Way back last November, there was some sort of cosmic cataclysm in which the scrappy San Francisco Giants won the World Series. I've written plenty about that, so I won't rehash it. During that time, I spent many a morning reading the sports page of the San Jose Mercury News and got to know the styles of many of their writers who covered the Giants in 2010. Andrew Baggarly (aka: Baggs) quickly became one of my favorites. And I soon discovered that he also keeps a blog, Extra Baggs which is often even more entertaining than his game stories.
After the Series, Baggs went home to Oregon and started work on a book about the San Francisco Giants, their history and their road to the first World Series Championship title in San Francisco history. Naturally, I had his book, A Band of MiSFits the instant it was available. And I devoured it quickly.
Baggs did a few book signings up at AT&T, but I was never able to make it up there to see him...and it's a long way just to stand in line to have a book signed. But right when we got back from San Diego, I noticed he said he'd be in San Jose signing books, just a few days later. This was not an opportunity I was going to pass up.
So, we went for dinner at nearby Santana Row and headed to Barnes & Noble, where Baggs took questions for awhile, showing off that he's really pretty eloquent in addition to being ridiculously knowledgeable about both baseball and the Giants' cast of characters. I didn't ask any questions myself, but I loved hearing his answers on everything from instant replay to Buster Posey.
In the end, we bought an additional book for Smunch to have signed. And I thanked Mr. Baggarly for teaching my son to read with his great stories about the Giants. It wasn't faint praise either. I'm not at all sure Smunch would have developed his love for reading without the sports section of the Mercury.I was pleased to see, after we were done getting our books signed, that the line for Baggs' autograph stretched far through the store. It's good to know there are so many fans of the written word among all those Giants fans!