A Year of Playing Catch officially publishes tomorrow and I am so excited I couldn’t sleep. Last night, I tossed and turned and eventually crawled out of bed around 5 AM, much to the delight of the dog and cat. I thought about the number 1 in relation to baseball and immediately remembered Jarrod Dyson dancing on third base in the 2014 AL Wild Card game. The Royals were losing and he was dancing. The A’s were two outs away from winning, and Dyson was fully enjoying the wonder of playoff baseball.
My sister has all the dancing genes in the family; my daughters can attest.
A Year of Playing Catch publishes tomorrow and I find myself incredibly thankful for everyone who helped make this story possible. Cue Jimmy Fallon’s Thank You music…
Thank you, Sophie and Kaylea, for saying Yes on January 1, 2018. Without your courage and encouragement, this story never would have happened.
Thank you, Jamie, for embracing the whimsy and wonder of the year, for reading the blog posts after I had already told you everything, for taking pictures and planning trips and laughing through the craziness and chaos of coordinating schedules.
Thank you, Mom and Dad and Katy and Joseph and Mighty Henry, for participating, for finding so many catch partners, for celebrating and cheering me on day after day after day…
Thank you, Cespedes Family BBQ, for sharing my story and connecting me to so many wonderful new friends.
Thank you, Rick and David and the miracle workers at All-Pro Automotive, for keeping the Bryan Family Millennium Falcon road worthy and ready for its next adventure.
My deepest gratitude to everyone who played catch, who took a risk and said Yes and created space in their days for us to share stories of life and joy together. Thank you for trusting me and opening your hearts and being willing to toss a ball back and forth, whether you were a rookie or seasoned pro. Thank you for helping me live one of my best years of my life.
Thank you, Robert Benson, for telling me I was writing a book.
Thank you, Mike King, for recommending and introducing me to Mark Oestreicher.
Thank you, Marko, for giving this flyover-country author and baseball story a chance.
Thank you, Zondervan, for taking a risk on a small-pond storyteller. Thank you Andy and Brian, Bridgette and Trinity, Andrea and Alyssa, for putting up with all of my absurd questions.
Thank you, Cherith and Marshall, for creating a new space for me to write stories and make new friends.
Thank you, friends, who have pre-ordered copies and told others about this story and interviewed me for podcasts and blogs and radio and TV. Thank you for your generous reviews and gracious acceptance of the world’s longest appendix. You know how to make a guy feel pretty special.
“Because of a wonderful game of catch, I spent a year going places and discovering over and over again one of God’s greatest gifts on the journey of life — friends, new and old.”
A Year of Playing Catch publishes tomorrow.
Thank you, my friends.