Wednesday, October 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Baseball or bizarre racing: local authors fill the bill

By
From page B1 | May 09, 2014 |

As kids, most of us have sports dreams.

Once adults, few of our visions — like major-league baseball player, pro race car driver — have materialized.

Two Davis men, however, have been able to keep those dreams close.

Sure, Joe Taxiera never threw out Pete Rose trying to go from first to third. And Mike Meier never passed Graham Hill in a European endurance race. But both locals have new books that embrace their passions and, luckily for us, their publications are terrific reads.

For Taxiera, “A Unique Look at Big League Baseball” has been around for almost five years and is a must for baseball fans.

Meier’s new tongue-in-cheek visit to weekend hobby racing — “How On Fire Are We?” — is a riot, even if you know nothing about racing.

Taxiera, who will have a presentation and book-signing at The Avid Reader downtown on Saturday, May 31 (7:30 p.m.), just released the 2014 Broadcaster’s Edition while this is Meier’s first crack at publishing.

Let’s take a look at each …

“A Unique Look at Big League Baseball” started as a hobby for the longtime IBM software rep.

Taxiera has been a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan — a guy who always wondered how old-timers would have performed now, whether ballparks made that much difference and could statistics 100 years apart be compared and sense made of those eras?

The first ring-bound edition of Taxiera’s now-400-page reference guide was a self-published, personal project. But then KNBR radio personality Marty Lurie got a copy and began to augment his Giants shows by citing from “A Unique Look …”

Jon Miller and the team’s broadcast crew use it to this day — and at least 15 other MLB radio/TV crews are helped along by Taxiera’s tome.

From the National Baseball Hall of Fame to the River Cats gift shop, Taxiera’s work is on sale.

Taxiera is an accomplished photographer, and one of the additional treats of “A Unique Look …” is his photography from stadiums across the nation. His latest edition features a cover shot of the statue of Willie McCovey looking back into AT&T Park from the aptly named McCovey Cove.

Getting Taxiera’s book is as easy as heading to The Avid Reader, or taking in a River Cats game. It is available on Amazon.com and at Taxiera’s website, www.uniquebaseball.com (on which you’ll find a whole bunch of fun diamond stuff revolving around the book).

Cost? $39.95.

If you want to dazzle your pals with head-scratching national pastime observations or one-of-a-kind baseball trivia, “A Unique Look at Big League Baseball” is your ticket.

“How On Fire Are We?” defies classification, but it looks like Meier has struck oil (from a broken head gasket) with his first effort.

Meier, retired after 15 years at UC Davis as an academic administrator, has loved cars since childhood.

He and another Davis man, Alan Brattesani, decided almost five years ago that their love for all things fast and fixable would be requited in the form of Tinyvette, a yellow 1971 Opel that the two men bought on a lark — then brought back to life.

The goal? Enter the world of crapcan racing (don’t look at me, that’s what it’s known as). Called the LeMons (get it?) endurance series, these outings are held on weekends throughout the nation. They feature a who’s who of bizarre machines, mostly saved from scrap heaps.

Tinyvette was so named because Meier, Brattesani (and maybe Rod Serling) felt the spry, little relic looked like a Corvette Stingray (remember, these men are living dreams).

Anyway, with some success competing in races (with names like Sears Pointless), the Meier-Brattesani team felt like an old-time rock band as mechanics and drivers came and went, yet the integrity of their music (the Tinyvette) was maintained.

As the team grew in reputation on the circuit, Meier felt the love. He also noticed the lunacy taking place around him.

An old Cadillac with antlers and a stuffed Kermit the Frog sticking out the back window was jockeying for position with a 1966 Volkswagen, dressed like a scrubbing bubble (complete with ground-sweeping straw skirts).

Meier, as he was passed, didn’t know whether to pull over, laugh or take notes. As he was laughing, he took notes.

“How On Fire Are We?” has more than 300 pages of anecdotes, team profiles, pictures and illustrations of life on the LeMons circuit; a circuit whose motto is “Good Enough.”

“This book is a noncommercial crapcan community project, the goal of which is to share and preserve our stories … and to do our bit for the (Sonoma Speedway Children’s Charities) that this racing helps support,” Meier says. “All proceeds from this book go to this charities.”

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the California Automobile Museum are other charities that will benefit from Meier’s page-turner.

So, if you want to see a mini space shuttle traveling down the course on the back of a mid-1970s pile of c&*% or a rainbow-colored stretch limousine, or a hollowed-out Rolls Royce or a seen-better-days Plymouth with the Foster Farms chickens on the hood, crapcan racing is your cup of tea.

Yeah, the book is expensive ($79), but the yucks are worth it and the cause is a good one.

Visit www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/667129 to see more (or to order).

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-320-4456.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Marathon specialist Winter heads to cycling shrine

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    County to fund pilot project for West Sac homeless

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    Pumpkin patch: a favorite tradition every autumn

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Tuesday’s smoky air hailed from Colusa County

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Vandals damage two Woodland schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Hearing postponed for man suspected in 7 killings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Canadian soldier shot at war memorial

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Heavy metal

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Apply soon to be a Master Gardener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Terez will perform at Wine’d Down Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Super-fun 5K run will support UCD students

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Davis Arts Center: a call to artists for Holiday Sale Wall of Art

    By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Author showcases field biology as he revels in nature

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Entries due Nov. 1 in VFW essay contests

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Teen services grant applications due this week

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Voice of the Wood plans family Halloween show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Wine-tasting and auction benefit Advanced Treble Choir

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Garamendi will speak at U.N. Day event

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Kids form a lifelong habit of drinking water

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Farmers Market hosts Fall Festival

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    A Taste of India dinner benefits Davis Community Meals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Composting workshop set at Grace Garden

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Setting a good example

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A5

    No-till doesn’t help cold, wet farmlands

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Women and men want the same things in cars … usually

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    California state parks show off fall color

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A7

     
    October is fall car care month

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Soda bottlers spend big to fight S.F. ban

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A9

     
    Railroad work will close Eighth Street

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    Special education information night scheduled

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

     
    Soroptimists offer ‘Living Your Dream’ grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Halloween Carnival planned Oct. 26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Mondavi Center gift shop plans holiday sale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Clinton sounding like a candidate in S.F. appearance

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Bad business over the phone

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Vote no on Prop. 1, because it’s no solution

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Slower travel on new stretch

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    David Fitzsimmons cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

    Support choruses in schools

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Archer’s the go-to person

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Adams has what we need

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Life vests are a must when rafting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    UCD women’s soccer postseason hopes flickering

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A typical Blue Devil girls water polo win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    DHS boys hold off Rio Americano in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Devils are on track for volleyball playoffs after win

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Giants rip Royals in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    AYSO roundup: Local winners have the Eye of the Tiger

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Alliance/Legacy roundup: Italia cruises past Chico

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Fipps earns another preseason hoops award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Clement ‘George’ Hebert

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Mariana Brumbaugh Henwood

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics