Minnesota's 50 Greatest

Happy birthday, Kent Hrbek

Minnesota's 50 greatest baseball playersKent Hrbek is one of the players featured in our book, Minnesota’s 50 Greatest Baseball Players: From Town Ball to the Twins.

The story of Kent Hrbek is that of another local boy made good, but unlike Paul Molitor, Jack Morris or Dave Winfield, Hrbek spent his entire major league career playing for the local nine.

Hrbek was born May 21, 1960, in Minneapolis and grew up in Bloomington, site of Metropolitan Stadium, the home of the Twins and Vikings before they moved into the Metrodome. As a young player, he wore No. 6 in honor of his favorite player, Tony Oliva. Living close enough to ride his bike to the stadium, Hrbek spent plenty of time at the old Met.

Hrbek played his high school ball at Bloomington Kennedy High School, where he caught the eye of Met Stadium concession worker Smokey Teewalt. Teewalt’s son played against Hrbek for Bloomington Lincoln and Teewalt told the Twins they should check out that Hrbek kid.

Hrbek signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Minnesota, but was also drafted by the Twins in the 17th round of the 1978 draft. The Twins offered a $5,000 signing bonus, which Hrbek turned down. By the end of the summer, they upped the offer to $30,000 and Hrbek signed with the club.

In 14 years with the Twins, Hrbek played in 1,747 games for the team, behind only Harmon Killebrew, Joe Mauer and Kirby Puckett. He finished his career with a .282 average. His 293 home runs and 1,086 RBI are both second to Killebrew. His .481 slugging average and .848 OPS are both third-best in Twins history.

In 1995, the Twins retired his No. 14. He was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2000. He was also a member of the Twins 40th Anniversary Team and the Twins All-Metrodome Team.

Events, Minnesota's 50 Greatest

We’ll be at the Rosemount Writers Festival

For all of our Minnesota readers, some more event news.

We’ll be at the Rosemount Writers Festival coming up March 21. Admission is free, and the show runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Steeple Center, 14375 S. Robert Trail in Rosemount.

For aspiring writers, there’s also a great lineup of speakers and workshops.

Our emphasis will be on our Minnesota books, but we will have copies of all of our books there.

Brick Pickle Media, Minnesota's 50 Greatest, Pulp

What’s coming in 2020

By Jonathan Sweet

I’m always interested in what authors are working on, so I thought I’d give a look at what we have coming down the pike in 2020.Thrilling Detective Vol. 2 (2)

In case you missed it, one originally planned 2020 project actually hit in late 2019: Chicago Pulp Tales, a collection of vintage pulp stories set in the Windy City.

I’m in the midst of research/writing/production on five books right now:

  • A hardcover edition of Minnesota’s 50 Greatest Baseball Players will come out later this month. Just need to sign off on the final proofs, and we’re good to go.
  • Another sports book in the vein of Minnesota’s 50 Greatest Baseball Players, this time focused on great Minnesota sports moments. Goal is to have that one out in time for Father’s Day.
  • Volume 2 of The Beginner’s Guide to Pulp. That one will make its debut at the Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention in April.
  • A Christmas-themed book that I’ll reveal more about later this year, with the goal of having it done by the fall for the holiday season and local book shows.
  • Finally, I’m a bit stalled on a pulp novel that I’m writing — my first full-length fiction novel. Originally had planned on having it done for the Windy City show, but unless it takes off suddenly, that seems unlikely. Hopefully it’ll still happen later this year!

From the Brick Pickle Pulp side of things, we also have several projects in the works:

  • The aforementioned Volume 2 of the Guide and Chicago Pulp Tales (and maybe my novel!)
  • Thrilling Detective Pulp Stories, Vol. 2, will go live by the end of January. Proofs are on their way as we speak. We’re already well into the work on Volume 3, which will come out later this year. Most likely, we’ll publish an omnibus hardcover edition combining all three as well. (Volume 1 was published in 2019.)
  • A collection of Minnesota pulp stories. The stories are selected, but editing and production still have yet to start, so we’re probably looking at the second half of the year.
  • Some author-themed collections in the second half of the year. More to come on those!
Minnesota's 50 Greatest

Review copies of Minnesota’s 50 Greatest Baseball Players now available

We’ve got free copies of “Minnesota’s 50 Greatest Baseball Players” now available for review. Minnesota's 50 greatest baseball players

The book explores the greatest baseball players who have ever played for a Minnesota team, from the minor leagues to the major leagues, including the Hall of Famers, Negro League stars and other legends you might never have known played in the Northstar State.

Ebook review copies can be requested here: http://bookreviewbuzz.com/sports-minnesotas-50-greatest-baseball-players/

If you would like a print copy for review, email publishing@chaskabooks.com and let us know about your blog/media outlet, etc. so we can get one out to you.