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May 14, 2024 68 mins

When the odds are stacked high and life throws every conceivable challenge your way, some give up, but not Jim Tietjens. Striding through a storm of health battles that would test the mettle of the strongest souls, Jim's story is nothing short of miraculous. From guarding soccer goalposts with unmatched fervor to enduring two heart transplants, a kidney transplant, and cancer, his life is a testament to human resilience. Our conversation takes a journey through the emotional labyrinth of facing the same heart condition that tragically cut short the lives of his family members, and how the dreams of becoming a husband and father fueled his indomitable will to survive.

The heartbeat of this episode lies in the raw, powerful experiences Jim shares, proving that a foundation built on discipline, mentorship, and teamwork can be a lifeline through life's toughest trials. We gain insight into how the discipline from Jim's youth, the absence of a father figure, and the lessons from the soccer field and Catholic school shaped a leader who faced down death with the strategy of an elite athlete. The parallels between the sports arena and the battlefields of medical intervention are striking, with Jim highlighting the significance of robust support networks, both on the pitch and during his tenure at Barnes Hospital.

To cap off this compelling episode, we witness the profound human connections that transcend the world of sports into everyday heroism. Jim's role at Rawlings not only colored the pages of Major League Baseball history but also underscored the invaluable impact of community support and personal relationships in our professional endeavors. His book "Saves" and his induction into the Soccer Hall of Fame stand as beacons of hope and celebration of a life lived fiercely against the odds. Join us for this inspiring journey with Jim Tietjens, where each chapter of adversity is met with courage and every setback paves the way for another remarkable comeback.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to the Fuzzy Mike, the interview series, the
podcast, whatever Kevin wants tocall it.
It's Fuzzy Mike.
Hello, and thank you forjoining me for another episode
of the Fuzzy Mike, whereentertaining and informative
conversations inspire us andhelp us navigate mental health
struggles and empower us throughself-improvement.

(00:22):
My guest today, the posterperson for inspiration he's had
two heart transplants, a kidneytransplant, overcome two bouts
of cancer one being stage four,non-hodgkin's lymphoma over a
dozen battles with pneumonia,and now he has circulatory

(00:43):
problems that cause leg issuesand has already resulted in one
toe amputation.
I grew up watching Jim Teginsplay goalie for our alma mater,
oakville High School.
This was back in the 70s,mid-70s.
Actually, I wanted to be agoalie.
Because of him, jim hasreceived so many honors and

(01:04):
accolades.
Now, just to name them, we'dend up taking the entire time
that we have together here.
He's an inductee in the StLouis Soccer Hall of Fame and he
was in the latest class ofinductees to our Melville
Oakville High School AlumniAssociation Hall of Fame, and
that's how we connected.
Jim has written a book abouthis soccer life and his medical

(01:25):
triumphs.
The book is titled Saves andit's available at
inspiremestoriescom.
Life sure is full of surprises,if you would have told me,
growing up as a seven-year-oldboy, that one day I'd not only
talk with Jim, but that we'dbecome friends Wow, I wouldn't

(01:47):
have believed it.
Yet here we are.
I mean, I grew up watching youplay, bro.

Speaker 2 (01:53):
Yeah, but you know, I'm just a simple, we're just
two simple Oakville guys, right.

Speaker 1 (01:57):
Well, that you couldn't get any more.

Speaker 2 (01:59):
True than that, yeah, and that's the good thing about
it you just can immediatelyconnect.

Speaker 1 (02:04):
I think that what we're going to talk about today
with not only your professionalsoccer career, your career with
the US youth national team, butthe health battles that you've
endured over your years, I can'tthink of a more mentally tough
person in my life than you, jimTeagans.

Speaker 2 (02:22):
Yeah, no, I think that's probably one of the
strongest things I got, and fullcredit to my mom on that.
You know she, she just you knowshe lost her husband with three
kids when she was in her earlythirties and she never showed me
anything but resilience.
You know, I think it just camefrom her and it's not like a

(02:44):
rah-rah thing, it's justsomething.
When you see her every day getup and do it, you just kind of
do the same.

