Praise for Stealing Home
“Stealing Home shows us a father-son road trip to the shrines of baseball. Fueled by Seybold’s determination to become a better dad, the journey becomes a quest to reconcile the past and future. Part baseball, part fatherhood, and all boyhood, this memoir plays out the mystery of love and family. The magic lies in the storytelling that travels the road to something perfect.” — Donna Johnson, author of the award-winning Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir
“Authentic, emotional, and brave, Ron Seybold’s memoir is a timeless journey of the universal struggle to rise above the past. Stealing Home is a beautiful testament to the power of a father’s love.” – Claire Ashby, New York Times best-selling author of When You Make It Home
“A beautifully written, touching memoir about family dynamics, revealed in the bonding of a father and son.” — Larry Brill, author of the award-winning romance Deja Vu All Over Again
“Ron Seybold mines memories of the prickly relationship with his father to excavate nuggets of wisdom for his own relationship with his son. Baseball is the shared language he uses to mend familial wounds from a divorce. Evocative and masterfully written, Stealing Home is a winner.” — Scott Semegran, award-winning author of The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island
Foreword Clarion Review: Five Stars
Former sportswriter Seybold’s affecting memoir is about using sports to break negative family cycles and become a better father. Steady in its narration, the book captures everyday scenes through a father’s eyes, picking out and highlighting details that indicate his deep love for his son and his difficulties when it comes to pursuing a perfect outcome. The text is evocative and careful, and even scenes that are filled with sports jargon or inside jokes resonate.
Stealing Home is a poignant memoir about the intersections of sports and fatherhood.
Focused on Seybold’s efforts to connect with his son Nicky, the book follows their rigorous road trip. Seybold is seen struggling with fatherhood thanks to the memory of his disastrous relationship with his own father, who was stoic and erratic. Hoping not to repeat those mistakes, he plans his father-son trip with meticulous detail, moving across eight states to see nine baseball games. The pair cross state lines, stay in sketchy motels, and eat at White Castle on their trek to visit iconic stadiums including Wrigley Field. As they bond, Seybold reflects upon the past.
While another impetus of the road trip is the hope of witnessing a perfect game—a rare event in baseball—Seybold’s account of the trip includes revelations and goes in unexpected directions. His sense of his own fatherhood drives him, and he worries that his divorce will result in his losing Nicky. Their shared camaraderie around sports and pop culture references is a guard against this. Even poor decisions, like yelling at Nicky over trivialities, are driven by a passionate desire to be a better father.
The text is dynamic as it balances scenes in the present and the past. The distances between games are covered, but so too are troubles with Seybold’s father, his broken marriage, and the recent past. Events in the present prompt memories, rounding the narration out and drawing out negative and positive aspects of how fathers might act. This storytelling method is engaging and satisfying.
Though they are few and far between, photographs are punctuate the text’s events. They family members and stadiums help to ground the story in its realism. Seeing the joy on Nicky’s face, or the stoic nature of Seybold’s father, hammers home the book’s points, complementing scenes and layering in emotion.
“A beautifully stirring reflection on the joys and challenges of fatherhood. Tenderly poignant, wise and affecting, and ably capturing the excitement of live baseball, the writing is always lucid and can be moving. A writer recounts a summer trip with his young son and his shot at redemption.
The memoir seamlessly tracks three storylines: Seybold’s upbringing, his failed marriage, and the journey, all of which seem to find a narrative confluence in the last two games he and Nicky attended at Wrigley Field. The author’s remembrance is a profoundly touching one, especially given his forthcoming candor and willingness to dispense self-criticism.”
“Five Stars. It’s so much more than a memoir. It’s a grand road trip story as well as a real-life family saga. At its heart, Stealing Home is the consummate baseball story. An enthralling memoir, most highly recommended.”
“Rich with sports metaphor, Stealing Home offers a touching and complex look at how, experience by experience, individuals repair generations of fury-fueled despair.”
Midwest Book Review
“A jaunty yet introspective story about an evolving relationship between father and son. The meat of any family exposé lies in tracing intergenerational patterns. Seybold does a fantastic job of integrating experiences with his own father and their connections through baseball–very different scenarios than those he more mindfully cultivates with his son. It will especially appeal to male readers seeking enlightenment and ideas for their own approaches to fatherhood.”
“This book is about much more than baseball. It explores the father-son relationship on so many levels. The writing is outstanding, and I enjoyed the easy, baseball-game-like pacing. The extraordinary thing about this memoir was how it happened, not that it happened. As a baseball fan, a writer of baseball stories, and a parent, I couldn’t have been more pleased. A must-read.”