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Once Upon a Time in Baseball

My Pastime Summers

Years after his baseball career was derailed by a violent accident, our national pastime reappeared in his life – and has remained to this day. What follows is his extraordinary journey – baseball has taken him on a ride from the little leagues to the major leagues, and all stops in between. Jan’s memoir, Once Upon a Time in Baseball: My Pastime Summers, is a nostalgic look back at the golden age of baseball through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the 1950s, to a man in his fifties throwing batting practice for the newest entry in MLB, the 1993 Colorado Rockies.

The book starts on the playground when, as a passionate fan, Jan was learning to play the game, and trading baseball cards, including the time he literally gave away one of the most valuable cards of all time. In high school, college and semi-pro, he discovered his talent as a pitcher, throwing a number of no-hitters. His dream was coming true – in the game he loved so much, and was on track for what he hoped would be a career in the big leagues. Then the summer following his sophomore year in college he was almost killed in a car wreck which ended his major-league dreams, or so he thought. Decades later he found himself back on the hill, throwing batting practice for the Rockies for six years, including throwing at Dodger Stadium and Wrigley Field, and culminating in the honor of presenting his book, Legacy of a Monarch – an American Journey, the biography of an all-star shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs, at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006.

Once Upon a Time in Baseball is a look back at the glory days of baseball, when it was sports king in America. Everyone who lived and loved the game back then will find this story brings back longing memories of days gone by.

Fat Pitch

My Six Seasons with the Colorado Rockies

A nostalgic and humorous look at the first six years of the Colorado Rockies. Throwing batting practice for them during that period I got to know players and coaches alike, from Galarraga and Walker to Baylor and Leyland. This is a behind the scenes look at major league baseball from inception to the opening of Coors Field. It was an interesting and exciting journey.

Independence, Mantle, and Miss Able

How an All American City, NASA, and Baseball Made History

Independence, Mantle and Miss Able chronicles the unlikely connection and extraordinary history of baseball, Mickey Mantle and NASA in the remarkable southeastern Kansas town of Independence. The first night game in Organized Baseball was played in Independence April 28, 1930 and Mickey Mantle played his first season in professional baseball in Independence for the Independence Yankees. The first successful NASA space shot in 1959 had two monkeys aboard and one of them, Miss Able, was born in the Independence zoo. Independence, Mantle and Miss Able is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Legacy of a Monarch

An American Journey

Legacy of a Monarch is the biography of Byron Johnson an All-Star shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues during the 1930s & 1940s. It is a history of not only a black baseball player, but of an African-Americans journey through American History, with a forward by President Bill Clinton and an introduction by Don Baylor, Legacy of a Monarch was honored and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006.


From the small town of Washington, Missouri came Kyle "The Breeze" Cummings, who as a boy was a pitching marvel, only to have his career cut short by a gruesome accident on the mound. His life would change that day, as would his impact on the game he so loved. From a rural high school field to game seven of the Fall Classic – love, death, war and murder would shape his life and the timeless game of baseball 


Prisoner of Faith

A Journey from Hopelessness to Salvation

Forty-five years ago, my life was derailed from its path, or maybe it was the path God had chosen for me all along. My life was filled with neglect, loneliness, and lots of violence. I ran away from home at the age of twelve and never went back. In 2017, after four suicide attempts, I found a church in the obituaries of a Denver newspaper. I decided to write the church looking for help and met my now-brother in Christ, Jan. Some may say this is a miracle, and I think so, but it's also about God's power and forgiveness and shows that even in the darkest confines of prison He can perform a miracle.

If You Come To a Bridge, You've Gone Too Far!

Unbelievable Tales of Over 30 Years of Insurance Investigations

If You Come to a Bridge, You've Gone Too Far: The story of over 40 years of unbelievable tales of insurance investigations in and around the Rocky Mountain region. From restaurants on snow capped peaks to houses of ill repute to gold mines in Wyoming we covered it all while dealing with attack dogs, bears and people who weren't always glad to see us. Who ever wrote, "You can't make this stuff up," had this book in mind. 

Eli Cooper

A Saga of the Old West

The story of a young boy who sees his father killed by bank robbers and his pursuit of these killers which turns him into what he's chasing with an ending he never expected.

Jack Zane: Evil at Storm Lake

Digging up your family history can be fascinating and terrifying. From Kansas to Louisiana to Storm Lake, Iowa, Jonathan Smyth begins a search into his past only to discover it is clouded in secrecy and mystery. Although being pulled into an ever darkening hole, he must know the truth. What he finds both devastates him and changes his life forever.


A political murder mystery set against a backdrop of intrigue and intolerance. Chicago, 1960, with the Presidential candidacy at stake; Cornell Eastman becomes entangled in deception and assassination. The political maneuvering and treachery could well cost he and his family a chance at the White House. The suspicious death of his closest confidant and aide takes Eastman on an unwanted and devastating journey.

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