Speaker 1 (02:51):
It's something that was instilled in you by your mom
.
You said that she lost herhusband.
You lost your father when youwere two years old.

Speaker 2 (02:59):
I was 21 months.
Yeah, just about two.

Speaker 1 (03:02):
Okay, and he passed away from a heart condition.

Speaker 2 (03:07):
Yeah, so he had.
Well, they classified it asmyocarditis because the real
disease wasn't diagnosed yet atthat time.
Nowadays it's called idiopathiccardiomyopathy, which generally
means sick heart, and the wordidiopathic simply means your
heart gets sick, but we don'treally know what it's sick from.

(03:28):
There's also a viralcardiomyopathy that comes from a
virus.
It's the same thing.
Your heart gets sick and youcan tend to recover from.
Viral Idiopathic generallymeans it's hereditary and you're
not going to recover.

Speaker 1 (03:43):
Yeah, so you uh have uh the hereditary idiopathic
cardiomyopathy.
Uh, your sister, uh Karen, hadthat right, right yeah, and your
father passes away at 32, Karenpasses away at 32, and you had
your first heart transplant at32.

Speaker 2 (04:02):
Exactly, yeah.
So when Karen passed away in1989, I was 29, but I pretty
much at that point began toprepare myself mentally that it
was going to come.
And so when it came it,honestly you know it wasn't, it
wasn't a good feeling, but itwasn't a surprise.
You know, I was prepared forthe fight and I had an older

(04:24):
sister, Lara, who since passedaway in March of last year, but
she didn't really start to showthe symptoms until she was 40
years old.
A lot of that was due toimproved medications, to kind of
hide symptoms.

Speaker 1 (04:40):
How do you prepare yourself for what you know is
coming and you know what thatfight's going to look like?

Speaker 2 (04:46):
You just don't let it intimidate you.
You try to educate yourself onit in terms of can you survive?
You know, where is it at?
Where are they at now, in sortof the cycle of transplantation
in 1992?
Where was that?
So, where was that at?

(05:06):
But, like you know, I had threeyears when Karen passed, you
know, and I started to feelmyself slowing down.
So it was just something that,okay, it's the next battle.
It's going to be a battle, butin the grand scheme of things,
it's probably only going to bean eight to 10 month battle.
So if you can fight yourselfthrough that at 32 years old,

(05:28):
you still got a lot of time left.
And I was married May 9th of1992.
That was two months before Iwas transplanted, which was July
2nd of 1992.
So at that time, my dream wasto be a husband and a father and
that's what I focused on.
And you know I, the doctors andthe nurses led me to believe

(05:54):
that they weren't going to letanything happen to me.
They took their sort of keys ortheir signs Okay, they're in it
.
They're in it to save me.
I'm going to be in it to dowhat I can to survive.
So, you know, you startassembling a team of great
friends, a medical team, youknow you talk to your nurses

(06:18):
daily to educate yourself on,you know, what will the recovery
be like, what do you thinkabout how long I could possibly
live, you know, and you justkind of engross yourself in it
to the point where you've eventalked to people that have had
heart transplants.
They're doing very well, to thefact where it's just, it

(06:40):
doesn't intimidate you, it'sjust another bump in the road.
And the one thing that I alwaysdid is I refused to see myself
as a patient.
I always looked at myself as aperson.
And you know, because I wasbrought up sort of without a

(07:00):
father and I leaned on my mothera lot and you know I was just
brought up to.
I mean, I was sellingnewspapers.
You know when I was, when I wasin sixth grade, I was a janitor
at St Mary.
When I was in seventh, eighth,you know ninth, tenth, eleventh,
twelfth grade, I always waswilling to work and sort of

