Last month, Ironman, the autobiography of legendary Chicago Cubs catcher Randy Hundley, was published. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing John St. Augustine, longtime fan and friend of Hundley and the co-author of Ironman. That interview is at On the Beat With John St. Augustine.
When I was growing up watching the Cubs, I could always count on Hundley behind the plate. Although he started with the San Francisco Giants, Hundley joined the Cubs in 1966 and remained their starter through the 1973 season. During that time, he caught 947 games, but that includes 1972, when an injury limited him to nine games. Over a four year stretch, he averaged 153 games. He also caught 160 once, which still stands as an MLB record, one that will probably never be broken. Hundley was indeed an Ironman.
As a youngster, St. Augustine first met Hundley while seeking autographs. Little did either know how their lives would become intertwined years later.
Fast forward to a fantasy camp, an idea that Hundley actually started, the two met again. St. Augustine had a great camp, but more importantly he developed several friendships, most notably one with Hundley.
A few years ago, after a bit of prodding from St. Augustine, Hundley decided to finally write his book. His handpicked co-author was St. Augustine, a wise and natural choice. Together they worked diligently, but with a real passion, to bring the full story of Hundley's life and career.
I can proudly say I play a very small part in this process. St. Augustine contacted me after I interviewed Jody Davis, another former Cubs catcher. I put him in touch with Davis and also George Castle, my former colleague and longtime friend. St. Augustine and Hundley were even kind enough to include me in the book's acknowledgements, for which I am very grateful and somewhat shocked.
The book is destined to be a "must-read" for any Cubs fan, but also any baseball fan in general. In addition, even historians will love it for much of it's backdrop is during the turbulent 1960s.
For more information, go to Lulu.com. You can also get an autographed copy directly from St, Augustine if you contact him on Facebook.