Monday, November 27, 2006

Favorable review

When I saw the envelope, with the return address of Richard Lindberg, I knew what it was about. Lindberg is the unofficial historian of the Chicago White Sox and author of several books, including the authoratative "Chicago White Sox Encyclopedia."

Lindberg was good enough to give me a "dust jacket blurb" for the book. However, his comments were prepared in advance, after reading a handful of chapters, before the manuscript was final. What would he think now?

With your indulgence, I will share his critique:

"I received the book in the mail this weekend, and wanted to commend you for the engaging and thought-provoking narrative. It is a fine book, well-written and thoroughly researched. It appears that you have solved the Mostil-Faber riddle nicely, although new questions are are raised about Barrett and Mostil!

"McFarland did a nice job of design and layout, and the picures enhance the strength of the text. A biography of the old Redhead was long overdue, and you have succeeded in filling an important gap in the historiography of the White Sox, as well as Iowa baseball.

"My congratulations to you, and all the best!"

Whew! After working on such an extensive project, and becoming immersed in it, it's hard to know whether others will be interested or whether it will be accepted. It's exciting (for me at least) to receive this affirmation from an author and a leading expert on White Sox history.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Writer's cramp

Good night at River Lights

I was gratified by the healthy turnout at River Lights on Friday night, when co-workers, friends and baseball fans stopped by for my booksigning. I don't know how many books I autographed, but there was only a lull of five minutes during the two hours I was "on duty."

Thanks to all of you who stopped by, and others who couldn't make it but left books for me to sign.

Some folks asked when else I would be available to sign. Here are a couple of opportunities, one here in Dubuque and the other in Chicago.

Thursday, Dec. 7 -- Carnegie-Stout Public Library, 11th and Locust, Dubuque. 7 p.m. I will give a presentation about Faber and the biography project in the Auditorium, on the third floor.

Saturday, Jan. 6 -- Emile Roth chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (Chicago). Chicago Public Library Roden Branch, 6083 Northwest Highway, Chicago, Ill. 60631. 1 p.m.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Book 'opens' in Cascade

The first book-signing for Red Faber: A Biography of the Hall of Fame Spitball Pitcher took place Monday evening in Cascade, Iowa, Faber's hometown.

The occasion was the annual meeting of the Tri-County Historical Society, the organization that first stepped up to support and encourage my pursuit of the biography project. The group made its archives available to me, and generously granted permission for publication of several historic Faber photos from its files.

Monday night, I presented a slide show on Faber's life, answered questions, signed a few books -- and experienced a sense of closure. My three-year project started in Cascade, and I was pleased to bring it home to that community.

Monday, November 06, 2006


The book is here!

The UPS truck today delivered the first copies of the Red Faber biography to the house today. I'm not sure what that means for deliveries of online orders or the shipment to River Lights Bookstore, but they can't be far behind.

My first book-signing event will be in Faber's native Cascade, at the annual meeting of the Tri-County Historical Society. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hotel Faber

Red Faber's parents, Nicholas and Margaret Faber, owned and operated the Hotel Faber in downtown Cascade.

With the exception of a few years around World War I, when they leased the facility, the Faber family operated the hotel from its construction in 1893 until Mrs. Faber, then a widow, sold it in 1944.

(Photo courtesy of Judy Donovan.)