A trip to a Barnes & Noble allowed a Montpellier high school graduate and his family to host an author for a baseball game on Saturday.
Spencer Durham, a 2013 Locomotives alumnus, was shopping in the bookstore when he stumbled upon Ethan Bryan’s “A Year of Playing Catch: What a Simple Daily Experiment Maught Me about Life”.
The book documents Bryan, an author based in Missouri, trying to play wrestling with someone every day for a year, interacting with different people and the lessons he learned from listening to their stories. The trip took him through 10 states and approximately 12,000 miles.
Bryan’s exploration inspired Durham so much that he invited him to his family’s Field of Dreams baseball field, 42 Field in Pioneer, via email on June 9.
Bryan responded within minutes and the duo have set up a moment to play baseball with others, which will begin around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Bryan also does a morning book signing in the Durham Family Yard – where 42 Field is located – at 18333 County Road 1050 in Pioneer.
“It’s probably the most unique thing we’ve done since I’ve been on the pitch. We certainly never had someone to come and play baseball with us, ”said Durham, who is also a former athletic intern at Bryan’s time and current education journalist at The Kokomo Tribune in Kokomo, Indiana. “We had guys from Dayton, Columbus and Metro Detroit and friends, friends of friends.
“It’s pretty cool and pretty unique.”
Ahead of Saturday’s games, Bryan will give three new baseball gloves to the North Central High School baseball team around 4 p.m.
Bryan will also hold a field service at 9 a.m. on Sunday and visit the Pioneer Chamber of Commerce on Monday.
And Durham said that everything that was going on in the area outside of baseball, Bryan coordinated.
“The email I sent him was, ‘Hey, if you’re ever around, come play ball’. Whatever else he does, he did it on his own, ”said Durham. “… He’s the one who made a whole weekend, which is really cool. You can see that baseball is a passion for him because of everything he does.
“Another unique thing is just the awareness that we’re going to be doing this weekend with the pitch. Ethan told me this morning that three North Central baseball players would be there to get the gloves. Really turned into some kind of community thing.
“I mean, I’m trying to draw a crowd,” Durham said. “I try to fill our driveway with cars and people and stuff. For us to play, we manage to go out and sometimes, that’s the only time I see people.
“But it’s also cool to see friends, families and neighbors hanging out, mingling, chatting and hanging out while watching baseball.”