In the second week of March 2020, both Paul Fiarkoski and his wife were notified by their employers that their jobs were ending because of state-mandated shutdowns related to COVID-19. Mrs. Fiarkoski was able to return to work a few weeks later, but Paul’s job was gone for good. At the time, no jobs were available in Paul’s field, so he used the down time to finish a non-fiction book he had put off for nearly ten years.
The timing couldn’t have been better. Fiarkoski self-published Romancing The Blatt: Memoir of a Love Affair With Omaha’s Field of Dreams in June 2020, just before a key milestone. The 120-page book chronicles a series of true, humorous and heartwarming stories that took place at the fabled Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, NE.
Every year from 1950 to 2010, the College World Series championship was played at “The Blatt.” Even though the stadium is nearly 1,300 miles from Phoenix, it’s a venue familiar to fans of both ASU’s and UofA’s baseball teams. Over the years, the two schools’ teams have appeared in the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium a total of 39 times, winning a combined nine national championships.
“If my bedroom window was a picture frame, Rosenblatt’s iconic stadium light towers were a constant element in the upper left corner,” Fiarkoski wrote in the book.
“Following most baseball games, the light towers would glow for an hour or so after the final out as people left the stadium. On fireworks nights, the stadium crew would dim the lights quickly before lighting up the sky with a kaleidoscope of explosions.”
In 2009, after learning that the stadium was slated for demolition, Fiarkoski convinced his wife to spend their family vacation at the 2009 College World Series. Then, he used social media to raise awareness and urged people to get to The Blatt while they still could.
In 2010, the dream of any college baseball fan came true for Fiarkoski. Despite never having taken a single journalism class, he was granted a press pass that gave him unlimited access to Rosenblatt Stadium for her final College World Series. His love affair with The Blatt culminated with a 10-day, behind-the-scenes adventure few people have experienced.
Rosenblatt Stadium was much more than a baseball stadium to the people of the community. In Romancing The Blatt, Fiarkoski shares his personal experiences at concerts, baseball games and even the sledding hill on the north side of the stadium. In vivid detail, he takes you on a journey that resulted in a deep love for Omaha’s real-life field of dreams.
Romancing The Blatt is Fiarkoski’s second self-published book. In October, 2019 he published Arizona Bucket List Adventure Guide & Journal. It features 50 must-see wonders in the Grand Canyon State. Both books can be purchased on Amazon.