Hometown writer, inspired by Southborough baseball, raising funds for Special Olympics – 1/10

by beth on January 6, 2016

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Above: Town author Kirk Westphal tapped into Southborough baseball and other “backyards and sandlots” for inspirational true stories (Images from author’s website)

Southborough’s Kirk Westphal will be signing copies of his book this weekend. Proceeds from his book No Ordinary Game: Miraculous Moments in Backyards and Sandlots will go to Special Olympics of Massachusetts.

According to a past profile by the Community Advocate, Westphal’s inspiration includes experiences from seven years coaching Southborough Youth Baseball:

While serving as a Southborough Little League board member for two years, Westphal supervised tryouts and met an 11-year-old boy who was nominated for the [Eric Green] sportsmanship award.

“He had taken two years off from playing baseball and all other sports and activities,” he explained. “The reason was that his grandfather had been in the hospital, dying, and he wanted to spend every weekend with him while he was living his last year or two on earth. The boy was now concerned about getting back into sports and being behind his peers.”

Westphal’s story chronicles the boy’s struggles and successes, which demonstrated perseverance and good sportsmanship.

You can read more of CA’s feature here. Better yet, head to Barnes & Noble in Framingham on Sunday, January 10th to pick up a copy of his book. He’ll be signing them from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

On Westphal’s own website, he shares more about his inspirations and intent: 

I found myself with two true stories from my own days of pickup basketball that had become somewhat astonishing with a bit of age. And these two pieces made me realize that if incredible moments in sports can happen to a right fielder / scribe / 6′-1″ weak side forward, then they could happen to anyone else, too. I think it’s time we tell some of our own stories as if there were fifty-thousand fans pumping their fists in the air for us. That’s what this book is about.

But this book is not just a compilation of my own stories. It also contains the remarkable stories of how others have taken the field, and moved me to tears.
Their stories need to be told, and in honor of the spirit that brought us together on a backyard, field, or sandlot, I will use the royalties from this book for the benefit of a youth athletic team somewhere that needs a bit of help with facilities, equipment, uniforms, or whatever their need may be. Let’s give as many people as we can the opportunity to create and tell their own stories, and then let’s raise our hands in the air for them.

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