Welcome all you time travelers and baseball fanatics. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today my very special guest is Joe McLean. Joe has a bit of a problem, and is hoping that talking about it will give him some clarity. “Welcome to the show, Joe.”
“Hello Lisa. I’m glad to be here, although these days, I’m not sure exactly where here is.”
“Tell us a little about yourself.”
“Well, I’m from Langerton, Pennsylvania. I am currently an accountant at a family business, just not my family. I’m divorced and a bit out of sorts these days. Thank goodness for baseball. Without it, I’m not sure what I would do.”
“Lot of baseball fans around here, Joe. You’re certainly among friends.”
“That’s great to hear. It’s a sad day in my town for baseball. They’ve torn down Maxwell Stadium. It’s been around since the 1940s. Generation of McLeans have had season tickets for every Langerton Chiefs game. It just won’t be the same in the new stadium.”
“That’s sad. There is so much history in those old stadiums. It isn’t just the events on the field, it’s the marriage proposals, the first dates, the last time with parents.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more, Lisa. That’s why I decided I wanted to buy some piece of memorabilia from the old place before it was demolished. I spent way too much money on an old stadium seat. My older brother gave me a hard time about it, but, deep down, I think he understands. My brother Mike helped me mount it on a carpeted platform right in front of my TV in my apartment. Now I can watch games from a treasured piece of furniture from my childhood. Of course, I found out that the seat was much more than a place to sit..”
“How’s that, Joe?”
“Well…I mean…I can go places. If I want to go back to a game, I just grab a program book and I’m there.”
“I mean we talk to all kinds of people on this show, but are you sure?”
“I know it sounds crazy, but I’m sure. I tested it out by going back to save a boy that was hit by a foul ball in a game about ten years ago. It worked, I was able to save him. In the original timeline, he ended up having disabilities from a skull fracture. All I did was buy him a helmet as a souvenir and he came out unscathed…mostly.”
“You helped that young man live a different life. A better life. That has to be an awesome feeling.”
“You would think so. I’ve found, however, that you can’t change the past without unforeseen changes in the present. The boy grew up to be a successful, sought after, high school athlete. As it turned out, one coach was interested in more than his talents. He also had an affair with the boy’s mother and broke up the family.”
“Okay, but you couldn’t foresee that. You still helped him.”
“I know. It’s just made me cautious before I try anything further. There are things about my own life. I just…I just don’t know..”
“This is kind of like the lottery game. You know, if you won the lottery what would you do? In this case, if you could go back and change something, what would it be?”
“There are three things, Lisa. First, my job. I work in a family business and do the lion’s share of the complicated work for no credit and no advancement. Second, my marriage failed. My wife and I were both obsessed with our careers. I think, if I had put in more effort, it might have turned out differently. Then, there’s my family. My mom and dad both died from easily avoidable situations. They were taken from us too young..”
“So, have you tried it yet?”
“Well, I have. I’ve tried a few times, but the best I could do was fixing one or two things. I actually tried going back to a game that took place before I was born. I looked in the mirror and I was my own grandfather. You haven’t experienced strange until a younger version of your grandmother tries getting frisky with you..”
“It’s great that you get that kind of chance. It would be wonderful if you could work it all out.”
“Well, so far. It’s just not working. I’ve been successful, rich, homeless, happy, unhappy. As I said, I can’t get all of the pieces to come together correctly. I’ll just have to keep trying.”
“Maybe it’s kind of like Tetris. You have to twist them all together to fill all the holes.”
“That’s a good comparison. Although, sometimes it feels more like Whack a Mole.”
“Joe, you have to know that we’re all cheering for you. We want you to figure it out and find your ultimate happiness. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”
“I appreciate it, Lisa. For any of you out there that think your life is hopeless, when you have an opportunity to make a positive change, go for it. I plan on continuing to go for it for as long as it takes.
“You can learn all about Joe in the new book, Extra Innings, by Don Massenzio. I’ll post all the stats after I go off the air today. Baseball… stats… get it. Whatever.
“Don’t forget to help me pay the bills around here. Use those sharing buttons and help Don and Joe spread the word. Don has always been a strong supporter of this show, and has reblogged many of these interviews on his own site. Today would be a good time to say thanks by returning the favor.
Extra Innings – Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past. That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.
Don Massenzio was born in Syracuse, New York to first generation Italian American parents. He is an avid reader. Some of his favorite authors are Harlan Coben, David Morrell, Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, John Grisham, Hugh Howey, and C.S. Boyack. His favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird.
He started writing as a way to combat the long hours of travel and numerous hotel stays that are part of the ‘glamorous’ world of corporate life. He uses writing as a therapeutic outlet to combat my homesickness.
His first published book, Frankly Speaking, was the first in a series of books focused on the character, Frank Rozzani, a Florida private detective. The series is a throwback to the days of pulp detective novels with a tip of the hat to Jim Rockford from the 70’s television show, The Rockford Files.
He moved to Jacksonville, Florida 23 years ago where he currently lives with his wife, daughter, and three dogs.
Link for Extra Innings:
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Social Media/Web Site:
www.donmassenzio.com – Blog