The civil engineering profession had been extremely gratifying. Over a span of forty years, ten in the public sector and thirty in the private sector, I had accomplished most of what I wanted to do. Director of Engineering, Chief Engineer, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and President were titles which afforded me the opportunity to learn what civil engineering was all about, effectuate New York metropolitan area capital improvements, and mentor young engineers.
The light bulb went off one day in the fall of 2010, and a spontaneous resignation was the result. My wife of 32 years had passed away in 2006. My two sons, both college graduates, were successful in their respective companies. It was time to put my creative spirit to the test.
Over the years I had several ideas that I eventually Copyrighted. One was the “Athlete For Hire.” I decided to develop that concept into a TV script. With that completed I began rethinking my desire to write about my baseball hero, Mickey Mantle. I was curious about comparing Mickey with two other New York center field icons, Willie Mays and Duke Snider. Having been born in 1949, the period during which “Willie, Mickey, and the Duke” played at the same time, 1951 through 1957, was not very vivid in my mind. My early youth arguments were always Mickey Mantle vs. Willie Mays. The appreciation for Duke Snider was lacking. I wanted to research those years thoroughly and determine if there was really a reason to include Duke in the debate about “best center fielder in New York.”
How interesting is this going to be to others? I thought; particularly because there had been several books which explored the exploits of the threesome. I needed a hook. What if I told the story from the perspective of three friends in 1957? No introduction of any statistics after that time. Only the time period they each patrolled the outfields of Ebbets Field in the Borough of Brooklyn, the Polo Grounds in the Borough of Manhattan, and Yankee Stadium in the Borough of the Bronx. Adding my own experiences as an eighth grader at St, Joan of Arc in the Borough of Queens would make the story unique I thought. Historical fiction. I hope it works for you.