Josh Kross, active NYC Dads Group event organizer of the Upper West side, father of three, and fellow blogger over at the Angry SAHD, shares this latest guest blog entry about a very cool sports related experience:
One of the perks of being part of the NYC Dads Group for me is that sometimes people reach out to us to share interesting events happening around the city and let us participate. For some reason, whenever it is sports related, I seem to be available. I’ve gotten to talk to Tony Dungy and Jerome Bettis about their fatherhood initiative. I got to talk to Apolo Ohno about his marathon training.
The latest, however, was probably the most fun. David Eckstein, 2006 World Series MVP, was at the Apple store with his wife, actress and entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein, to read and promote the new “David & Goliath for the iPad: MVP Edition” put out by Jumping Pages. Jumping Pages was nice enough to reach out to us and offer us the opportunity to come to the event and have some time to chat with David and Ashley.
For starters, the app is really cool. It is an animated storybook version of the classic David and Goliath story from the Bible. Every page has things to touch, flick, or move. It’s effectively a very attractive digital pop-up book. Eckstein has narrated it for the “MVP” edition, which adds a little something for the sports-fan parent who will use the app with their child.
Now, of course, 5’7″ Eckstein spent his entire career being compared to the biblical David. He overcame long odds and the derision of skeptics. His reputation for hard work led just about every sportswriter to overuse adjectives like “gritty, scrappy, passionate” and anything else that could be used to describe someone playing bigger than they are. Which is why Jumping Pages reached out to Eckstein.
While Eckstein’s voice-over work is not as polished as his wife’s — she’s the voice of the main character in a Star Wars cartoon series — it had a charm and warmth to it that was really effective as part of the storytelling. However, for me, the best stories were those that I got when speaking to him beforehand, about his career and baseball in general.
After making an obligatory “grission” joke (Google it), I got down to important stuff. No, the Mets hadn’t contacted him yet (Reyes’ departure was imminent), and Jeter should stay at shortstop “as long as he wants to.” Eckstein, who was out of baseball this past season, says he’s been offered opportunities as both a player and a coach, but that he did not know yet where baseball would be in his future, even though it is his passion.
He is currently concentration on helping with his wife’s business, Her Universe. Her Universe is a sci-fi merchandise destination for female fans. She’s got licenses with LucasArts and other producers and has been really pushing the idea that women can be just as interested in sci-fi as men.
David Eckstein is also a big wrestling fan. I asked him who would have been better, him as a wrestler or Randy “Macho Man” Savage as a baseball player. Savage actually played baseball in AAA in the ’70s. He explained that in his only stint in wrestling, his brother Rick Eckstein, current Nationals hitting coach, took the punch, so he’d go with Randy.
All proceeds that David receives from the app go to the charity he’s associated with, Bags of Hope, a charity that helps homeless kids in Seminole County, Florida.