Snellgrove Will Hold Release Party for Novel at Kennon Hall of Fame

Former player releases book entitled The Ball Player

September 27, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Former Middle Tennessee baseball player Clay Snellgrove will hold a local release party for his novel The Ball Player at the Kennon Hall of Fame on Thursday, October 4 at 7 p.m.

The novel is about a professional baseball player who makes a comeback after a devastating injury. The book flashes back to the story of his childhood and follows his comeback from rehabilitation all the way to the major leagues.

Snellgrove played for the Blue Raiders from 1994-97 and was drafted by the San Diego Padres. He played professionally in the Padres organization until 2002 and developed a passion for reading and writing during his many stops in minor league baseball.

"I started writing when I entered pro ball and I started reading on the long bus trips in the minor leagues because I got tired of movies," Snellgrove said. "First it was mainstream - John Grisham, Russell Patterson, Stephen King. I would read anywhere. I just loved a good story.

"I would listen to the stories of my teammates and friends and realized the stories around me were just as good as what I was reading. So that's how I got the idea to write a novel."

The Lafayette, Ind., native said the process wasn't an easy one and was several years in the making.

"I wrote some manuscripts that didn't have anything to do with baseball. After I got released from pro ball in 2002, I sat down and wrote this book, using stories from my own life and from other people. I melded all of that information together and the story took form after that."

He came back to Murfreesboro, married the former Erin McAlarney and opened an indoor hitting facility, Bases Loaded Baseball and Softball School, with former teammate Jon Case. But he also wanted something more.

"I asked myself, 'What are my goals? What do I aspire to be?' I wanted to get a novel published, try my hand at writing. I thought I could get some recognition in some of the cities where I played professionally, reaching out to fans who had known me and seen me play over the years."

Snellgrove has released the book on his own before launching the sale with a large publishing company.

"I felt like I could sell several thousand on my own, put the first few thousand on the market on my own, get some recognition locally and then try to go national."

Why did Snellgrove choose to do his local release on campus? He says because so much of what he learned came during his four years as a Blue Raider.

"I feel like there are two reasons for doing the release at Middle Tennessee," Snellgrove said. "First, because of the interest from the community with me being a former player, as well as the setting of the book being baseball."

"Second, so much of who I am, the discipline I learned and my character traits came at Middle Tennessee, playing for Coach Pete and Coach McGuire. They helped lay the foundation for the hard work and discipline."

Snellgrove is donating $3 from every book sale during the month of October back to the Middle Tennessee baseball program. Fans can purchase the book at Hastings Bookstore on Memorial Blvd. in Murfreesboro as well as at ClaySnellgrove.com.

"After this initial release, I'll team up with a media group and publisher from Cleveland to partner for a few events. But I wanted to kick off my local promoting at Middle Tennessee and with their help, give back to the program because Middle Tennessee is so much a part of me."

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