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A Day at Shea: Inspiring Dreams and Uniting Communities Through Baseball



In the spirit of National Reading Month, we delve into the heartwarming and inspiring children's book, "A Day at Shea," based on the true story of a young boy named Chris from Brooklyn, New York. The authors, Edward and Christina Sledge, share their insights and motivations in an exclusive interview with Kinerskorner.com, shedding light on the writing process and the impact they hope the book will have on young readers.


From Love Story Memoir to Children's Book:


The journey of "A Day at Shea" began with the authors' love story memoir, "The Story of Christina and I." During the process of writing, Christina discovered a childhood tale of her husband, Edward, attending a Mets game alone at the age of nine in 1986. This captivating story planted the seed for a children's book, highlighting the determination and grit that led to Edward's solo adventure.



Why a Children's Book?


Edward, a United States Army veteran with a BS in history, and a bachelor's degree in social science, and Christina, a bestselling author and filmmaker with a computer science degree, may seem an unlikely duo for a children's book. However, inspired by Edward's childhood adventure—a solo trip to a Mets game at the age of nine, fueled by sheer determination and a ticket give away on a box of Frosted Flakes, they saw an opportunity to share an empowering story. Christina explained, "We wanted to bring this to the forefront." Edward added "Wherever Christina goes, I just follow her. I just show up and follow her. She's bad. So she wanted to do it. So I said, okay, well, it's your vision. You want to bring it to life."




From His Story to Her Story:


The decision to tell the story from a female perspective was intentional, with Christina wanting to pay homage to her husband and empower young girls who love sports. Edward supported the idea, recognizing the importance of female representation in the world of baseball. "I wanted it to be a boy. I wanted it to be him. But he said, no, let's make it a girl and really give an opportunity for girls to see themselves, especially girls who love sports, baseball specifically, to see themselves and relate to it," explained Christina.


Determination and Grit: Shaping Chris's Character:


Edward's childhood experience of attending a Mets game alone at nine years old reflected his determination and self-reliance. Asked about the impact of that moment on his life, Edward shared, "I always had that determination to be like, 'Okay, I could do this by myself.'" This theme of determination and grit became central to Chris's character in the book, emphasizing the power of self-reliance.


Dream Big, Ask Parents First:


The authors stress the importance of encouraging children to dream big and pursue their passions. The story highlights the love of baseball and the imaginative spirit and dreams of the protagonist, Chris. However, it also emphasizes the responsibility of asking parents before embarking on any adventure, adding a valuable lesson for young readers.


Homage to Mets Legends:


The book pays homage to Mets legends Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, who are fondly referred to as the "doctor" and the "straw man." The use of these nicknames was a nostalgic choice, reflecting Edward's childhood heroes. The authors expressed their desire to share a message of inspiration through these iconic players' stories.




A Personal Touch: Meeting Gooden and Strawberry:


While the authors haven't had the opportunity to share the book with Gooden and Strawberry, they express their eagerness to do so. Edward highlighted the personal connection, saying, "I know that they know that they inspire people in their lives, but they inspired me to do whatever it took to get to that game, and I didn't think anything of it. I just had to go see it." Meeting these legends would be a dream come true for Edward and Christina.


Impact on the Community:


The authors have embraced the opportunity to give back to the community through their book. Partnering with the Brooklyn Cyclones, they sponsor the Home Run Readers program, encouraging children to read books for free tickets to baseball games. Their commitment to community engagement extends beyond the pages of the book, with plans for book signings and potential future projects, including short films and animations.



Baseball as a Unifier:


Reflecting on the divisive times in the world, the authors touched upon the unique power of baseball to bring people together. Christina observed, "I think once you're in that stadium, it's about the game, you know? It's really about the game." They emphasized the unifying nature of sports, where people of various backgrounds can share a common passion, fostering a sense of community and togetherness.Edward reflected on the universal appeal of baseball, noting, "Once you're in that stadium, it's about the game." Regardless of race, age, or background, the love of the sport transcends divides, fostering a sense of camaraderie among fans.


In conclusion, "A Day at Shea" transcends its children's book genre by delivering a powerful message of determination, unity, and the transformative power of a shared love for baseball. Through the lens of a heartwarming true story, the authors hope to inspire young readers to dream big and encourage a sense of community that extends beyond the ballpark.

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Wow! This was an outstanding and inspirational read!!! This story is insane.

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