By Tiffany Gonzalez —
The first book of alumnus Gregg Love’s new Kalamazoo Baseball Series for youngsters, The One Who Threw from Kalamazoo, has a sweet story behind the title.
“I wanted to be silly,” said Love, J/MS 2002. “I needed a city that rhymed with ‘threw,’ and I love Dr. Seuss. I wanted to feel like a Dr. Seuss.” That’s how the city Kalamazoo in Michigan came to be the setting for the Love Baseball series.
His book will be out early in 2014.
“I’ve always loved children, and I’ve always loved to write,” said Love, who conceived the idea and wrote the first of the series while teaching sixth grade for St. Joan of Arc School in Marlton. He’s been there four years.
The idea for the series came to him during one of his winter breaks. He needed a theme for the book that not only he could relate to but a theme that all Americans could relate to as well. That’s how the central point of the series became a boy and baseball.
Each book is written with a moral, the first one being “never forget your roots and where you came from.” Love’s first effort follows a young boy and a star pitcher as they grow a special bond that will change their lives forever. They each learn many great life lessons from each other.
Love, who lives in Philadelphia, started out in the graphic design industry working for various newspapers (including the Courier Post), publications and advertising agencies. His love for kids and dream of teaching made him reverse directions and return to Rutgers Camden to pursue a teaching career in 2009.
Love said he wanted this book to relate to his personal life and his career decisions. He added that he’s in “a great place in his life,” where he’s engaged and much happier as a teacher than as a graphic designer.
He offers some advice to J/MS alums: “Ask yourself if going after the dollar figure will make you more happy than going after what your passion is.”
Love is already conjuring up ideas for the second book of the series, where he wants to focus on role models. He believes that there are a lot of kids out there who look to people on TV who aren’t necessarily upholding the values of a good role model. He wishes to reach those people and teach kids the importance of a good role model.
Love followed his dreams without hesitation. Studying journalism was great preparation for his writing career, Love acknowledged, and he remembers learning so many skills while working for The Daily Targum. J/MS is where he became acquainted with design technology, and it saw him through his early career. Now Love is proud to say that he wrote The One Who Threw from Kalamazoo in pen.