Saturday, September 25, 2010

Justin Hull Inteviews Mike Cameron for Fred Merkle Day 2010


Sporting Chance Press author Mike Cameron celebrated Fred Merkle Day by discussing his favorite sports figure with sports talk host Justin Hull of the Home Stretch. Hull asked Cameron about the state of baseball in 1908, the Merkle play itself and life after 1908 for the man who was Public Bonehead, Private Hero.

Link to the Home Stretch Show and Interview from HERE.

The photos above are from the Library of Congress Bain Collection and are rarely seen.

More on Mike's book, Public Bonehead, Private Hero HERE.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Author Celebrates Merkle Day on Radio


Sporting Chance Press author Mike Cameron will be celebrating Fred Merkle Day, tomorrow by discussing his favorite sports figure with sports talk host Justin Hull of the Home Stretch.

Public Bonehead, Private Hero, tells the complete story of the number one sports scapegoat of all time, Fred Merkle. On September 23, 1908, 19-year old Fred Merkle was the youngest player on the New York Giants--slotted into the lineup at first base to replace a wounded veteran. The pressure was on when Merkle came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied 1—1. With two outs and Moose McCormick on first, the youngster rifled a single to right field easily advancing the slow-footed Moose McCormick to third. Shortstop slugger Al Bridwell, up next, whacked a low liner that knocked the second base umpire down on its way to shallow center field. As McCormick crossed the plate with the “winning run,” Merkle turned from the base path and raced towards the clubhouse. Modern fans know that even if a team scores on such a play, the runner should advance to the next base and tag it to avoid a force-out. The score is nullified on the force out. Unfortunately for Fred Merkle, in 1908 this rule had not enforced when the winning hit traveled to the outfield. September 23 however, was different.

The Cameron interview on Justin Hull’s Home Stretch Show on AM 1570 The Score is set for 4:30 p.m. (steaming at www.am1570thescore.com) on September 23. Cameron, a long-suffering Cubs’ fan is also happy to report that the Merkle story and his book was a topic of conversation in the Cubs’ booth during the Cubs-Giants match on Tuesday, September 21, 2010. If you are wondering whom the Cubs will be playing this September 23—well, it will be the Giants.

More on Public Bonehead, Private Hero.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nicolette House Appears at Rainbo Sports

Professional ice dancer, figure skating instructor and Sporting Chance Press author, Nicolette House signed copies of Maddie Takes the Ice at Rainbo Sports LLC, 1440 Paddock Drive in Northbrook this past Saturday, September 18, 2010. Thunderstorms swept through the Northbrook area on the day of the signing, but many young readers came to express enthusiasm for Maddie Takes the Ice, listen to the author read from it and obtain their own signed copies.

Young skaters enjoyed meeting Nicolette in person and the Rainbo Sports was a perfect venue to meet with young readers. Maddie is a compelling figure skating story for ages 8-12 and will be getting a lot of attention in schools and libraries as an America's Battle of the Books selection for 2011.

In Maddie Takes the Ice, there is enough drama to keep kids turning the pages. The book also offers encouragement to kids who may feel a little overwhelmed by their own pursuits as they read about how Maddie faces similar problems.


Nicolette is a third generation figure skater and coach following in her mother's and grandmother’s footsteps. Her mother, Ilona House coached Nicolette and has coached in Chicago and the northwest suburban area for many years. Nicolette’s grandmother, Marylin House, was a skating instructor at Ohio State University.



Nicolette House is a four-time U.S Figure Skating gold medalist. Skating since the age of three, she went on to compete in European, World, and international ice dance competitions with her skating partner Aidas Reklys. Along with her Aidas, the author recently created After Dark, a skating show featuring several top international skaters. Ms. House is working to obtain a degree in psychology, communications and media studies at DePaul University.

