Review Fix chats with author and journalist Mark Healey, who discusses his exciting new Gotham Baseball-Inspired book, Gotham Baseball: New York’s All-Time Team, detailing its origin, creative process and goals.
Review Fix: What inspired this book for you?
Mark Healey: Well, when I turned 50, I looked at my career and I looked at Gotham Baseball as a concept that had plenty of critical success but needed to find a bigger audience. I’d always had too many balls in the air to really focus on it by itself. Matt Cerrone, who has been a friend for a very long time, was the guy who first put the idea of writing a Gotham Baseball book in my head. It took me a while to figure out what kind of book I wanted to write, but as I describe in the first chapter of the book, Marty Appel was the person who helped me decide the direction the book would go.
Review Fix: How did the 15 years prior to the start of Gotham Baseball shape you as a journalist?
Healey: I was an actor for most of it. I learned how to listen, a very necessary skill (that needs constant work). A big part of listening is simply observing other people. Another is the search for authenticity, a search for the truth. I also spent time teaching, which demanded those same skills.
Review Fix: What was the research process like?
Healey: A ton of reading, which I love to do, but also incredibly time-consuming. I work full-time as Editor In Chief of the Wave in Rockaway, NY, so I read and write thousands of words a day. It was challenging to come home and do it all over again. Then there are the numbers. I loathe math, but baseball is a numbers game these days. I wrote this to illustrate my struggle http://www.gothambaseball.com/2018/01/a-conversation-with-espns-dan-szymborski/
Review Fix: Any fun moments?
Healey: The most fun was getting the chance to interview David Wright for the first time in more than a decade. He’s a gracious guy, always was. But he really went out of his way to spend as much time with me as he could. Collaborating with Todd Radom and John Pennisi on the imagery of the book was incredibly rewarding as well.
Review Fix: What did you learn that you weren’t expecting?
Healey: That Marty Appel thought Joe Torre is the best manager in New York baseball history
Review Fix: Who do you think will enjoy this book the most?
Healey: The hardcore baseball fan who loves to argue, the casual baseball fan who wants to learn more about the game, and the baseball fan who loves the art of the game.
Review Fix: What are your goals for it?
Healey: That people enjoy it and share it with others, and come to or invite me to talk about the book with them.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Healey: I’m planning an audiobook and an online store that features Gotham Baseball gear.