The big day
Playing Through the Pain, my long-awaited biography about Ken Caminiti, is available for purchase at bookstores and online retailers.
The big day is here!
Playing Through the Pain, my long-awaited biography about Ken Caminiti, is available for purchase starting today at bookstores and online retailers. Go out and buy it! Request it! Tell everyone you know about it!
I'm filled with so many emotions, the biggest of which is excitement. I'm so proud of this book and honored to bring these stories forward.
I'm thankful for those who've helped me along the way, whether finding time in their schedules to talk to me, or explaining a detail, or providing support, or even just an outlet to talk about 1990s baseball.
With the book being published, I'm doing a lot of remembering, too. Remembering those who are no longer with us, starting with Ken.
But also sources like Roger Samuels and Richie Lewis, and Kevin Towers and Rob Picciolo, and Roger Jones, whose family took Ken and other Astros minor leaguers into their home, and Ryan Burda, a sweet, soulful man who attended rehab with Ken ... and those I didn't get a chance to talk to, like Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman ... and Andy Comeaux.
Andy grew up an Astros fanatic. He had cystic fibrosis, and as a boy, he attended games through the organization 65 Roses. When Andy got to the Astrodome to meet his heroes, he was frozen in fear until Ken talked to him and put him at ease. I interviewed Andy in 2014, when the Astros were dreadful, and he lamented the state of his favorite baseball team. Three years later when Houston won the World Series, I thought of Andy -- I was so happy for him! -- and I went to send him a message to congratulate him on the Astros' championship, and that's when I learned that he had passed away, and I found myself a puddle of tears.
Fast forward to writing the book, and I made sure to include Andy. I wrote my draft, and when I got my edits back, an editor had taken out my 108 words about Andy. Maybe the story wasn't crucial to a casual reader (the editor also didn't have the context of why I included the story) but to me, these were the most important 108 words in the book. I was agreeable about most of the suggested edits, but on that one, I wasn't going to compromise.
Anyway, the story about Andy is on page 123.
Loss hangs over this entire project, in little ways and big ways, but exploring loss and sadness offers an appreciation of life.
Ken Caminiti lived an outsized life, an important life, and he impacted so many other lives. I'm honored to write about him, and I'm thankful that this book offers people the chance to remember him and appreciate him anew.