Hello! I’m the author of ONCE UPON A TEAM: The Epic Rise and Historic Fall of Baseball’s Wilmington Quicksteps, which officially hit bookstores this week and is also available in various electronic editions.
I’m going to use this space to talk about the book and the stories in it, highlight any promotional efforts, answer questions, etc etc.
ONCE UPON A TEAM is my second book though the first I’ve written all by myself. My friend Matthew Silverman contributed to METS BY THE NUMBERS, which published in 2008 and again in 2016. In real life I’m a journalist who writes about the food business, though I am a former daily newspaper sports writer.
The book tells the story of a dominant minor-league baseball team that in the midst of a tumultuous year for the development of the professional game were abruptly promoted to the major leagues and left behind a virtually unassailable record for futility. No team in the annals of what we consider “Major League Baseball” ever posted a worse winning percentage than the Quicksteps’ .111 in 1884.
There are plenty of caveats to that, which I get into in the book. Historians debate for example, whether the Union Association should be even considered a Major League at all. And there’s no doubt the Quicksteps were actually a much better team than what their record ultimately said they were.
The book grew out of an article I wrote 15 years ago for a Wilmington variety magazine called Out & About. I grew up and reside in New York, but I attended college at the University of Delaware and worked and resided in downtown Wilmington for four years. In all my years living there I never realized that pro ballplayers walked the streets 100 years before I did, and that they were participants in such an extraordinarily unusual episode in baseball history.
If you’d like an autographed copy, or have questions or feedback, please let me know and I hope you enjoy the book!