Chapters

“Introduction”

“Qablunaaq on Hudson Bay”

Brent is invited to travel to a mysterious island on Hudson Bay after a series of summer clinics are offered in Canada’s Arctic. Come on an unforgettable boat ride and learn about Inuit culture including a legend that resulted in him crawling on his hands and knees out of respect.

“Have You Ever Heard of Jim Abbott?”

During an Envoy trip to the Czech Republic Brent encounters a young baseball player born with an affliction similar to a former Big League pitcher. Through a fellow Envoy the youth is connected to a new inspiration.

“Just a Ball”

A priest at a Benedictine monastery in Saskatchewan held on to one of his most cherished  possessions until his death. This story examines Father Mathew Michel, Babe Ruth, and whether a baseball memento  can simply be just a ball.

“Blame Joe”

On a cool October night in 1993, Joe Carter (of the Toronto Blue Jays) hit one of the most prolific home runs in Major League history to win the World Series. His fateful, bottom of the ninth swing also caused something beyond a celebration in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“Hitters Are Like Snowflakes”

Nothing like getting lost during a walk in a foreign country—unless you are stuck alongside a former journeyman coach in the Boston Red Sox organization. Learn about The Torch’s  life in the game, the business of baseball, and what it is like to be so close to having your ultimate dream being reached.

“Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Will Set You Free)

Reflections of a life changing walk through the remnants of Sachsenhausen—a German concentration camp just outside of Berlin.

“Out of His Left Mind”

Bill Lee is one of the most colorful baseball figures to ever play the game and proves it each and every day, year after year. He was a former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher who, even if you didn’t always agree with him…made you think. Read about the black-balled hurler’s one-off run at the US Presidency as a Rhino party member on a satirical Canadian ticket.

“Africa Diary I – Uganda”

Based on an actual diary kept from Brent’s first trip as a Envoy Coach with Major League Baseball International this piece reflects on what it was like to be transported into the daily realities of Uganda.

“Africa Diary II – Zimbabwe”

The passion of Zimbabwe baseball is exhibited including a session introducing the game to a group of teachers in Harare. A continuation of a diary from his first MLB Envoy trip.

“Following Terry Puhl”

The journey of two Saskatchewan Big Leaguers who appeared over two decades apart in the MLB,  and how times have changed in terms of following the pros from the 70s, 80s, and 90s versus today.

“Long Toss”

Brent’s translator, a French Canadian now living in Sweden, provides one of the most unbelievable stories over pizza about a message in a bottle he threw in the water and its unlikely resting place.

“Svenska Kocken” (Swedish Chef)

Brent serendipitously comes across a real-life version of character from The Muppet Show–in Rättvik, Sweden.

“If You Build It…”

A recent interview with writing inspiration and literary legend W.P. Kinsella.