Dear Mayor Giuliani,
On December 1, 2006, I sent a letter as one American mayor to another, to Mayor Bloomberg of New York City regarding our open challenge of the baseball books. I have enclosed that letter. To my surprise, Mayor Bloomberg did not answer. On January 2, 2007, I again sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg regarding our challenge. Through his press secretary he responded, "We are not interested in participating."
Although I don't remember sending his press secretary a letter, the Mayor obviously feels he is too busy to respond to a letter from one American mayor to another. Mayor Giuliani, I have great respect for the job you did in turning America's largest city around and of your calm and confident handling of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Even though you no longer serve as Mayor of New York, you are now America's Mayor. So let me issue this challenge to you, a man with a competitive spirit, a person who loves New York baseball and a mayor who respects his peers even if they represent a small town in Southern Illinois.
One of the top selling baseball books in the nation is The Echoing Green by Joshua Prager. It is a great New York story about the 1951 playoff game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, featuring Bobby Thomson's shot heard round the world! It is a well written story about a famous New York event, written by a seasoned and accomplished Senior Special Writer for the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Prager lives in New York City. It is a well-reviewed story published by Pantheon, a division of Random House, the largest publisher in the world, also located in New York City.
In contrast, Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War and a Field of Broken Dreams by Gary Moore is a uniquely Sesser small-town-America story about a young man few people have heard of-yet. It is Mr. Moore's first book, and its publisher is a small independent press of renown. Playing with the Enemy is the recipient of the 2006 Nonfiction Book of the Year by the Military Writer's Society of America. Although it is a well-written, award-winning, and heartwarming story that touches everyone who reads it, Playing with the Enemy has never received a New York review. Unlike Mr. Prager's book, ours is not connected with any famous event, and so does not have associated with it any particular limelight.
Consider this letter my open challenge to America's Mayor to let readers decide for themselves.
If you, Mayor Giuliani, will encourage the mainstream New York media to fairly review Playing with the Enemy, our Sesser small town All-American baseball story, I will guarantee The Echoing Green will get a fair and honest review from our local media, including the Southern Illinoisan newspaper, headquartered in Carbondale, Illinois. We would greatly appreciate your public acknowledgment of this challenge and a nudge from you to your friends in the NYC media.
I trust that the most powerful mayor in the world is up to this challenge, and does not fear a literary duel of hometown baseball books.
Mayor Giuliani, this letter is a serious challenge and we will sincerely hope you will answer our call with the competitive spirit of "Rudy the Rock!"
Sincerely and confidently, from one mayor to another,
The Honorable Ned Mitchell
Mayor of Sesser, Illinois
PS: I have enclosed a map in case you would like to visit my office and discuss this challenge in person.