Fans of baseball across the country know the story of “Moneyball,” in which Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane used analytics to cheaply assemble an unlikely crew of professional ballplayers. Yet an even more unlikely success story took place last year in Sonoma County, when independent Minor League baseball team the Sonoma Stompers employed a similar tactic, except with zero money.
In the new book “The Only Rule Is It Has to Work,” analysts and authors Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller share their experience of working with the Stompers and a massive stack of statistics last summer to build an experimental and, ultimately, historic baseball team. Not only does the book cover the many colorful characters who made up the Stompers roster last year—including the nation’s first openly gay professional baseball player, pitcher Sean Conroy—the story also thrillingly follows the team as they chased the Pacific Division championship in dramatic fashion.
This week, Lindbergh and Miller are joined by Conroy, outfielder Mark Hurley, first baseman Daniel Baptista and Stompers mascot Rawhide for a reading on Friday, May 20, at the Petaluma Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma. 7pm. Free admission (RSVP recommended). 707.762.0563.