Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,000, sits two hours from anything. There, between the corn fields and hog yards, is a ball field with a bronze bust of a man named Merl Eberly, a baseball whisperer who specialized in second chances and lost causes. The statue was a gift from one of Merl’s original long-shot projects, a skinny kid from the ghetto in Los Angeles: Ozzie Smith.
“The Baseball Whisperer” traces the remarkable story of Merl Eberly and his Clarinda A’s baseball team, which he tended over the course of five decades, transforming it from a town team to a collegiate summer league powerhouse. Along with Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, future manager Bud Black, and star player Von Hayes, Merl developed scores of major leaguers — six of which are currently playing.
More than a book about ballplayers who landed in the nation’s agricultural heartland, “The Baseball Whisperer” is the story of a coach who put character and dedication first, and reminds us of the best, purest form of baseball excellence.
Join Michael Tackett for our intimate Clubhouse conversation on Thursday, September 22.
For a guaranteed seat, purchase of a signed book or Bergino Baseball Clubhouse gift certificate/scrip required. Books will be signed/personalized at the event.
Michael Tackett is an editor in the Washington bureau of “The New York Times.” Previously, he was a managing editor for “Bloomberg,” the Washington bureau chief of the “Chicago Tribune,” and a national editor at “U.S. News & World Report.”
Complimentary beer/whiskey for all ticket holders