I hope you followed along on my cross country journey this past June to the 29th Annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball & American Culture at the National Baseball Hall of Fame! I presented and unveiled the America at the Seams artwork that YOU helped fund over a year ago and it was met with rave reviews. The Hall of Fame librarian went as far as to say that he'd be talking to the head art curator at the HOF about a possible 'baseball folk art' exhibit to see if I'd be interested in bringing it back more formally for an extended stay. I sure hope that pans out!! We posted the presentation on Facebook here. If you missed it, I'd encourage you to take 23 minutes to listen and let me know what you think!
Me and my Dad outside the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
Now I know what your thinking: "That's great and all, but where are my Backer Rewards?!"
I'm glad you asked! I'm very grateful for your patience and here is where we are at.
THE FINE ART PRINT - now that the full baseball map has been completed, the dust has settled from the Cooperstown road trip, and all individual state photography has been shot for the book, we are working on the fine art print production over the next 2-3 weeks. We are shopping for bids on paper and best ways to get them to you safely and affordably. For those waiting on the prints, I do expect them to ship prior to the book in a rolled tube mailer. Best estimate right now is sometime in September.
THE HARDCOVER BOOK - I almost feel this should have been its own Kickstarter project! So much work has gone into this in identifying all 50 stories, interviewing and writing the book (thanks Ethan D Bryan!), proofing multiple drafts, book photo layout and design, and shopping for the right printer. Here is where we are at....
I expect to receive the rough draft of book next week from the publisher, which includes all photography and text as it will appear on the pages. I anticipate at least a week of review and once that is finalized and book files are generated, printer requires at least 8 weeks lead time to print the 5,000 books we are ordering for the 1st Edition. Proud to say we are sourcing from a printer located in the USA (Mankato, MN) who is best equipped to handle this large of a hardcover, high-quality production run. I have no idea where I'm going to store 5,000 books (my wife tells me its not in our basement), but hopefully we sell them so fast it won't matter. We've already pre-sold about 1,000, only 4,000 more to go! So all that said, my best estimate is a book shipment in October. I'm staying on top of the publisher to ensure we get these done as quickly as possible without jeopardizing project quality.
For those of you who will be recognized by name in the book (> $100 backer), your name(s) and City/State will be included on a Backer Recognition page. I believe previously I suggested a special inscription or quote might be possible to also include, but it won't fit in the overall layout that the publisher has suggested. If you have provided a custom message (In honor of, In memory of, etc), I will try my best to hand-write these with my autograph at the front of the book.
Lastly...if your address has changed since April 2016, please reach out to me and make sure I have the correct shipping address on file for the book/print delivery.
I know this has been delayed several times, but again, I appreciate your patience with this process. I don't think I fully appreciated the huge undertaking that would be needed to make this happen, but I'm confident you'll be satisfied with the result.
Thanks again for the support and please keep in touch.
Nathan Rueckert, Founder/Owner
Baseball Seams Co., LLC