The Warsaw Sparks: A Memoir

The Warsaw Sparks: A Memoir

by Gary Gildner
     
 

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In 1987 noted poet and author Gary Gildner went to Poland on a Fulbright scholarship to teach at the University of Warsaw. One January day, a Warsaw sportswriter came knocking on Gildner’s classroom door with a problem and a request. The professional baseball team he had organized the year before could not win; would the professor—who he had heard was… See more details below

Overview


In 1987 noted poet and author Gary Gildner went to Poland on a Fulbright scholarship to teach at the University of Warsaw. One January day, a Warsaw sportswriter came knocking on Gildner’s classroom door with a problem and a request. The professional baseball team he had organized the year before could not win; would the professor—who he had heard was a baseball player—come help?

Told with gripping lyric simplicity, The Warsaw Sparks is about an American’s experience coaching a baseball team in Poland and about hope and memory and the education of a poet. Prepare to meet an unlikely cast of characters, including Stan Musial, Lech Walesa, Dariusz the Organizer, and such Sparks as Froggy, Pizza Hut, the Cubans, and little Jerzy Bin the catcher: “Call me George, Coach. Like George Herman Babe Ruth.”

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

“A fresh and fascinating memoir . . . a story charged with human interest, clean prose, and original perspectives. . . . Mr. Gildner's book is a heavy hitter.”—New York Times Book Review
Detroit Free Press

“Gildner’s memoir offers plenty for baseball buffs; it presents a gallery of colorful characters, Polish and American, and it provides fascinating insight into life under a decaying communist regime.”—Detroit Free Press
The Sporting News

“A splendid book, weaving the progress of the Sparks’ 1988 season with Gildner's observations on Polish life, his reminiscences of his family's Polish heritage, his thoughts on how baseball can grip those who do not grow up playing the game, and, yes, even some poetry.”—The Sporting News
USA Today

“[A] funny, sad, and bittersweet account of coaching Polish baseball players who were ‘trying to catch up on something they didn’t even know they missed.’”—USA Today

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803217560
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

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