(07:22):
overachieve.
And I took that into sports aswell because you know I'm not a
six foot one, six foot twoathlete, I was a five foot 11
athlete, you know.
So I had to.
You know whether it was school,whether it was sports, whatever
it was I had to overachieve thekind of and that was just kind

(07:42):
of ingrained in me from mymother.
So it just I don't want to sayit was easy, but it's just what
I did.
And over the years, with moremedical conditions coming on
time and time again, I kind ofbecame very good at it.
I became being a good patient,which I don't like to use that

(08:05):
word, but in the sense of beingvery patient.
I just was very patient.
I didn't try to rush theprocess.
Ok, the process for this isgoing to be that long.
Take your time, jim.
There's no rush to get out ofthe hospital when you're in it.
You know, don't worry.
Day to day, just live it andfight it one day at a time.

(08:25):
Get through that day.
If you get through that day,you're one day closer to where
you want to be.
And that was just the frame ofmind that always worked for me.
And you know I I had.
I wanted to live, I wanted tobe a husband, I wanted to be a
father, and that those twothings right there really drove

(08:49):
me.
And I also felt theresponsibility to provide for my
wife and my family.
So, as each hurdle came along,I did my best to to really work,
continue to work, provide forthem, and I really never wanted
to bring the kids to doctor'sappointments and this and that

(09:12):
because I didn't want them toview me as a patient.
And today, today, they don't.
Sometimes that gets a littlebit lonely, but it's just, you
know, it's just like oh, it'sdad, no worries, he'll be fine.
You know I sent out a post lastweek that I was joking.

(09:34):
When I went in for my secondheart, I had purchased a 2016
Carvette right, 16, uh, carvetright, yeah.
And I said, and that's true, myson was like, okay, dad, you go
do what you need to get done atthe hospital.
I'll keep an eye on the carvetand I'll say, which is true,

(09:55):
that I thought, I really thoughtI had the keys to the carvet
with me in my little gym bagwhen I left for the hospital.
Well, I was wrong, I wrong, Ididn't.
You know, I come home to findout it's got a surge in the
odometer.
So, yeah, my son took care ofthe car vet.
You know, I not I don't saythis mean, but he, he rarely, if

(10:19):
any time, came to the hospitalto see me because he couldn't
see me.

Speaker 1 (10:24):
He couldn't beat down .

Speaker 2 (10:26):
He always saw me as this strong guy and I was okay.
I understood that.
Yeah, I understood that.
But uh, you know I'm notSuperman.
I just know how to focus on thetask at hand and not look out.
You know six, 12, three monthsin advance.
You know it's kind of like.
You know work.

(10:46):
You know the last.
I'm sure you see it every day.
What do you do every day asyou're creating solutions to
problems, right?

Speaker 1 (10:53):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (10:53):
When you first see the problem it could be kind of
overwhelming, right.
But if you sit back, take adeep breath, get a team together
, talk to a few people, take adeep breath, get a team together
, talk to a few people, there'sa solution to every problem.
And no one ever came to me andsaid Jim, this is fatal, you're
not going to make it so.

(11:21):
Never heard those words.
So in my eyes, I always had achance and I always would slight
the chance in my favor, justbecause I knew I was a good
survivor.
And I think that's a good wordbecause I think that's what my
mom was.

Speaker 1 (11:29):
You know, a lot of this can be read in Jim's new
book.
It's called Saves and it is avery fast read.
I read it in a night and a half, I mean it is just.
It's so easy to read.
It's very compelling.
It talks about you growing upplaying youth soccer, then
moving on to high school and thecollege ranks and then the
youth national team and the proranks and playing over in

(11:50):
Germany for a bit.
But I want to ask you about twothings you said right there.
Number one how did earlycompetition in soccer prepare
you for the competition ofbattling for your life?

