Opening Day: 50-for-50 by Michael Ortman has been released worldwide. This 290-page book is part memoir, part history, and an inspiring love letter to the sport of baseball. Ortman, a lifelong fan and former TV and sports executive, started a 50-year run of consecutive Opening Day games in 1970 and lasted through the 2019 season opener. The streak traveled from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, to Chicago, back to Baltimore, and ultimately, back to the Nation’s Capital. Three cities, six ballparks, five home teams, 50 Opening Days.
Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., baseball’s all-time “Iron Man” and holder of the all-time record for consecutive games played, said about the book, “Mike does a remarkable job of chronicling his own streak of fifty consecutive Opening Days in this terrific book. Opening Day is such a special day for baseball fans around the world. It signifies the start of spring as well as a new start and hope for every team.”
By telling detailed stories from each experience and connecting them with the joys of family, friends, and the game itself, Ortman forms a rich narrative history. Readers are pulled into exciting accounts of each game’s highlights, and long-time fans can bask in nostalgic memories of legendary players, historic stadiums, and the ways baseball has changed over half a century.
Each story is enhanced by a page on the book’s innovative companion website, www.OpeningDay5050.com. Every chapter includes a QR code that leads readers to that game’s box score, play-by-play and more.
Ortman said, “I am just an old baseball fan who had the honor of attending Opening Day for so many years in a row. It was an act of passion for our National Pastime and the more I spoke with fellow baseball fanatics, the more I understood that my passion for the game and the feeling I got every Opening Day was shared by so many others. I hope that baseball fans everywhere enjoy this book of memories that spans the last five decades and reconnects them with their special memories.”
Opening Day: 50-for-50 (ISBN: 9798985794298) by Michael Ortman can be purchased through retailers worldwide, including barnesandnoble.com and Amazon, in paperback, ebook, and audiobook format. The paperback retails for $19.99. Wholesale orders are available through Ingram.
From the back cover:
Opening Day is the biggest regular season baseball game of the year. Michael Ortman never missed it, not once, for 50 years. Opening Day: 50-for-50 is a baseball tribute like no other – a well-researched work of love representing a half-century of great stories and historical context linked to each of those 50 days. This emotional journey connects three cities, six stadiums, five home teas, and four generations while overcoming life events, baseball’s labor unrest, and the 33-year absence of a hometown team. Along the way, Ortman encountered five U.S. Presidents and more than 50 future Hall of Fame players, coaches, and broadcasters: from Reagan to Obama, Robinson to Scherzer, Weaver to Torre, Caray to Kalas and hundreds more.
About the author:
Michael Ortman didn’t let go of his childhood passion for baseball while spending most of the past 40 years as a senior executive in sports, marketing, and television. A gifted storyteller, he graduated from Notre Dame where he spent less time in college classes than in college sports media circles. He and his wife Kate then assembled their winning team, not through trades, free agency, or the draft, but by birth, adoption, and marriage. Their roster now boasts 18 children, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren.
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