Friday, October 11, 2013

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Major League Encounters (Larry LaRue)

Major League Encounters
It’s an exclusive club. Thirty teams, 25 players each, 750 players in all. For every 
new player that wins a place on the roster, another player is removed. A few talented players have careers that cover more than two decades. Most last less than three years. But for those who can retain a place on the roster, the money is good – minimum wage is almost $450,000 a year. And if they’re really superstars, they can end up with an annual eight-figure salary. But there is more to it than money.
The men of baseball love the game and they love the clubhouse. The game sometimes costs them their wives and time with their kids. The clubhouse is where they bond as a team and as a family. As with all families, it is a place of laughter and anger, tragedy and loss, happiness and dysfunction. And what unites that family is love. The love of a game called baseball.
This collection of encounters with some of these men by sportswriter Larry LaRue takes the readers inside the clubhouse and behind the scenes to share with the reader what these men have accomplished and the price they have paid.

Newspapers were part of his life long before Larry LaRue started working for them at age 18. His grandmother was a typesetter for a weekly in San Dimas, California, and he sat in her lap while she’d run an old lead-type machine. He was first published at 10, when a San Clemente newspaper ran his story on Pookie, his dog.
He’s been writing ever since. Five newspapers, a business journal and an entertainment magazine wrapped around brief careers as a window washer, bouncer, and private investigator. Always, he wrote.
There was a book on an American Capuchin priest who performed exorcisms in New York and Iowa, another on political cartoonists, a novel based on a news story he followed, and a book of major league baseball anecdotes. All wound up in a drawer or a closet.
Since 1976, there’s been another constant in his life – George Cunningham. As co-workers, backpackers, entrepreneurs, political opposites, writers, photographers and friends they have pursued projects and dreams together.
Reader Publishing Group may be the best yet for George and Carmela Cunningham, and LaRue was one of the first to leap on their backs.
Currently a writer with the Tacoma News Tribune covering the Seattle Mariners, LaRue’s sports writing can be found at and you can follow him and see his photography on Facebook at, Twitter at (@LarryLaRue and the News Tribune Mariners’ blog at
His most recent ambition hasn’t changed in 35 years – LaRue is writing projects he hopes Cunningham can use to get him out of the newspaper business.


    First of all I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Book Nerd Tours and Larry LaRue for allowing me to be a part of this awesome tour!! I am a HUGE baseballl fan so when I saw the opportunity to sign up for this tour I jumped at it!! I loved getting to read the inside story of over 100 baseball players and to see how they live day to day and to get to read their life experiences. 

There are over 100 stories in this book so I wont spoil it by reviewing each one. I have picked a few that i want to talk about because they grabbed my attention. 

Ryan Anderson: Dominating at 17, Out by 25

This is the story of a young man who was amazing at baseball. At 5 he was already considered a great baseball player and at:

"15 he could throw a baseball as hard as any Michigan high school pitcher ever had."

Ryan loved baseball but unfortunately he was one of those kids that grew up a little too fast. He talked alot and too much. He immediately caught negative attention by making the comment "I completely dominated them" to the media. This was after he threw his first round of great hitters such as Ken Griffey Jr and Edgar Martinez. This was the beginning of a short career for Ryan Anderson. Ryan was doing great at baseball and was on the verge of making the Mariners when he had a serious injury to his rotator cuff. Not long after he had another injury and this was the end for Ryan Anderson. By the age of 25 he was out of baseball and looking for another career. 

Bo Jackson: In An Elite World, He Was Special

I have always loved Bo Jackson. I have always admired him as an athlete. He has always been kind, honest, and loved. Fans flock around him and support him in everything he does. He seemed like just such a natural. 

"Catcher Scorr Bradley watched in their place and actually moaned whenever Jackson made solid contact."

I love the fact that the article describes how Bo reacted to his fellow players. He was always full of honor and respect for his fellow team mates and players from the opposite team. Even after Bo Jackson retired he spent most of his days at the field talking to players. 

I loved every story in this book and found myself at times smiling and at times frowning. You never realize how hard it is for these players and what they go thru. Everyone thinks they just have it easy...They play ball and make money...but its so much more than that. They have families like the rest of us..they have heart ache and triumphs that they have to overcome as well. Anyone who enjoys and loves baseball as much as me will absolutely love this book. This book will go on my shelf as one of my treasured possessions. 

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