STRATFORD, Conn. -- In a decades long career in public relations and marketing, Bob Wirz, a Stratford resident, headed up the Information Department in the Baseball Commissioner's Office for ten years.
He's been publicity director to the Kansas City Royals.
And he sat in with manager Bob Lemon on the New York Yankees' victory flight after the history Bucky Dent home run of 1978.
His book "The Passion of Baseball," (Ravenswood Publishing) is a celebrity-filled story of living out his dream of working in baseball.
"The years I was in the Commissioner's office we were often at odds with George Steinbrenner. I'm not a Yankee fan," he told Daily Voice.
"The book is not about the games, who wins, who loses, but they are behind-the-scenes stories," Wirz said, telling how he "really got serious" about writing it 10 years ago.
"I wanted to get it down and had been working more and doing a lot of writing for clients. I hadn't devoted enough time, and finally decided to get the darned thing done. So I bore down."
Wirz said he belongs to a writer's group in Stamford called The Writer's Block, where he found out about the publisher he chose for his book.
Growing up in Nebraska, Wirz played baseball in high school. "I am left-handed so pitched and (played) first-base."
"This book is for any baseball fan. Also, I've had other people tell me, more than my own thinking, that it's almost a tutorial for the college student who is trying to find their way. The book talks directly, or indirectly, about perseverance and dedication," Wirz said.
He gave the example of his public relations firm, whose clientele was built up over time. The book recounts how to work towards success in any field.
Wirz feels fortunate to belong to a small group of individuals living out their career dream.
"I got to work in baseball with some of the big names in the game," he said.
Along with his time at Major League Baseball in New York City, Wirz' work with the Royals is covered in the 300-page book, among many stories.
These include his experiences during the 1989 San Francisco-Oakland earthquake-interrupted World Series; crossing paths with actor Jack Nicholson during an All-Star Game; the joy of induction weekends at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.; and his last visit that stretched into four hours with former commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who had gone from being his boss in NYC to his friend and business partner.
The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iTunes, Kobo or WirzandAssociates.com and eBooks are available from B&N and Amazon.
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