"BEN MONDOR IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE" 

That's the message on the T-shirt I created to protest the carpet-bagging current owners of the soon-to-be-formerly-known-as Pawtucket Red Sox.

Mondor owned the Pawsox until his death a few years ago. The former mill-owner retired to a life leading the Pawsox and keeping his promise to keep the team in the city. His estate sold the team to a group that included former Boston Red Sox part-owner Larry Lucchino. Lucchino is big on building stadiums, or, more accurately, getting desperate municipalities to pay to build them and then wringing the last buck out of his municipal gift. Worcester, Mass., is his latest mark.

It seems Rhode Island wasn't desperate enough for his tastes. The state actually expected the new team owners to invest in their team. But that's no way to steal money that could be used to - I dunno - improve some of the worst, least-funded schools in the country or maybe create jobs that pay better than minimum wage.

There's every reason to believe Worcester will regret handing the farm over to the likes of Lucchino and his millionaire pals. In the meantime, the memory of Ben Mondor and what he did for Rhode Island means nothing to them.

So get a T-shirt to wear to one of the last games the Pawsox play at McCoy Stadium. Let 'em know that the blame for Rhode Island losing its Pawsox rests solely with them.

Go to the "Place an Order" page on this site (www.thomring.com) to order one, or visit Stillwater Books, right on Main St. in Pawtucket, to pick one up.

Oh, and one more thing. I found yet another book about minor-league baseball that listed McCoy as "one of the finest stadiums in minor-league baseball." It was published in 2007. That's what I've found in - gee - just about every book or website I've gotten my hands on over the years that rates minor league stadiums.

GO FAST. BE SMART! Finally released! 

Yes! Finally!

After weeks of wrangling by the publisher, we finally were able to publish GO FAST. BE SMART!, my latest Red Racecar SPEED READER.

It follows our karting hero, Tyler Means, as he gets the chance to race an actual racecar, a midget, the fastest things on dirt. It's a dream come true, but it's also a chance to face the best racers he's ever raced, in a car with more power than a whole starting lineup of karts.

Talk about getting an education!

How I Spent my Summer Vacation 

So now, after two-plus weeks "incommunicado" I return to Earth.

I've been working at the "Write on Sports" summer camp at Rhode Island's Bryant University. We use sports to help middle-school kids refine their abilities to organize and write non-fiction.

It's a blast, as I continue to be amazed by how bright the kids with whom we work actually are. They come from cities whose schools are routinely condemned, they live in tough neighborhoods, and many of their families hardly speak English. Yet they put together mature, reasoned pieces that reveal insight you wouldn't expect in middle-school kids.

And it's sports. That's okay, too.

Taxachusetts 

I need to let folks know that I'm avoiding doing any shows in Massachusetts after the state's division of taxation decided I needed to pay them more money than I think I've even earned selling books there, I swear.

They reported that they'd "audited" me and determined I needed to pay them this hefty fee. Better yet, even though it was the first time they were reporting this, "interest" was added to the total.

The fact is, I closed the account. I already was skipping shows in the state unless I shared a booth.

Yeah, Mass., will chase me for a few bucks, but let Jeff Bezos bring Amazon into town and give him, the richest person in the world, all sorts of tax-breaks.

FYI, in contrast, Rhode Island waives sales tax on what I write and sell. It's part of the state's efforts to support artists. Imagine that.

HENRY'S FAMOUS! 

HENRY HITS THE BALL was featured on the front page of the Pawtucket Times on April 23. 

Check it out: 

https://www.pawtuckettimes.com/news/taking-a-swing-local-author-spins-touching-yarn-with-novel/article_376981e2-6573-11e9-ac7d-33ea6875fd0b.html

A Blast at the Book Launch 

Yes, my book-launch for Henry Hits the Ball went great April 20. A good crowd was on hand, and most picked up a copy.

They were lousy at baseball-trivia, though! That's okay. Henry's more about Henry than it is about hitting a ball.

