Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) September 20, 2004
Where have all the heroes gone? Have they become endangered species, forfeiting their present rank on the list to more glitzy causes like the spotted owl and the yellow-shouldered blackbird? Who have we to adulate? Our basketball players have spent more time in court than on it. Our celebrities are as squeaky-clean as a downtown boulevard just before street sweepers arrive. Our politicians? They stretch the truth like a kid pulling a wad of gum from his teeth to armÂs length. Truth is, there arenÂt many role models in this day and age, at least not the kind who achieve their status in what is now known as Âthe old-fashioned way,Â quietly and with a lot of hard work, honesty, and determination rather than big talking and corner-cutting.
This is what makes the story of Roger Owens, the beloved and internationally famous Peanut Man at Dodger Stadium, all the more inspiring, engaging, and heart-warming. Chronicling his childhood fears of his motherÂs mental breakdown, foster home abuse, and life in the threatening, inner-city streets of Los Angeles as the son of a Baptist minister and eldest of nine children growing up in a very poor family, a new book entitled ÂThe Perfect PitchÂ also colorfully depicts his rise from lowly soda vendor to the premier peanut pitcher, known for his trick peanut bag tossing, quick wit, and approachable charm. Owens, who has appeared on nearly every major talk show, countless news programs, and game shows and even bit roles in motion pictures, still continues to entertain Dodger fans even after almost 46 years and 2.5 million bags of peanuts, uniquely-tossed and unbelievably accurate even from more than 30 rows.
ÂDodger Stadium is my home away from home. I live and breathe this place. I guess I was just born to be an entertainer, and Dodger Stadium is my stage,Â Owens said.
Written by OwensÂ nephew, Daniel S. Green, the book also delves into the many hardships and miracles Owens and his family faced while growing up, which included an attempted murder on his father in Compton in 1968 during a holdup that made headlines. The fired bullet had been stopped in its tracks by a huge wad of Gospel tracts, stuffed in the ministerÂs front coat pocket. A year later, Owens himself survived a near-fatal military jeep accident that required emergency brain surgery by the militaryÂs most gifted neurosurgeon and in the days well before CT scans. Owens amazed his physicians and went on to become the most celebrated peanut vendor of all time - a fact solidified by his appearance on ÂThe Tonight ShowÂ with Johnny Carson.
A graphic designer, Green also designed the cover of his debut book, ÂThe Perfect PitchÂ but admits, ÂI couldnÂt design a better true life story to work with.Â In fact, the story is one born out of inspiration of his familyÂs ability to transform their misfortunes into positive situations, but Owens is just as proud of his nephew for another reason. Born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas, he struggles with it everyday. His oldest brother even had to undergo a double lung transplant five years ago to save his life, and two cousins also have it.
In our society, it is increasingly difficult to find a hero worth imitating and respecting. However, in the recently released biography ÂThe Perfect Pitch,Â it becomes obvious that Roger Owens, the Famous Peanut Man at Dodger Stadium, is worthy of being called a genuine hero, both for the sport of baseball and for the everyday people who work tirelessly and sometimes with little notice or appreciation. Owens represents so much of what all Americans strive to be, and his consistent and intoxicating positive outlook, even in the midst of hopelessness, poverty, and times of real pain, will remind all of us what is admirable and important in all areas of our lives. And that means putting all your enthusiasm into everything you do, even tossing peanuts at the ballpark.
Publisher: Llumina Press
Format: Paperback (6x9)
Format: Hardcover (6x9)
To purchase copies or find more information, please visit http://www.rogerowenspeanutman.com or any major on-line bookstore.
Both Green and Owens are available for interview, and nationwide by phone.
About the Author
Daniel Scott Green graduated from California State University, Long Beach. He has a B.A. in Art and a Minor in Marketing. He works as a graphic designer and does some web design. He eventually wants to do what he is best at, illustrating and oil painting. Green also would like to draw and write children's books and write songs. His hobbies include playing guitar, traveling, and music. A native of West Los Angeles, Green currently resides in Orange County, California.
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