“The All-Star Closer Who Is Trying to Save Bookstores” – when I read this Wall Street Journal headline, I was intrigued. Here’s the scoop: It turns out that Sean Doolittle, a baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals, is a road warrior with a mission: He’s a bookaholic who’s decided to share his love of books while making scores of road stops during the baseball season. His plan: to seek out an independent bookstore at every stop he makes and share his book-loving adventures with his 100,000 Twitter fans. Love it!
According to the Wall Street Journal, he’s happily taking advantage of his baseball career, which allows him to travel to cities from coast to coast in order to “use his platform as a famous athlete for a cause that matters to him.”
“I want to support local businesses,” Doolittle said. “I want to support these places that are active in their communities, that are trying to be supportive and inclusive spaces for their communities…. These places like Amazon, they might sometimes be a little bit more convenient. They might be a little bit cheaper. But they’re not furthering anything as far as authors’ careers or supporting their workers in the same way.”
Sean is on the move. Before a New York City game, he stopped in at Three Lives & Company in the West Village and while playing the Colorado Rockies in Denver, he satisfied his huge appetite for books at the legendary bookstore, The Tattered Cover. “In indie bookstores, Doolittle feels comfortable,” the Journal observed. “With his bushy red beard, hipster glasses and jean jacket, ‘I blend more into my natural habitat,’ he said.”
In launching his book adventure, Sean Tweeted to his followers “One thing about my job that I’m grateful for (there are many) is the opportunity to experience so many different places during the season. Once a road series I try to get out & explore the city we’re in. This year my goal is to make it to an indie bookstore in each city we visit.”
What a fantastic idea! I just love the fact that a hard-charging, baseball-flinging pitcher enjoys spending his off hours ferreting out bookstores, chatting with the owners and staff, and then curling up with a good book. When he’s not on the pitcher’s mound, he’s in a bookstore – what a great ambassador for indies! At a time when so many athletes are busy tarnishing their images, it’s great to know that Sean is out there pitching to help save indie bookstores! More than that, as a role model, he’s giving kids a great message: You can be an athlete and a scholar – you can use your talent on the ball field and also feed your mind. Fantastic. Bravo, Sean – inspire on!
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