The author makes presentations to elementary and middle schools to discuss both figure skating and writing. Maddie Takes the Ice is in many of the northwest suburban libraries. Teachers and school administrators who would like Nicolette to present at their school can write her in care of Sporting Chance Press, 1074 Butler Drive, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or email the publisher at lmj.norris@sportingchancepress.com .
More on Maddie Takes the Ice.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Castro Gets Penance for Violating McCarthy’s Fourth Commandment


Contributed by Sporting Chance Press Author, J. D. Thorne [Public Domain Photo gamefreak777/wikimedia commons]

This week Cubs manager Mike Quade benched Starlin Castro for lapses in concentration. Castro who is only 20 years old, lost track of the number of outs in the seventh inning of Sunday game against the Mets. Castro was picked off after he wondered off the base path thinking the inning was over. Although he has been a ray of hope this season for the struggling Cubs, the Cubs have occasionally paid the price for his inexperience.

Castro took the benching in stride and was quoted as saying, ''I prefer playing, but I think sometimes you need to take one step back so you can watch and learn more, and then put both together.''

While he may not have realized it, Castro breached one of the original 10 Commandments of Baseball penned by the legendary manager Joe McCarthy in 1921.

Commandment Number Four: “Keep your head up and you may not have to keep it down.”

McCarthy was well aware of how important it is to keep your “head in the game” having managed for about 15 seasons in the minors when he wrote the Commandments. Later he would take the helm for the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox where he insisted that his players follow the fundamentals.

Quade can take some comfort though in the positive response to the benching by his young star. A negative attitude can disrupt a player’s attention even further so punishment can lead to more poor play. McCarthy would coach his players not to waste a minute grieving over last inning’s error or strikeout. Being ready for the next play or the next at-bat is what counts. As Joe McCarthy said, “You can’t freeze the ball in this game. You play until the last man is out.”
More on The 10 Commandments of Baseball.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SCP Author in Sun Valley


Sporting Chance Press author Nicolette House has been heading out west to Sun Valley Idaho each summer for training and this year was no exception. As a full-time student at DePaul and a skating coach, it is not easy to fit a few weeks in for that special lift the famous ski and skating center gives winter sports enthusiasts. It was more business than usual for Colette as she was promoting her middle grade skating novel, Maddie Takes the Ice, published this spring by Sporting Chance Press of Crystal Lake.

After getting back in touch with the Sun Valley figure skating community and getting back to her “high elevation” fitness level, Nicolette was guest of honor at a special book signing at Chapter One Bookstore on August 11, 2010.

According to Nicolette:

Sun Valley is loaded with skating enthusiasts and young skating students. Figure skaters are typically good readers so we had a nice crowd for the signing. I still cannot get over the feeling when a young skater asks me for my autograph on one of the books. It has really been a thrill, but the biggest thrill is hearing from kids who have read the book and tell me how much they liked it. As a first time author, you just do not know how readers are going to react. It’s been all positive.


Nicolette is making presentations to elementary and middle schools this school year to discuss both figure skating and writing.

I am looking forward to talking to kids about skating and writing – two of my favorite subjects! Kids hear about many bad things happening today and there are so many bad influences. It is great to have created Maddie as a means to reach kids who may feel a little overwhelmed by their own pursuits. I know I did at times. The good things we pursue --figure skating, team sports, music, gymnastics, ballet, academics—you name it, they all create stress. When kids read about other kids who have gone through what they are going through, at least they know they are not alone. We are not providing counseling in Maddie, we are just telling the story of a girl who has her own problems in part because she doesn’t confide with the one person who could help the most—her mom. Once Maddie opens up, it gets a lot easier for her.


Maddie Takes the Ice is in many of the northwest suburban libraries including Arlington Heights Public Library. For those readers who want their own copy and want it signed by Colette, she will be appearing at Rainbo Sports in Northbrook on September 18th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Colette will be reading from Maddie Takes the Ice at 11:30 a.m. Maddie is also available from the Sporting Chance Press website. Teachers and school administrators who would like Nicolette to present at their school can write her in care of Sporting Chance Press, 1074 Butler Drive, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or email the publisher at lmj.norris@sportingchancepress.com .