Local man pens baseball memoirs
By Russ Edem 530News –
Great Bend postal worker Jim Scheider has turned his teenage memories of playing baseball, living on a farm in central Kansas and dealing with a father who did not understand him into a book, “Down to the Last Strike.”
These days, Schneider can be found delivering people’s mail along his routes throughout the city, but in the 1970s, his passion was playing baseball for the St. Ann’s Cadets in Olmitz. That is what led him to write a story about his years past.
“I am not a book writer, I am a storyteller and that is what I enjoy,” Schneider said. “I had no idea that I was going to write a book. I pulled out some stuff that I saved from when I played baseball in the 1970s and I thought to myself, ‘This would make for a great story for people to read.’ To my surprise and with the help of some dear friends it turned into a book.”
According to Schneider, the book took about five years to write, which he did over the winter months. He published it himself, using OPI and Golden Belt Printing in Great Bend. The book is a mix of fiction and non-fiction and, so far, it has gotten good reviews.
“People really seem to like the book,” Schneider said. “I have people telling me all the time that they cannot put it down.”
The book tells a story of a young man named Quinn Taylor who grows up on a farm in Olmitz in the ’70s. He loves the game of baseball, but has a dad that who hates sports. In order to keep playing the game that he loves, he has to extract help from his mother, a brother and a friend. Testing his love for the game are three obstacles: dealing with God, a distracting girl and detested family members.
According to Schneider, this story is a recollection of his memories of the Olmitz baseball season in the ’70s. They were so much fun, Schneider said. During the writing of the book, some family conflict was added in to keep the story alive. Although the writer follows actual memories as closely as possible, names, characters and some events have been changed or fictionalized.
The book was dedicated to his mother, classmates and his teammates who made these memories possible.
“After years, I wish I would have absorbed more of our years together,” Schneider said. “It was so much fun. I wish I could go back and replay those games.”
Copies of Schneider’s book can be found locally at Am Pride, Yours Truly and by calling Schneider at 620-792-3001.