You can order Henry anywhere you can order books. But save the shipping and postage. Stillwater Books has it in stock, and if you order a copy through this website, you can get it with FREE shipping and postage.

We're almost ready for my book-launch 

The T-shirts are here (they look great!), the trivia-questions have been chosen, the peanuts and popcorn and crackerjacks are on hand along with the Coke and Gansetts, and HENRY HITS THE BALL already is in stock at Stillwater Books. .

Remember, if you can't win a T-shirt in the trivia contest, they'll be for sale at Stillwater afterwards. Wouldn't it be great if everyone who heads to McCoy for a game this year wore one - with its proclamation "BEN MONDOR IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE" to rub in the faces of Pawsox management?

Book Launch Update: HENRY HITS THE BALL 

So now Stillwater Books in Pawtucket has HENRY HITS THE BALL, my latest work, in stock and for sale in anticipation of its launch at Stillwater April 20. 

HENRY HITS THE BALL tells the story of Henry Brademeier, who can hit a baseball better than anyone who’s ever played the game. He just can’t play the game. It’s my first mainstream novel, so I’m giving it a baptism with a party. We already have our list of odd points of baseball history - related to Henry’s story as well as my own - to use in our trivia contest. I await the delivery of the prizes; navy-blue T-shirts with the message “BEN MONDOR IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE” defiantly displayed in BOSOX font. 

Stillwater will be selling the shirts, as well as HENRY. They also stock all of my RED RACECAR books for kids. There will be refreshments straight out of the bleachers, and I’ll be signing books, of course. 

Should be fun. Stillwater Books is at 175 Main St. in Pawtucket, RI, the future former home of Ben Mondor's Pawsox.

W.E.B. Griffin 

A long (LONG!) time ago, when I was in middle school, I ordered a book from the Weekly Reader Book Club. It was a novel about racing, THE GREEN GHOST, written by Patrick J. Williams.

The book turned out to be a revelation, not because it was a great story, but because it seemed to be written for me - as opposed to my English teachers. It broke rules I'd been taught about language. The style was casual, with attitude that seemed right for the story - at least from my seventh-grade perspective.  "I could do this," I told myself. More importantly, I wanted to. I have ever since. And I still have that book.

A few years ago I decided to do some online-exploring to see what happened to Patrick J. Williams. Long story short, I soon discovered the name was a pen-name for the writer William E. Butterworth. And while, yes, that was his birth-name, it was just another pen-name for one W.E. B. Griffin, one of the most popular and prolific authors of military-and-politically-based adventures of the last 50 years.

Griffin passed away February 12 after publishing more of these adventures than most libraries carry. None of them were my cup of coffee

Still, I thought he might appreciate his efforts for younger readers, particularly one who started writing due to his inspiration. I wrote the author, explaining how that book had struck a chord in me, one I've continued to play to the tune of a half-dozen racing adventures inspired by THE GREEN GHOST. I thanked him.

I never heard back from him.

What, you expected we became best buddies?

 

HENRY HITS THE SHELVES 

My adult -- er -- literary -- er -- mainstream -- er -- I don't know what to call it -- novel, HENRY HITS THE BALL, is in the final stages of production.

I've tried to hook up with an agent, but that's a longshot, I know. I wanted to play the author game that "old-fashioned" way, but I'd rather have people reading the book. So, I plan to introduce Henry at a book-release party at Stillwater Books in Pawtucket -- around opening day for Major-League Baseball.

Baseball fans in Pawtucket are in mourning after ownership of the Pawtucket Red Sox made a deal to move to Worcester, Mass. I guess the money was better. Isn't that all that matters in America today? It wasn't to the late Ben Mondor, who saved the team for Pawtucket -- and not because he got a great deal from the city, certainly nothing close to what the city offered the current owners. Not that they had any attachment to Pawtucket, certainly none not represented by dollar-signs.

Stay posted here or on the Stillwater Book site for details about the party. Expect a baseball theme. D'uh!.