, or is that part of their history now a distant memory for just a handful? There’s really no in-between feeling on this topic from my experience. They’re either an L.A. team or a Brooklyn team in your heart. It’s not a Brooklyn team to most of us in Los Angeles, not just because it’s Los Angeles but because most people living in Los Angeles were born after the move. Of course that wasn’t always the case, but it is now. I see hipsters wearing the Brooklyn “B” hat around town and I doubt they carry any heartbreak.
What challenges did you have in putting your book together? The two biggest challenges were making sure I didn’t miss any big games, particularly from the late 19th/early 20th centuries, and making sure the book had some balance (between eras, between playoff/non-playoff games, between games that were dramatic for how they ended and games that featured dramatic individual performances). Beyond that, doing research and interviews, and making old baseball games readable to a new audience, are all easier said than done.
Any advice for a struggling writer? The more you read and write, the better of a writer you’ll be. If you’re constantly reading good writing, not only will you be inspired and challenged but your brain will absorb new words, and new ideas for constructing sentences and paragraphs and stories. Challenge yourself to write something you’ve never written before. Don’t worry about who’s reading. Rinse, wash, repeat, and take breaks to clear your mind. Have fun.