Shine the Light: How Sandlot Baseball Connects People in a Disconnected World (Hardcover)

Shine the Light: How Sandlot Baseball Connects People in a Disconnected World By Jim Matthews, Anne R. Keene (Foreword by) Cover Image

Shine the Light: How Sandlot Baseball Connects People in a Disconnected World (Hardcover)

By Jim Matthews, Anne R. Keene (Foreword by)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
The sandlot movement is a different animal, drawing players of all ages back to their roots. If you remember playing baseball in yards and alleyways or an open field, you’ll be glad to know the tradition continues in grownup leagues across the nation.

A lifelong fan of baseball—both from a watching and a semi-pro player—author Jim Matthews spent his professional days as a television newscaster and sports broadcaster in Austin, Texas.

After what he thought would be his last semi-pro game, ending with a home run, he pondered what could fill the void of playing the game he loved. Pondering this conundrum, Matthews and lifelong friend (and former Nike president) Elliott Hill decided that going back to their roots—sandlot baseball—might be just what they needed. Testing the waters with a few different teams and leagues, including future rivals the Texas Playboys, they decided to create their own team: the Austin Moontowers.

But when it comes to playing on the sandlot, as it was as a child, the key was not if you won or lost. Camaraderie, not rivalry, spurs you.

Shine the Light includes glimmers of friendships resurrected half a century later and new friendships with interesting and sometimes high-profile players, now part of the “sandlot nation.” It shares a personal backstory about my dual heritage (Hispanic and Scot-Irish), the parents who shaped Jim’s character, and tragedies mixed with soaring milestones.

Most of all, this is a book about cross-country adventures that landed Matthews back home to Austin, and onto sandlots despite arthritic knees and a hip replacement. It’s about passion and esprit de corps that can only be found on base or in front of the pitching mound—on a field that may be full of weeds or fire ants. But when you’re able to play the game you love, in its purest form, the small things that might bother most just come with the territory.

Find the Moontowers Baseball Club at instagram @austinmoontowers and

Anne R. Keene is an Austin, Texas-based writer who focuses on narrative nonfiction. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism, she began her professional career working as a speechwriter on Capitol Hill.  Keene’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Raleigh News & Observer and many other major newspapers. The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team That Helped Win WWII, was a finalist for the Casey Award for the “Best Baseball Book” of 2018. Keene is a recognized voice of America’s surviving major league players who served in the Second World War, and speaks about military baseball to major league baseball organizations and fan clubs, Naval Academy alumni chapters, as well as historical and civic organizations nationwide.
Product Details ISBN: 9781683584926
ISBN-10: 1683584929
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 264
Language: English