Speaker 2 (12:02):
That's one thing is maybe an overachiever.
I'm so competitive I don't liketo lose in anything, especially
when I was younger, so I was ona winning team with the same
coach in grades one througheight.
So when you talk about thethings that prepared you and I
didn't have a father at thattime I was brought up in a

(12:24):
Catholic school very strongfoundation.
I worked for the priest in theCatholic schools, a janitor, for
many years.
So I became very disciplined,very focused, you know, very
passionate.
Even if I was the janitor inthe summer I wanted to have the
cleanest floors in that school.
You know, my soccer coachfollowed us because he had a son

(12:45):
on the team.
So he was a father figure fornine years or eight years.
Right.
So that whole time I felt thatyou know, the foundation was
being built, a strong foundation, by the church where I worked,
the coach where I had that, youknow I was making up, or this

(13:09):
was kind of making up, for thefact that I didn't have a father
figure.
So, you know, I never, I neverlooked at it as a crutch.
And then, you know, I was aquiet kid.

Speaker 1 (13:20):
How can you be a quiet kid and be a goaltender?

Speaker 2 (13:23):
How can you be a quiet kid and be a goaltender?
Well, on the field I was ableto express myself.
That's one place which, on thefield, I was always very vocal.
And you know, by the time I'vegotten to high school, right, I

(13:51):
had played the game eight years,so I'd seen it from a
goalkeeper's perspective foreight years, where you're
looking out onto the field andyou're kind of seeing that you
know you're almost like a key.
Came to high school, I hadalready been seeing the game in
front of me for eight years andhad a very high soccer IQ on the

(14:11):
field.
And then when I started playinggoal in high school which
wasn't to my sophomore year itjust was an easy transition
because now I had very goodplayers in front of me and kind
of being able to direct them andspeak on their level.
It just made it a lot easierand so I just felt very

(14:33):
comfortable in that, whether itwas baseball, soccer, whatever
it was.

Speaker 1 (14:39):
Well, jim was the best soccer goaltender in high
school in the history of StLouis.
He will be humble and deflectthat praise, I'm sure.
But you talked about having agreat team in front of you, and
this goes into the great teamthat assembled at Barnes
Hospital to save your life, notonce, twice, three times, four
times, and you mentioned thatteam earlier.

(15:01):
You said surround yourself witha good team.
That was one of the mentalityaspects that I read about in
saves.
You said surround yourself witha good team.
That was one of the mentalityaspects that I read about in
saves, where you said they gaveme the protocol, they gave me
the plan, I just had to stick toit.
That's basically how youapproached the life-saving
procedures on you.

Speaker 2 (15:20):
Well, first of all you've got the preparation, so
there's a team that's with youduring the preparation, right.
And then you've got the event,and there's probably a team
that's with you.
Then that might be some of thesame, more different, you know,
some different whatever.
And then there's recovery forthe event, getting back into

(15:40):
normal life.
So I mean again, I've alwayshad great friends that love me
unconditional in Oakville it's asmall place, right.
When I got on the hearttransplant list, I got on it in
February.
It was my birthday, february25th of 1992.
And I didn't have, I didn't gettransplanted until July 2nd of

(16:05):
1992.
And I actually became sick inOctober of 1991.
So, starting from October of1991 until I got transplanted in
July of 1992, I'm constantly intouch with this team of medical
people at Barnes Hospital.
I'm getting to know them on apersonal basis.

(16:28):
You have your nurse coordinator.
Every cardiac doctor, everycardiologist on the heart
transplant team has his ownnurse coordinator, all right.
So she's the one that really iskind of taking you by that.
She or he is taking you by thehand, taking you through the
process, so they're your go-toperson.

(16:49):
So, because I was scared and Iwanted to learn, I mean there
were times when I I mean Iremember traveling with Rawlings
and being on the road for hoursat a time with them, just
trying to take in knowledge whatabout this and how's this going
to work, and what about thismedication and what about that,
you know, and how long will ittake for the wound to heal, what

(17:10):
about my muscles, et cetera.
So just trying to, you know,engross myself with so much
knowledge that I didn't fear it.
It was now just go through theprocess, jim, and my process was
trying to survive tilltransplant, because I had a lot
of ventricular tachycardia beatswhich can take your life

(17:32):
instantly.
Those are the type ofheartbeats that took the life of
Hank Gathers.

