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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Interview with David Fanucchi, author of Miracle on Grass

Find out more about when the US Baseball team took Olympic Gold under the coaching of Tommy LaSorda, through this interview.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book? The events that took place while I was the 2000 USA Baseball Olympic Team press officer. After the team won the gold medal, I knew I had something special to tell. I waited 10 years, to give the story time to marinate.
  2. What books have influenced your life the most? I like true stories re-told with in depth, behind-the-scenes details. John Feinstein does a great job of telling about how a great sporting event or championship happened, and going back to talk with the key athletes to get their side of the story in his books, so I tried to use that type of style.
  3. What are your current projects? I do not have another book project in mind yet. The only other one I can think of right now, is possibly re-doing Miracle on Grass as an animated kids book or a teenage boys reading book, because it’s about baseball.
  4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No. I like it the way it is. I’ve gotten great feedback on it, and everyone loves it.
  5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? That my book needs better photos. I added the photos myself just to give people even more to see in the book and put in as many as I reasonably could. But these were all of my personal pictures, I didn’t have the ability to go out and purchase official action shots from the Olympics.
  6. What has been the best compliment? Many family members and friends of the players and administrators involved in the story have thanked me for writing the book. Just knowing that so many people that I worked with and their families are excited about it, gives me a good feeling.
  7. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Just to set the work aside when you get writer’s block, or run into a wall. It’s not a quick process, and it takes an extraordinary amount of effort without any immediate compensation. And don’t write a book in an effort to make money. It has be to created from the heart, to have any chance at success.
  8. What is your favorite quality about yourself? My organizational skills. They came in very handy, when I was trying to organize so many interviews, sound bites, pieces of information I needed for the story, and creating a outline for the book that would make sense and have a good flow.
  9. What is your least favorite quality about yourself? My lack of creativity. I would not be able to write a fiction book, because I don’t have a great imagination. That goes back to my days in California as a kid – I was always outside playing sports, not sitting in front of the TV watching cartoons or playing video games – things that would have helped develop my imagination. But I’m not complaining. I wasn’t the type of kid that was going to do that anyways.
  10. Is there anything else you would like to share? I encourage readers who love to learn about dramatic sporting events, and the stories about how an Olympic Baseball team gets put together, to grab a copy of Miracle on Grass. It is the true story of how an unknown squad of American minor leaguers stunned the international baseball powerhouse from Cuba. They were the 2000 USA Baseball Olympic Team, a ragtag group of minor-league players that were hand-chosen on paper, and had never played together as a team. Led by Hall-of-Fame manager Tommy Lasorda who came out of retirement to lead the charge for his country, they pulled off the greatest upset in Olympic baseball history. Their triumph was remarkable, but the story of their coming together is even harder to imagine. I give readers a behind the scenes look at how the Major League Baseball executives in charge of this operation for the United States went about selecting the players, how Lasorda persuaded management into giving him the opportunity to coach the team, how the Americans narrowly qualified for the Olympics during a gut-wrenching game, and how capturing the gold medal in Sydney changed the lives of every player, coach and administrator involved. Told with warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, Miracle on Grass is an intimate, perceptive portrayal of three incredible weeks in Australia and a story that appeals to American pride. It features the wisdom and determination of one legendary manager, and the heart, guts, and passion of several young baseball players on their attempt to win an Olympic gold medal, as they harness the power of the passion in your heart for family and country.

David Fanucchi was born in Burlingame, California, and was raised in the small Silicon Valley suburb of Cupertino. A 1988 graduate of Monta Vista High School, Fanucchi attended California State University, Chico, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism in 1993. Fanucchi has spent the past 20 years working in various public relations and communications capacities for both amateur and professional sports teams and organizations.

Most notably, Fanucchi was Director of Communications for USA Baseball from 1999 to 2006, during which time he served as the official Press Officer for the 2000 USA Olympic Baseball Team that captured the gold medal under Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda. He also served as the press officer for the 2006 United States team in the inuagural World Baseball Classic – a roster that included Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark Teixeira and Roger Clemens.

Fanucchi held a leadership role for the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) public relations efforts during the 2009 U.S. Open, and most recently has directed press coverage of the Champions Series Tennis Tour, starring John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and Michael Chang among other legendary players. Fanucchi was inducted into the Chico State Public Relations Department Hall of Fame in 2009.

He serves as President of his own sports-business public relations consulting firm – Gold Medal PR – and currently resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife, Jessica, daughters Emma and Grace, and their dog, a beagle named Bogey.



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Novel Noise is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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