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Dear Mr. Deuker,
I am really glad you wrote Painting the Black. It touched me, and it made me a better baseball player. I want to thank you for writing your book.
Before I read your book, I totally stunk at baseball. I was fat and slow. I just wanted to give up. I was striking out a lot, and when I tried to catch a grounder it always went right through my legs. When I tried to pitch I couldn't throw a ball near the plate. Heck, I couldn't even get the ball to the plate. Every time I tried to do something right I did it wrong. Everyone kept getting mad at me. Sometimes I cried, but then I read your book.
It inspired me to get in shape and get faster. At first it was hard to run every day and watch what I ate. I had to hit balls, catch grounders, catch fly balls, pitch one hundred pitches a day, and catch one hundred pitches a day. Every day it kept getting harder. Even though it kept getting harder, I kept at it. After a couple of weeks of doing this, I started to get better. I was getting faster, skinnier. I was starting to catch grounders. My hitting was improving. I was starting to pitch the ball over the plate. My catching was better and I was starting to catch fly balls. I practiced really hard for another 2 months. Then baseball season started. When it was the first day of practice, I was hitting line drives every time. I was catching my grounders and fly balls. When they asked who could pitch, I said I could and when I started to pitch I was throwing strikes every time. Every day I got better and better. When the season ended, I batted over 500, with 12 homeruns, 10 no-hitters, and 90 strike outs. I won the league M.V.P. (Most Valuable Player). That is how your book inspired me and you brought the love of the game to life for me. Thank you.
© The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. (Used by permission.)