Speaker 1 (17:38):
Oh, Loyola Marymount basketball player.

Speaker 2 (17:40):
Right, and also Reggie Lewis.
It causes sudden cardiac death.
So I had a lot of those type ofbeats which make you very
susceptible to sudden death.
Now there's medication that canhelp with that, but you know,
the medication isn't alwaysgoing to be perfect.
But you know, I know that thetime where the doctor finally

(18:02):
said to me Jim, you're in thehospital and you're not going
home till you get a heart, andyou're not going home till you
get a heart, that was music tomy ears, because if I'm going to
have a sudden cardiac deathepisode, I want to be in the
hospital and not at home.
So you know I had certain thingsI had to do and they had to do
to get to the transplantTransplant itself not the

(18:24):
toughest surgery in the world.
You know they've done it, it'sjust two and a half three hours.
But then you got to plan forthe world.
You know they've done it, it'sjust two and a half three hours.
But then you got to plan forthe recovery and you know, being
an athlete and being still ingood shape at 32.
I mean, I got home and you know, after I did a few things
because a few other things causeI was a newlywed I got in the

(18:45):
car, I dropped, drove right tothe gym and you know it was like
the second day and you know Iwasn't supposed to be driving,
but that was just my style andI've done that style ever since
and it works for me and thedoctors know it works for me.

Speaker 1 (19:00):
There's one thing in there that you were talking
about with tachycardia, and didI read correctly in saves, that
your heartbeat was at 2,400beats per minute at one time.

Speaker 2 (19:10):
No, what would happen ?
It would have 24 consecutivetachycardia beats.
So instead of a normal rhythm,your heart would go into a
tachycardia beat for 2,400consecutive beats before it went
back into a normal rhythm.
So I think in my book it'lltell you about when they sent

(19:33):
the doc uh police out lookingfor me.

Speaker 1 (19:36):
I was going to ask about that.

Speaker 2 (19:37):
Yeah, so you know, I went to the uh doctor on a
Wednesday he had sent ourearlier in the week and I had a
Holter monitor.
In those days Holter monitorwas like the old Sony cassette.
You strapped to your belt andput a cassette in it and I think
I took that back to thedoctor's office on a Thursday

(20:02):
evening or Thursday late in theday and they would, uh, they
analyzed it, I think, the nextmorning and that's where they
saw all these episodes of beatsthat could kill you, where prior
to that time I wasn't havinglots of strings of those.
And that's when they got a holdof the police and they found me

(20:22):
that night at a rehearsaldinner at the couple's house at
St Louis University.
I mean, I still remember clearas day because it was about 10
o'clock, 10, 15.
The thing was just starting tobreak.
I was the first guy into thelobby area to get my overcoat
and I was there by myself and apoliceman walks in the door he

(20:46):
was a security guard from theuniversity Walks in the door, he
has a little piece of whitepaper and I'm the only guy there
.
He says so.
He says to me I'm looking for aguy by the name of Jim Teagans
and I looked at him and I knew,before he said a word, I knew he
was looking for me.
I knew he was looking for meand we said I'm looking for Jim

(21:08):
Teagans.
I just responded very calmlythat's me.
And he gave me the note andsaid call your doctor right now.

Speaker 1 (21:21):
That is how sick Jim was that he's at a rehearsal
dinner for a wedding and hisdoctor puts the police out to
find him and bring him to thehospital immediately.

Speaker 2 (21:43):
So at that point I hadn't been on the transplant
list, so at that point I hadn'tbeen on guy and he didn't know
me from Adam, and that's thething, you know that he's.
That couldn't have been an easytask to kind of pull the
strings to get ahold of hisnurse, find out, you know, get

(22:03):
ahold of a friend.
But that's the kind of peoplethat were on my team and that's
where I was blessed.

