Inspired Days Before Willie Mays' Passing, Author Releases Heartfelt Dedication Edition of Novel

Willie Mays Dedication Edition Willie Mays Going Deep Play With Your Kids
On 6/15, former Oprah guest Gene Cartwright dedicated his 1997 novel, I Never Played Catch With My Father, to Willie Mays. The tribute edition was published on June 17, a day before Mays' passing, to honor his legacy and humanity.

PASADENA, Calif. & LOS ANGELES - Txylo -- Author's Heartfelt Tribute to Willie Mays

Willie Mays was my childhood baseball hero. Period.

In 1996, inspired by my own life experiences, I wrote I Never Played Catch With My Father, which earned me an invitation to The Oprah Winfrey Show. The novel features memorable sections on Willie Mays. It challenges mothers and fathers to connect with their children, and warns of time that passes so quickly.

Thanks to my dedicated publicist, Nancy Eddy from Novato, California, the world's greatest San Francisco Giants baseball fan, Mr. Mays received an autographed copy of my book. I was overwhelmed. Willie Mays is the baseball hero I always aspired to be.

A Sudden Inspiration

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What happened on June 15th and 16th remains inexplicable. After 28 years, I felt an intense urgency to create a special Dedication Edition of my novel in honor of Willie Mays. I worked tirelessly, driven by an indescribable compulsion.

On June 16th, I called my publicist and left her a voicemail, asking her to inform Mr. Mays through the Giants' organization about my plans. I wanted him to be the first to know. Unable to reach her, I proceeded independently, and on June 17, 2024, the new edition went live on Amazon.

Simultaneously, I felt inspired to establish "Play Catch Day," to be celebrated annually on May 6th, Mr. Mays' birthday. This day is intended to encourage parents, families, and everyone to experience the therapeutic benefits and bonding that come from the simple act of playing catch.

A Heartbreaking Loss

On June 18, 2024, while with friends, I received the devastating news of Mr. Mays' passing. Given the events of the previous three days, I found it difficult to believe. But, sadly, it was true.

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I cannot explain why I was so compelled to produce the dedication version of I Never Played Catch With My Father. That mystery I leave to others. All I know is that I could not have acted differently.

My heart and prayers go out to Mr. Mays' son Michael, his family, friends, and countless fans who, like me, were profoundly touched by the life of Willie Howard Mays of Westfield, Alabama.

Goodbye, "Say Hey Kid."

Gene Cartwright
Falcon Creek Publishing Co.



Media Contact
Jane Dickey
626) 657-0377‬

Source: Falcon Creek Publishing Co.

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