Bio of C. Terry Walters
C. Terry Walters had reinvented himself several times over the years; from teacher to salesman, to operations manager, to Honda automobile dealer and finally to internet manager for a television station. Most of the career changes were necessitated by the need to stay employed and provide for his family. But during the last few years at abc27-TV he developed an itch that had to be scratched. He began to write short stories about baseball events whose outcomes he felt should have turned out differently. He wanted to create alternate endings that were more satisfying to him.
Working full-time left little time for research and writing. He decided to take early retirement. Within a year, he completed the manuscript for Diamond Redemptions: Baseball the Way it Should Have Been.
He began to write a blog under the name Baseball Historian.
Another baseball book waited in the queue. Terry shared a fascination with many other baseball fans, the source and meaning of baseball player nicknames. He concentrated solely on those players who not only accepted unflattering nicknames but also chose to adopt those names after they retired from the sport. His baseball nickname project was nearly complete when serendipity interceded during a haircut. The stylist told him about Charlie Wysocki, and suggested that Charlie’s life would make a great book.
Wysocki was an African-American teen living in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He left home to avoid the violent threats from an older brother who was later diagnosed as a schizophrenic. Charlie found shelter in the home of a football teammate. The white upper-middle class family legally adopted him. He developed into a premier high school athlete and earned a full football scholarship to the University of Maryland where he was named All-American in his junior year.
He signed a contract with the Dallas Cowboys and reported to training camp. Within a matter of days he began suffering from sleeplessness and became too fatigued to compete for a roster spot. Coach Tom Landry sent him home. He attempted to take his own life and
fell into a catatonic state. He was diagnosed as a manic-depressive, a disease now known as bi-polar disease. He spent the next 25 years in and out of mental hospitals.
Within a few minutes of talking to him in person, Terry knew he had to write Charlie’s story, now published as Saddle-Up Charlie: Charlie Wysocki’s Journey From Gridiron Glory Into Mental Illness. The book has given Charlie a leg-up in his effort to reclaim his life.
The baseball nickname project was set to move to the front burner but never made it. During a meeting with his financial advisor, the name Sharon Taylor surfaced. Terry learned that Taylor had lost her position as Director of Athletics at Lock Haven University because of her advocacy of gender equality in sports. After meeting Taylor for lunch and hearing the back-story, he decided to write The Lost Haven of Sharon Taylor.
Terry has several ideas for his next project, but accepts that the unexpected may come into play once more.
Although his career as a baseball writer was short-circuited, Terry has retained his closeness to the sport by serving as official scorer for the Harrisburg Senators, the Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. He also boasts of having the “world’s” most complete collection of baseballs signed by Philadelphia Phillies players during the last half of the twentieth century. Comcast Sports in Philadelphia featured the collection in a short documentary that aired in 2014.
Type of Writing
non-fiction, creative non-fiction, NF: biography, action/adventure