(22:24):
I mean, you know, I mean Idon't it today already, but I
mean, when you look at the wholestory and where we're at now,
I've lived a pretty charmed life.

Speaker 1 (22:35):
How charmed is it when you have one heart
transplant, a second hearttransplant that leads to two
bouts with cancer.
It also leads to a legcondition where your arteries
aren't pumping enough blood toyour feet, so you've had a toe
amputation.
How can you say you've lived acharmed life?

Speaker 2 (22:54):
well, let's look at it this way, kevin, all right, I
grew up in a in oakville.
I still have my friends that Iwon the state championship
soccer team with 1976, 1976,just 48 years, right, and we
talk about it today.
We were teammates then andwe're brothers now.

(23:15):
Right, I went to play soccer atslew, played two years there,
had fun, had a good time, playedprofessional soccer, played on
the youth national team.
I had jobs.
I loved.
I love working at rawlings,sportinging Goods.
I loved being involved inbaseball.
I loved.
It was always my dream to workat Anheuser-Busch.

(23:36):
I did it.
I loved it.
I mean, it was a time in mylife.
I have two kids.
I wanted to be a father.
My two kids are negative to thebad heart gene, all right, which
means they can never get it,but they can never pass it on to
a child of theirs.
So I have a granddaughterthat's nine.
She doesn't even have to betested, you know.

(23:57):
So that's what I mean.
It's like, you know, when youlook at these episodes, as
little as bubbles, bubbles thatlast eight months, ten months, a
year, five months, four months.
That's what I mean when I sayI've lived a charmed life.
Now, you know I will say the legthing has been challenging
because it limits your mobilityand I've had 15 surgeries in the

(24:24):
last 36 months.
But right now my legs are in agood spot.
They're in the best spotthey've been in in four years.
So I'm going into a phase of mylife where my kids are out the
door doing well on their own andthat's really why I wanted to
write the book and sort of tryto recognize and give back.

(24:48):
I have started to do somepublic speaking.
Barnes Hospital, gold FarmSchool of Nursing has asked me
to be their commencement speakerat their graduation in August
of this year for their nursingclass.
I mean, you know, these arejust great things I get excited
about.
You know that I get thatopportunity to speak to them and

(25:12):
hopefully make a difference,because you know, saves really
is all about everyone.
It's been in my life to touchmy life and be a part of the
team, you know you speak about.

Speaker 1 (25:27):
You talk about speaking at the Goldfarb School
of Nursing.
How proud of you.
How proud are you of Annie,your daughter, who graduated
first in her class from thereand is now working in the same
hospital, same department.
That has saved your life twice.

Speaker 2 (25:43):
Right.
Well, annie doesn't.
Annie is a gamer right.
Annie is a gamer right.
Annie played Division Ivolleyball at Florida State and
sometimes I like to refer to heras that little.
Don't ever think that littleS-H-I-T can't get it done,
because she can get it done atany level and she's so cool and

(26:08):
calm under pressure.
And I've seen her at thehospital, you know, come down to
see me when I've been there andinteract with the nurses and
the doctors that have come in totalk to me and I'm so, so proud
of the way she handles herself,you know, in that environment

(26:31):
and the leadership she,leadership she shows, um, but
she's never amazed me.
I mean I, I always.
So I've never said annie amazedme.
No, she, I always had that.
I always knew annie had it.
She had the it factor inanything she ever did, whether
it was sports or school, whenshe put her mind to something.

(26:54):
Never count that little one out.
And she's done some things inthe hospital where, you know,
she had something that I'llshare because it's really
unbelievable.
She was treating a patient inICU who had a heart issue.
The family would come infrequently to see this patient

(27:14):
and she noticed that one of thefamily members would
continuously have swollen ankles.
When he came in and she talkedabout it with him and suggested
that he get connected with thedoctors Is it possible that
what's going on in your familyis hereditary?
And she connected him with adoctor and then found out he did

(27:38):
have the condition.
And I mean that's somethingthat's pretty crazy and pretty
impressive for a fairly rookienurse to see this and have the
you know sort of moxie to saylisten, I think you need you
know, but she's seen it allright.
Exactly, I was going to say thatfrom experience.
So yeah, I mean I'm proud, asproud as can be with her.

