September 25, 2003
Terry Rush Kicks Off Premeiere Of New Book At Cardinals Game
Terry Rush grew up in Memphis dreaming one day to make it to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Of course the minister at the Memorial Drive Church of Christ in Tulsa, OK, aspired to be a baseball player and never dreamed he would be in front of 40,000+ Cardinals fans as an accomplished author.
Rush was on hand Saturday, September 20 when the Cardinals took on the Houston Astros as part of a special promotion. His recently completed book, a tribute to former St. Louis broadcasting legend Jack Buck entitled “Voice of Silver, Heart of Gold”, was given out to the first 20,000 fans to enter the gates at the game.
“In Memphis, I ate, drank and slept baseball,” Rush said. “I never really was interested in Church. But it shows the power of God that here I am today at Busch Stadium simply because I wrote a book about a great man, Jack Buck. This isn’t a theology book, it’s deeply rooted in the generosity of Jack Buck’s heart and shows how God works in everyday baseball lives.”
The book is a 120-page compilation of letters, messages and other words of encouragement offered to the Buck family after the passing of Jack on June 18, 2002.
Terry was selected to author the piece because of his friendship with Mrs. Buck as well as his love and admiration for both Jack Buck and the Cardinals.
Carol met Rush while he was preaching at the chapel at the St. Louis Cardinals fantasy camp.
“I was speaking about how wonderful God is and I used this power analogy,” Rush said. “I asked everyone what they would think if the Cardinals traded Mark McGwire for me. I then reminded them that God traded his own son for each and everyone of us. Carol was moved by my sermon and we instantly became good friends.”
Jack Buck became seriously ill soon after the fantasy camp and Rush kept in touch with the family offering them inspiration during the trying times.
Soon after his death, Carol hatched the idea of creating a book to show her family’s appreciation to the Cardinal Nation, the host of dedicated fans that had grown up listening to her husband on the radio. She said Terry was an easy choice to write the book.
“I read his other works plus I knew Terry really knew what it was like to enjoy the voice of Jack Buck and what it meant to all of his wonderful fans,” Carol said.
Terry began working on the book in October of last year. He went through more than 400 letters written to the family after Jack’s passing. He also worked through more than 45 hours of callers to talk shows at KMOX radio, Jack’s former station.
“The book is basically a quilt work of stories from Jack’s fans,” Terry said. “I consider myself a visionary. I could always see what the book would be like. Yet I never dreamed the Cardinals would use it as a promotion and I never imagined I would be at Busch Stadium signing autographs.”
Rush and Mrs. Buck spent nearly two hours autographing copies of the book for long lines of fans. It started as an impromptu signing at the front gate where the books were being given out. Then the Cardinals media relations people moved the authors to a special room and told fans they would have 30 more minutes to get an autograph. But with long lines still waiting Carol and Terry decided to stay longer.
Terry looked at Carol as they decided to stay and told her “Jack would have stayed for his fans, so should we.” And they did.
Rush sprinkled in more than one piece of home to the book. It actually opens with a quote from Judge E. Richard Webber’s letter to the Bucks.
“I spent many lonely nights on farm tractors where my only contact with the world was listening to you and Mr. Shannon. Primarily, during planting season and early harvest, when we sometimes worked all night, you kept me going. I felt a part of something that was very special. I eagerly waited the time you came on the air because I knew, even though I have never met you, that you were my friend.”
In chapter five there is a tribute from the family of Rob Young, who died in a traffic crash around the time Jack passed away. The piece includes a photo from his memorial, showing Rob Young and friend Rob Shannon with Mr. Buck. The page also includes the memorial “After Glow” offered at Rob’s funeral as Rush said it was fitting of Jack’s passing as well.
Rob’s parents, Ronnie and Bonnie Young of Memphis traveled to Busch Stadium for the day and were able to spend the special day with Rush and Carol Buck.
Local readers did not miss out onthe book simply because they were not at the game. Copies of “Voice of Silver, Heart of Gold” will be available at J’s Foods in Memphis beginning this week.