Invisible Publishing

From their website: “Invisible Publishing produces cool and contemporary fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry, with an emphasis on Canadian authors. As a not-for-profit publisher, we are committed to publishing diverse voices and stories in beautifully designed and affordable editions. Even though we’re small in scale, we take our work and our mission seriously: we believe in building communities that sustain and encourage engaging, literary, and current writing.”

Invisible Publishing recently came to my attention through a mailing from [words] in Maplewood, New Jersey. They were featuring a couple of slim paperback books about baseball authored by Andrew Forbes, the first released in 2016 and the second in time for the opening of baseball season this year.

I’ll cut to the chase: Forbes is a brilliant baseball essayist. From an online description about the book, it is: “A collection of essays for ardent seamheads and casual baseball fans alike, The Utility of Boredom is a book about finding respite and comfort in the order, traditions, and rituals of baseball … Tender, insightful, and with the slow heartbreak familiar to anyone who’s cheered on a losing team, The Utility of Boredom tells us a thing or two about the sport, and how a seemingly trivial game might help us make sense of our messy lives.”

Despite being a white male in his ’60s, about which too many authors these days are prone toward making apologies in our cancel culture climate, Forbes finds such beauty and commonality in baseball that it would be hard for anyone to take issue with flights of nostalgia in his Canadian version of Americana. As an Ontarian his team of choice is the T(optional first “o”) ronto Blue Jays, and many of the vignettes allude to the Jays. Given the distinct Canadian flavor of many of the essays, it would have been nice if one of them was about the Montreal experience of Jackie Robinson, a team that developed future manager Gene Mauch and its winningest pitcher Tommy Lasorda.

Andrew acknowledges that his love for the game might be over the top. In his opening essay Sanctuary, he writes: “There’s an old synagogue in South Bend, Indiana where they now sell baseball caps and T-Shirts and foam fingers. The South Bend Cubs of the Single-A MIdwest League play just across the street at Four Winds Field. The synagogue closed for worship several years ago and it proved too tempting an edifice for Andrew T. Berlin, the team’s owner to resist; he bought it and had it converted, removing the bimah and the Ark of the covenant, installing shelving and a cash counter, and now it opens to service a different sort of adherent. This seems entirely appropriate to me, though I understand how it might offend the Orthodox.”

As much enjoyment as spectating for one’s favorite team is, there is nothing like seeing how the game contributes to the growth of its young adherents. Take our grandson Ethan for example working on his skill set, exhibiting controlled emotion, and developing a greater sense of camaraderie and teamwork. These are qualities that have served as a sanctuary of sorts for him – at least while on the field. Being at his games live is a luxury that geography does not often permit. But having the gamechanger app enabling us to follow him remotely as well has been, well … a game changer. And it has made the invisible visible to us.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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