UC alumnus and former federal police officer pens children’s storybooks that tell the lively history of the first professional baseball team
By Dakota Wright
Thousands of young fans who attend the Cincinnati Reds Aug. 11 game will take home a children’s book written by UC graduate Joel Altman.
The first 8,000 fans who are 14 and younger will receive a copy of “Gapper’s Grand Tour: A Voyage Through Great American Ball Park.”
The special giveaway is the second in a four-book series on the Reds by Altman, Ed ’03, who decided to use Gapper, the Reds kid-friendly mascot, to share some of the behind-the-scenes amenities of the Reds home field.
Altman never expected a 2011 meeting with the Reds media relations manager to lead to this. In fact, when he first showed up at the team’s front office, they didn’t even remember why he was there.
“I thought he was looking at me like I was crazy,” says Altman, even after he explained the purpose of the meeting and pitched his idea for a Reds storybook. “I assumed that it probably wasn’t going to go anywhere.”
But the Reds media relations manager, Michael Anderson, A&S '95, understood what Altman was looking to do and thought it was a great idea. Anderson then introduced him to a key contact with the Reds.