(28:03):
But you know, like I saidbefore, nothing surprises me
with her, because she's justalways someone was a gamer and
she had the, had the it factor.

Speaker 1 (28:13):
One of the things that you'll learn by reading the
book saves is that your firstof two heart transplants, your
first donor was tragicallykilled in a motorcycle accident
and you get the news that you'regoing to be a recipient of
their heart.
You're praying in the elevator.
Why are you praying in theelevator?

Speaker 2 (28:35):
Well, there was a family grieving.
So what happened was there wasa lot of people at the hospital
that night and as they startedto wheel me to the elevator, I
had just stopped and said let's.
There was seven or eight people.
I said, let's get into a circleand you know, we're, we're very
happy right now.
My heart was very sick, butthere is a family that's really

(28:58):
hurting right now.
So you know, let's just gettogether and say a prayer and
remember that family tonight.

Speaker 1 (29:06):
That is, uh.
You know, one of the harderthings to accept with transplant
is that in order for you to getthat heart, somebody has to die
.
So you said earlier that youhave a responsibility to your
family and to your ex-wife,julie, to beat this and continue

(29:26):
to live.
Do you have a responsibility tothat family whose heart you
carry?

Speaker 2 (29:33):
Oh, absolutely, yeah, absolutely.
I mean, and you know, when Imet I never met my first heart
donors family I tried tocommunicate with them but I'd
never heard back from them.
I did find out their child wasan only child, which you know
had to be devastating, and atthat time I know it was a pretty

(29:53):
young heart.
So they lost an only child whowas young.
Now I did hear back from my,the mother of my heart donor for
my heart and kidney donor formy second heart, and her son was
23 years old.
He was a combat medic in theNational Guard and unfortunately
he took his own life and he wasan only son.

(30:18):
She raised him.
Her name was Cheryl.
Her name is Cheryl.
She's in Cape Girardeau,missouri.
She raised him without a father, so she was so close to him and
you know very, very, very hardfor her.
I had tried to reach out to herin November of 2018 because the

(30:41):
holidays were approaching, so Ithought, well, this is a good
time to maybe reach out a littlebit before the holidays, you
know, and just kind of introducemyself, and I did and kind of
introduced myself, introduced alittle bit of the history of the
family and why you know this isso meaningful to myself and for

(31:02):
our whole family and, you know,did not hear from her for a few
months.
But in March a letter arrivedin my mailbox and you know, you
kind of know when you get aletter you're not used to seeing
.
I kind of knew immediately thishad to be the letter from the
mom.
And at that time I was doingvery well.
I mean, I was recovering well,I was exercising, I was fit, I

(31:27):
was healthy.
I was actually recoveringquicker for my second heart
transplant at 58 than I did formy first heart transplant at 32.
And I couldn't quite figurethat out.
Well, as I opened the letter Iwas in my bedroom and I was like
I sat back on the bed and as Iopened the letter a picture fell
out of the letter and it fellright at my feet.

(31:48):
It was facing me and it was apicture of a very handsome young
man, um, holding histhree-year-old son.
And and this guy was thepicture of health.
He was in, he was like five,nine, but he was just like you
know, ripped.
You know it was a combat medicin the national guard.

