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Douglas J. Gladstone "A Bitter Cup Of Coffee: Extra Inning Edition" Launch
Douglas J. Gladstone "A Bitter Cup Of Coffee: Extra Inning Edition" Launch

Fri, Jul 12


LIT Bookbar

Douglas J. Gladstone "A Bitter Cup Of Coffee: Extra Inning Edition" Launch

This painstakingly researched book by Douglas J. Gladstone examines the plight of 874 Major League Baseball players who played between 1947 and 1979, all with brief trials in the majors, careers figuratively just long enough to drink a cup of coffee.

Time & Location

Jul 12, 2024, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

LIT Bookbar, 611 Jackson St Suite B, Richmond, TX 77469, USA

About the event

Since 1980, Major League Baseball players have needed one day of service credit for health benefits and 43 days of service credit to be eligible for a retirement allowance, but those former ballplayers who played during the 1947-1979 seasons were not included retroactively in the amended vesting requirement, and so receive no pensions for the time they gave to our national pastime. These men, the author suggests, have gulped bitter cups of coffee.

In his careful examination of this issue, which includes many interviews with former players and some poignant stories of their plight, Gladstone asks his readers to examine our national relationship to sports and its heroes, as well as our relationships with those who precede us in the game of life. A lifelong baseball fan, DOUGLAS J. GLADSTONE is a journalist by training, whose published articles have appeared in the Chicago Sun Times, Baseball Digest and the San Diego Jewish World, among others. This is his first book.

DAVE MARASH (Foreword) has been a working journalist for more than 50 years. Best known for his 16 years as a correspondent for ABC News Nightline, Marash won Emmy Awards for his coverage of the wars in Nicaragua and Bosnia, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the explosion that downed TWA Flight 800. He anchored the opening season of Baseball Tonight on ESPN and did play-by-play coverage of the New York Knicks and Rangers.


Douglas J. Gladstone, the author of 'A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How MLB & The Players' Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve, will appear at the LIT Bookbar in Richmond to talk about his book on Friday, July 12, 2024, starting at 6:30 p.m.

A valentine to those men who are not receiving Major League Baseball (MLB) pensions, because they played prior to 1980, when new vesting rules were adopted by the league and the union representing current ballplayers, the Major League Baseball Players' Association (MLBPA), A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How MLB & The Players' Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve was originally published in April 2010 by Word Association Publishers. Gladstone's updated version, A Bitter Cup of Coffee: The Extra Innings Edition, was published in February 2019.

Gladstone by day is an assistant public information specialist with a public retirement system in New York. He will appear at the two-hour event alongside three former ballplayers who are all affected by this blight on the national pastime:

David Clyde: The first overall pick in the 1973 amateur draft, Mr. Clyde was only one week removed from his high school graduation when he first took the mound for the Texas Rangers that same season. A resident of Humble, Mr. Clyde's once promising career was derailed by shoulder problems and misuse; he is considered by many to be the savior of the Rangers franchise because of the attendance boost his being on the roster brought to the club at the time;

Scipio Spinks:  A flamethrowing pitcher who once combined with another future Major Leaguer to fan 37 batters in a Class A Northern League contest, Mr. Spinks' best season was not with the club that drafted him, namely, the Houston Astros, who he was a September callup for in 1969, but with the St. Louis Cardinals, whom he won five games for in 1972. A resident of Sugar Land, Mr. Spinks now coaches the baseball squad at the University of Houston - Downtown, and

Jerry Lee Tabb:  The winner of the 1971 College World Series Most Valuable Player Award while he was a University of Tulsa freshman, Mr. Tabb played for Team USA at the 1971 Pan American Games. A resident of Richmond, he was drafted with the 16th pick in the first round of the l973 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs, who he debuted with in September 1976. His last appearance was in May 1978 while with the Oakland Athletics.

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