May 29, 2003
Words From the Old Ball Game
With Seth Swirsky's Beatles-style haircut and soothing voice, one would probably hand him a guitar rather than a baseball bat. But if Swirsky -- a pop songwriter who has written gold- and platinum-selling albums for artists like Celine Dion and Taylor Dane -- were asked his preference, he might opt for one of each.
"I love baseball for the kind of background to our summers that it gives us," Swirksy said. "It's like a soundtrack to our great summers when we're growing up."
In his new book, "Something to Write Home About" (Crown, $25.95), Swirsky pays tribute to the sport that has played such an important part in his life. A collection of personal baseball memories written to Swirsky by everyone from Paul McCartney, to the grandson of the inventor of the Wiffle ball, "Something to Write Home About" affirms Swirsky's assertion that "baseball connects us."
Of all the letters in the book, Swirsky's favorite is that of Jewish Dodger Shawn Green, recounting the time he found himself on the field with two other Jewish players around Rosh Hashana.
"The idea that three Jews were kibitzing at home plate in major league baseball is so great," Swirsky said. "It was so particularly Jewish."
The third book in a trilogy, "Something to Write Home About," is the completion of an effort that began during the baseball strike of '94 -- around the time that Swirsky's eldest son, Julian, was born. "I thought to myself, if I write to some players and they give me some interesting answers, I would love to save this for my son," Swirsky said.
While Julian is only 9 years old, Swirsky hopes his son will one day appreciate the sport as he does.
"I go to a baseball game [regardless of] who I'm going with," Swirsky said. "It doesn't matter whose playing. If my dad wants to go to a baseball game, it is a yes, because men don't ask each other to go to a park and have a picnic -- that's how men go to a park."
Seth Swirsky will be signing copies of his book, "Something to Write Home About," on June 7 at 2 p.m. at Borders in Chino, 3833 Grand Ave.; June 8 at 2 p.m. at Borders in Glendale, 100 S. Brand Blvd.; and June 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at The Grove, 189 Grove Drive. For more about Swirsky, visit www.seth.com.