Small Illinois Town Turns to America's Mayor After Bloomberg Snub

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Southern Illinois Mayor Ned Mitchell is challenging America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, to a "literary duel" between hometown baseball books, after being snubbed by current New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mitchell is 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. In Giuliani's corner is New York's own hometown baseball story, The Echoing Green by Joshua Prager.

After issuing several letters to New York City's Mayor Bloomberg, the small-town mayor of Sesser, Illinois, is taking his case to America's Mayor -- Rudy Giuliani.

In December 2006, Sesser, Illinois, Mayor Ned Mitchell challenged New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to a fair review of each city's hometown baseball book "to let the people of America decide which is better." Mayor Bloomberg did not directly respond to Mayor Mitchell's letters. "I can't believe it," explained Mitchell. "The Mayor used a third person, his assistant press secretary, to call another third party, the marketing director of our publisher, to say their office is not interested in participating. Frankly, I think that is just plain rude."

Offended by the snub of a fellow elected mayor, Mayor Mitchell has decided to take his case to America's Mayor, former New York City mayor (and baseball fan) Rudy Giuliani. Mayor Mitchell believes Giuliani is up to this good-natured literary duel. "Rudy the Rock is a mayor with class. He loves New York baseball and would never snub one of his peers," said Mitchell from his small office in the town hall of Sesser, Illinois, a community of barely 2,000 souls. "Rudy will answer me, and my bet is he will take our challenge."

In a letter to Giuliani sent Wednesday, Mayor Mitchell explained the similarities and differences between each city's favorite baseball story. The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World, 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. Author Joshua Prager lives in New York City and writes for The Wall Street Journal.

Gary Moore's Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams details Sesser-resident 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 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.

"All I am seeking is that the New York media fairly review Playing with the Enemy," continued Mayor Mitchell. "If they do, I will see that The Echoing Green gets a fair and honest review from The Southern Illinoisan newspaper, headquartered in Carbondale, Illinois."

Mitchell's challenge quickly gained national notoriety, 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.

"Rudy is a fair man, he loves baseball, and he knows how to treat a fellow American mayor," said Mitchell. "I look forward to getting a copy of our award-winning book into Rudy's hands so he can enjoy the most heartwarming baseball saga he has ever read," continued Sesser's mayor. "But he better have a hanky nearby. It will be embarrassing for him if he starts tearing up on the presidential campaign trail."

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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