SSTN Interviews Author Jonathan A. Fink
SSTN: Today we are here with Jonathan A. Fink, author of The Baseball Gods Are Real, The Baseball Gods Are Real Vol. 2., and the brand new The Baseball Gods are Real Vol. 3: The Religion of Baseball. Jonathan has also written The Music Gods are Real Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
Jonathan, it is great to have this discussion with you. Thanks for coming to Start Spreading the News.
Thank you for having me. It’s great to be with you!
Let’s get right to it. You write spiritual books about baseball that are based on your own life experiences. Please tell us how these books came to be.
I have always loved the game of baseball and I have always loved writing.
In fact, at Tulane University, during my college years, I wrote music reviews for the school newspaper called The Hullabaloo. I am also passionate about geopolitics and investing. For thirteen years I was a financial advisor working for Morgan Stanley in New York. In 2012, my family moved from New York to Kansas City, and shortly thereafter, I slipped into a mid-life crisis. In an attempt to turn my life around, I started taking yoga classes. My yoga practice led me to meditation. After I began a daily meditation practice, I noticed serendipitous synchronicities in my life. When these synchronicities related to baseball, I began referring to these moments as the work of “The Baseball Gods.” The Baseball Gods led me to author Cathy Byrd who wrote the book called The Boy Who Knew Too Much, a story about how her son may be the reincarnation of New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig. I met Cathy Byrd in person in California in August of 2017. Not only did I get to watch her son Christian Haupt play baseball for the first time, we spent time talking about the book writing process. Shortly after our meeting, I began writing my first book.
So far you have written two baseball books in this series, but a third is on the way. (Note – the third book has now been published.) Please tell us about the third book and when it will be released.
In this next book, The Baseball Gods are Real: Volume 3 – The Religion of Baseball, I expand on my belief that the Baseball Gods do exist.
As I did with the first two published books in my series about baseball, I take my readers with me as I chronicle the origins, history and religiosity of baseball. I cover a lot of ground, including detailed descriptions of famous baseball stadiums, which I call cathedrals, and well documented baseball miracles, some of which are extraordinary.
This book also pays homage to many baseball saints, identifies many baseball sinners, and celebrates baseball zealots who are truly passionate about this great game. This book also features many fascinating stories that clearly demonstrate the work of the Baseball Gods. Sometimes their work is revealed through baseball karma, which can be good or bad and can be immediate or deferred. It can materialize in the form of unexpected victories or good luck or, alternatively, as freak injuries, unfortunate events, or heartbreaking losses. These pages also chronicle the outrageous rituals and superstitions of baseball players in their attempt to avoid bad karma and describe many instances in which ballplayers and franchises create good karma and positive results with their good deeds and charitable and community work. Finally, this book explores the mysterious, paranormal world of baseball, including true stories of baseball ghosts, prophetic dreams, and even UFO’s!
Do you have any other baseball books coming out? If so, what can you tell us about them?
Yes! I have already written The Baseball Gods are Real – Volume 4: The Pandemic Years. I this book, I continue on my spiritual path as my son Nate Fink grinds on with his baseball road to the show. Along the way, my son emerges as my creative muse, feeding me the stories and manifesting the life experiences that became the chapters of this next book. As I travel with my son along his baseball road to the show, we find more fingerprints of the Baseball Gods along the way.
Baseball has always played a big part of your life, from your father’s love of the New York Giants to your nickname, “Scooter.” Please tell us about the role baseball played as you grew up.
My Dad, Jeffrey Fink, grew up in the Bronx, New York. He was a die-hard New York Giants fan and his favorite player was Willie Mays. When the Giants moved to San Francisco, my Dad was broken hearted. As a result, I was raised in a home that rooted for both the New Mets and the New York Yankees. My Dad and I often had baseball catch in the street and we also watched lots of baseball together on television. We watched games of both the Yankees and the Mets. Because I was a fast runner, my Dad gave me the nickname “Scooter” which of course was the nickname of Yankees legendary shortstop Phil Rizzuto. When I was 12-years-old, My uncle, Dr. Gary Koslow took me to Game 1 of the 1986 World Series at Shea Stadium and that experience turned me into a die-hard baseball fan for life.
Many people accuse Yankees fans of being front-runners, but that certainly wasn’t the case with you. How did you come to love the Yankees? And, you’re also a Mets fan…right?
I have been a dedicated Kansas City Royals fan since moving to Kansas City for the first time in 1999. However, growing up on Long Island, just thirty minutes away from Shea Stadium, I first started attending Mets baseball games. But then in high school, my best friend at the time, Brett Goldstein, had access to Yankees season tickets through the company his Dad worked for. So, during the early1990s, I attended lots of Yankees games with my high school buddies and definitely considered myself a Yankees fan. And you make a good point, during the early 1990s, the Yankees were a losing team and most of the time Yankee Stadium was half empty!
Aside from being an author, how do you make a living?
My day job is as a financial advisor. After leaving Morgan Stanley in 2015, I created my own investment firm in Leawood, KS called Satya Investment Management.
What advice would you give to a person who wishes to become a writer?
Don’t force it. Only write when you “feel the flow.” To get into “the flow,” I recommend yoga, meditation and a vegetarian diet.
What was the biggest lesson that you learned from baseball?
Some say that baseball is a game of failure. Think about it, a good hitter only gets a hit one-third of the time. Baseball has taught me to accept that setbacks in life will happen. It’s ok to fall down, these things happen. The key, is having the will to get back up and try again.
In looking at the history of the Yankees, or baseball in general, what person or event would you like to see a book written about?
I just watched a video today that paid tribute to the great Los Angeles Dodger Tommy Lasorda, who recently passed. In this one video clip. after pitcher Orel Hershiser got the last out to win the World Series, the first thing he did was kneel down and prayed to thank god. I’d like to see a book written about religion, faith, and the game of baseball.
I would like the see you write that book. I am sure it would be great!
In the book and the movie, The Natural, the main character wants nothing more than to walk down the street and have people say, “There goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was.” Who was the best baseball player you ever saw (at any level)?
Simi Valley California, August of 2017. Christian Haupt. He was 8-years-old.
Our final question is really just a collection of short answers…
What was your favorite baseball team growing up?
First the New York Mets, then the New York Yankees, now the Kansas City Royals.
Who was your favorite player?
Mookie Wilson and Lenny Dykstra on the New York Mets and Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield with the New York Yankees.
What is your most prized collectible?
The baseball I caught in the bleachers at Dodgers Stadium off Ryan Braun from the Milwaukee Brewers, during batting practice at the 2018 NLCS.
Who is your favorite musical group or artist?
Artist, Bruce Springsteen. Musical group, Phish.
What is your favorite food (if it is pizza, what is your favorite pizza restaurant)?
Black and White cookies from any New York City deli, potatoes knishes from any vendor outside Yankee Stadium and bagels from any shop on Long Island.
Please share anything else you’d like with our audience –
Thank you for having me on Start Spreading the News and best of luck to both the New York Mets and the New York Yankees in 2021.
May the Baseball Gods be with you!
Jonathan, this has been a great pleasure. I have your new book with me right here. I am really looking forward to reading it. Please keep in touch.
May the Baseball Gods be with you as well!