New Year, Second Chance for New York City's Mayor Bloomberg to Answer Challenge to Sesser Mayor's 'Book Duel'

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Sesser (Southern Illinois) Mayor Ned Mitchell has declared "literary war" against Mayor Michael Bloomberg and The Big Apple. Mitchell, the mayor of the small Midwestern town featured in Gary Moore's recently released award-winning "Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams," has challenged New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the equivalent of literary dueling pistols at 20 paces. In Bloomberg's corner is New York's own hometown baseball story, "The Echoing Green" by Joshua Prager.

In the spirit of Leonard Wibberley's 1959 novel "The Mouse That Roared," Mayor Ned Mitchell of Sesser, Illinois, declared "literary war" late last year against Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City. Mitchell's challenge: a fair review of each city's hometown baseball book "to let the people of America decide which is better."

The Illinois "Mayor That Roared" sent Mayor Bloomberg a letter on December 4, 2006, introducing Sesser's baseball story and challenging the city of New York to a literary duel. If Mayor Bloomberg encourages the New York media to fairly review Gary Moore's "Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams" (Savas Beatie, 2006) Mayor Mitchell will see that Joshua Prager's "The Echoing Green" (Pantheon, 2006) gets a fair and honest review in The Southern Illinoisan newspaper, headquartered in Carbondale, Illinois.

Although one month has passed since his first letter, Sesser Mayor Ned Mitchell is demanding the respect he deserves as a fellow elected American office holder: the dignity of Mayor Bloomberg's response. "I trust the most powerful mayor in the world is not afraid of a little one-on-one and will welcome a duel of hometown baseball books," Mitchell says.

Although Bloomberg has yet to respond, Mitchell's challenge quickly gained national coverage, especially on the Internet, where baseball and writing blogs picked up on the contest and encouraged the friendly competition. Fans of both titles across the country are closely watching reviews posted on Amazon. Each title has passionate followers.

Mayor Mitchell sent a second letter to Mayor Bloomberg, sent via Federal Express on January 2, 2007, explaining the similarities and differences between each city's favorite baseball story. "The Echoing Green," one of the top selling baseball books in the nation, is the story of the 1951 playoff game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. It is a widely reviewed book published by Pantheon, a division of Random House, the largest publisher in the world. Its author lives in New York City and writes for The Wall Street Journal.

Gary Moore's "Playing with the Enemy" details Sesser native Gene Moore's life as a 15-year-old baseball prodigy and his brush with destiny (and the same Brooklyn Dodgers) when WWII sent his life careening in a different direction. Gene Moore was the author's father. Despite steady sales, a national book tour sponsored by Southwest Airlines, rave reviews from readers and a deluge of email, snail mail and phone calls to its author, "Playing with the Enemy" has not received a New York media review. "Playing with the Enemy" was published by Savas Beatie LLC, a small independent press with an international following. Author Gary W. Moore, Gene's son, lives in Illinois. "Playing with the Enemy" is his first book. Gerald Molen (Schindler's List [Oscar], Minority Report, Jurassic Park) acquired movie rights. Filming is set for mid-2007.

Moore remains confident that Mayor Bloomberg will respond to the baseball book challenge. "With the turning of the calendar, we are confident Mayor Bloomberg has dedicated himself to a new set of resolutions, and that one of them is ringing in 2007 with a baseball book showdown!"

For additional information on Mayor Mitchell's open challenge, contact Sarah Keeney or visit

About Savas Beatie LLC:

Savas Beatie LLC is a leading military and general history publishing company.

About "Playing with the Enemy" author Gary Moore:

Gary W. Moore is the president and managing partner of Covenant Air & Water, LLC, a motivational speaker, and an accomplished musician. Gene Moore was his father. Gary lives in Bourbonnais, Illinois, south of Chicago.


Sarah Keeney, Marketing Director

Savas Beatie LLC

Phone: 408-892-1316

Fax: 916-941-6895


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