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Justin Manjourides

The World’s first ever book about beep baseball features the Boston Renegades!

The World’s first ever book about beep baseball features the Boston Renegades!  Author David Wanczyk published a book about beepball, which he first became interested in during the title game of the 2012 season.  He caught the fever and then decided to follow the sport intensely for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons. Dave spent a lot of time with the Renegades in the hotel, on the bench, on the phone and around the World Series.  He even spent time at the McCormick household.

On the Radio

Recently, Dave hit the airwaves to promote his new book called Beep Inside the Unseen World of Baseball for the Blind.  On Friday, March 30th David appeared on BYU Radio on a show called Top of mind with Julie Rose.  Julie was a well informed interviewer and talked about the book with Dave for nearly 50 minutes.  Dave even read some passages from the book to give you a flavor of his writing style.  You can listen to that interview here

Buy it on Amazon

The book is available on Amazon for purchase in both hard cover and kindle version and can be purchased here 

Beep and the Renegades

It was an honor to share the sport with Dave.  He became part of our team and got to know many of our athletes and volunteers.   Here is a small quote from the 218 page book.

“…The Renegades spooled off stories about blindness and baseball and let me into their team jokes, their judgements of other players, and their nicknames for each other.  Larry Haile, who travels all over the world to ride on subway systems that intrigue him is “L train”.  Shayne Cantan, who is of Hawaiian descent and had gained weight since his last season, is “Hawaiian Lunch.

I asked “Lunch” and “Train” and the coaches what would constitute success in the series.

I think everyone has a different definition of winning the tournament,” coach Justin Manjourides said.

“Oh, start coaching girls’ softball, for god’s sake,” pitcher Ron Cochran said (Cochran does, it turns out, coach his daughters’ softball teams.)…”

Wanczyk and the Boston Globe

Photo by Dina Rudick/Boston GlobeIn May, 2014, Wanczyk wrote an article about our very own Joe McCormick.  That article appeared in the Globe Magazine.  This article was amazing and did a great job of promoting the book almost four years before it was published.  You can read more about that article here

Who did he talk to from the gades?

Dave interviewed many of the Renegades including: Shayne Cantan, Ron Cochran, Rob Dias, Bryan Grillo, Lisa Klinkenberg, Justin Manjourides, Joe McCormick, Joey O’Neill, Joe Quintanilla, Aqil Sajjad, Sean Sweeney, Rob Thayer, Dino Vasille, Rob Weissman and Guy Zuccarello

He also spent time with some of our fans including Ashley Borders, Sarah Ellen Cochran and Dawn McCormick

The Renegades Speak at SABR

Logo for SABR

The Society of American Baseball Research is an organization made up of baseball statisticians and baseball historians.  Many have heard of this organization through a team called SABR Metrics.  Bill James ( who is now employed by the Red Sox) helped make this group famous.

This year the current president of the Boston chapter, Joanne Hulbert reached out to us and asked if we would like to get involved and we jumped at the opportunity. They set us up as a speaker for their fall meeting in downtown Boston.  Their previous meeting had speakers such as Tommy Harper, Peter Gammons and Sox Skipper John Farrell speaking.  We were asked to follow that act…something that can’t be accomplished…but we accepted the opportunity and was given an hour time slot.

We started the talk off with showing our movie trailer to the audience to give them a feel for the sport.  a few “oos’ and “ahs” came from the crowd.  Coach Rob made them laugh when he  followed the clip saying, “I’m not that mean”.  Joey Buizon took the stage next and talked about his story and talked about our ball, the base and the blindfold.  Joe McCormick then took center stage to discuss his story and the basic rules of the game. Next up was Justin Manjourides who discussed defense…the side of the game that wins championships.  He chatted about how we coach it, the role of the spotters.  Justin was in his element as a statistician himself and he brought with him a few of our charts to explain things to the crowd.  Lastly, Rob presented hitting to the crowd and talked about how the offense works and the roles of the pitcher and catcher.  We had a very long Q&A afterwards and the crowd was clearly very interested and engaging.

We had hopes that some of the SABR members would be interested in getting involved.  Many of them purchased a copy of our film and signed up for our news letter.  To date we have signed one new volunteer from this meeting.  Her name is Yuki Ara.  Yuki is from Japan and a huge baseball fan who resides in Brookline.  Yuki is very excited to take part in our program.  She was a doctor in Japan and is willing to join our medical team.  We also plan to have her work with Lisa Andrews to help the team with the stretching to help minimize injuries.  Yuki is also eager and willing to work on some off the field projects as well.

Joanne has approached us with a bunch of ideas recently and we hope to cultivate this relationship more in the near future.  The SABR members are very well connected to the Boston baseball community.  We think with their involvement some doors could be opened for us with the Red Sox, NESN and maybe more.  The exposure they could help us with could help us draw more coaches, more players and hopefully some sponsors along the way.

We are excited about the opportunity SABR is giving us.  Many of the renegades are true baseball fans and this relationship could benefit both parties well.  SABR day is January 24, 2105 and we hope to have more plans for the future.  SABR is always looking for new members.  If you are interested in joining check out their membership page here.  Or you can just attend the local Boston events and give a $10 donation when you come.

 

Wrong Way shows the crowd the blindfold we use to play the sport

Joe Mac discusses his story and the basic rules of the game

Justin shows the crowd our defensive strategies and the role of the spotter

Rob talks about hitting and how we teach it and the role of the pitcher/Catcher in beep baseball

The Renegades at center stage taking questions