Baseball executive-turned-author Bob Wirz is headed to Nebraska for a whirlwind junket to discuss his recently-published book “My Nebraska”, which lovingly recalls growing up in the Cornhusker state in the 1940s and 1950s.
Wirz, who only moved out of Nebraska so he could continue his passion of working in major league baseball, will travel through much of the state to conduct book chats and signings.
What was it like when your hometown, the Sandhills village of Halsey, had fewer than 150 residents? What did young people–actually those of any age–do for work and just as important for fun?
Wirz, who got to live his passion of working at the highest levels of baseball public relations for the Kansas City Royals, the Office of the Commissioner in New York City and through his own communications business, lovingly empties out his memories of everything from counting millions of tiny trees in the Nebraska National Forest to playing Sunday town team baseball where the age of teammates might range from the early teens to the 50s.
The colorful cover of My Nebraska, which features two paintings from former Dunning, NE rancher/artist Laron McGinn that depict the beautiful landscape of rural Nebraska and the ranching lifestyle, sets the tone for the book that is filled with intimate stories and many memorable pictures.
It is “a wistful and endearing love letter to Nebraska filled with memories shared by generations raised in small towns throughout the Midwest”, praises Shari Veil, who heads up the journalism and mass communications department at the University of Nebraska, where Wirz graduated in 1959.
“Bob is a longtime friend of mine through baseball who has a great passion for our state”, adds Jim Abel, who owns the professional Lincoln Saltdogs in the Capital City. Former Los Angeles Dodgers executive Fred Claire wrote the book’s foreword in which he said the author’s “journey from a tiny town…to working for the top office in major league baseball is a story of dedication, love of family, and realizing dreams can come true”.
The author has lived in Connecticut since leaving the Midwest in 1974, but has “persistent lovely thoughts” of Nebraska “and I am sharing them with my fellow Cornhuskers, the honest, hard-working, and down-to-earth people who populate or have previously populated this area”.
Wirz’s appearances are as follows:
*July 26, 3:00 p.m. in Lincoln at “From Nebraska Gift Shop” in Haymarket Square.
*July 28, 10:00 a.m. at the Hastings Library. (Includes a talk and donation of memorabilia from the 1960 American Legion World Series. Throws a ceremonial first pitch at a Hastings Sodbusters game at Duncan Field, the evening of July 27.)
*July 28, 4:00-9:00 p.m. Kearney, at the Grow Nebraska booth at the Buffalo County Fair.
*July 29, 2:00-6:00 p.m. Thedford in the pavilion at the Thomas County Fair.
*July 31, afternoon-evening Broken Bow, exhibit hall at the Custer County Fair.
*August 1, 7:00 p.m. Dunning at the Sandhills Heritage Museum.
*August 2, 4:00 p.m. Mullen at the Mullen Arts Center.
In addition to the book-signing stops, “My Nebraska” is available through numerous bookstores plus Amazon.com, BN.com and the publisher, Dorrance Publishing of Pittsburgh, PA (firstname.lastname@example.org). For autographed copies: www.WirzandAssociates.com.