(32:10):
He was just a healthy, stronglooking guy who took care of
himself.
And when I saw that picture Ijust I realized that, oh, now I.
Now, you know, I thought it wasme like making this huge
difference.
Right, I'm something special.
And then I just kind of smiledto myself and shook my head and

(32:30):
said and I thought it was me.
No, it was him.
You know it was him.
And you know, every year when Ihave my annual heart review, you
know the numbers that come backon my heart for his heart, just
off the chart.
So there's something calledejection fraction that is a
decent measure of your heart.
There's something calledejection fraction that is a

(32:51):
decent measure of your heart.
With my first heart, myejection fraction always hovered
around 55, which is amid-normal 55, which is, yeah,
you can operate fine with 55.
No one's ever in the 80s oranything like that.
With Colton's heart, it'salways been right around 70,
which is a very high normal.

(33:11):
So it's just, it's just beenamazing heart.
And you know I feel that notonly do I have to owe the
doctor's thing, you know, I meanI have to treat this like gold
and you know, I have to makesure his mom knows that I accept
this responsibility and I will.

(33:33):
I will never do anything in mylife to damage this artery, you
know, the heart and the kidney,and I mean I owe that to his
mother, I owe that to Colton andI also owe that to all the
people that have been in my lifeto save me.
And I think that's anotherthing is I've always taken good

(33:54):
care of myself, so it's beensomewhat easier for me to
recover and get on the path torecovery.
You know, I've always been anI'm a worker bee.
Right, there's always room forworker bees in this world, even
in the business world, and soI'm always ready to go, ready to

(34:14):
get to work.
And you prepare to succeed.
You know, not, not preparing tosucceed is like preparing to
fail exactly, definitely so.

Speaker 1 (34:26):
Uh, in the book saves there's a very tender picture.
Uh, there is a picture ofColton and his three-year-old
son, but there's also a verytender picture of the first time
you met his mother, cheryl.
By the way, colton was an onlychild too, so obviously Cheryl
is grieving immensely when hetakes his life.
But tell us about this verytender moment you had.

Speaker 2 (34:49):
So we were meeting in Mid-America Transplants office.
I had told her all along that,hey, listen, if you want to call
this off at the last minute,you know that's fine, you're in
charge here.
You call the shots, you know.
So I was out in the parking lotjust waiting to make sure it
was OK to come in, and it wasnot just waiting to make sure it
was okay to come in, and it was, and I I walked back into the

(35:11):
offices and there was about a Idon't know 40 foot walk between
me and his mother, cheryl.
And you know I'm thinking thewhole time.
I'm just asking God, you know,please put the right words in my
mouth, and and and and.
Maybe no words are right, butyou know it's certainly not a

(35:32):
joyous occasion, right?
Um?
So you know you're taking thattime to walk over her, over to
her, and you know we embracedand I whispered, you know, a few
things into her ear and Ireally credit with God, to God,
because you know I don'tremember word for word, but I

(35:54):
know that what came out was verygood and you know it was a
tearful moment.
His friends were there, you knowshe immediately got to hear his
heartbeat inside of me, so itwas a very tearful moment, um,
but we've started a friendshipand I generally see her at least

(36:16):
once a year.
I'll go to Cape Girardeau andmake sure that um I'm there,
because she has a memorialceremony at the cemetery.
Um, I keep in touch with her,um, you know I don't want to
overdo it, but I want her toknow every day that you know his

(37:00):
organs went to the right personand probably the best possible
person that could ever receivethem, because I am going to take
so good care of those arguments.

Speaker 1 (37:14):
Well, that's interesting that you say that,
because in the book saves thatJim Teagans has written uh, his
friends actually said that toCheryl after they met you.

Speaker 2 (37:23):
Yeah, that was uh.
So we have one of the friendsis still in St Louis who I see
periodically.
He's a real estate agent and heactually owns a boutique store
in Kirkwood which will be doinga book signing and I stopped by
there and say hello often.
The other friend, I believe, isstill in the military and he's

(37:47):
stationed overseas but comesback and I would just been
communicating with him.
I made sure I sent him a bookand to some extent I want to
feel like part of the family,without being the family,
because I don't think you canever be that close to them.
But I want them to know I'malways here for them if they

(38:09):
need me, why did the hearttransplants lead to other
transplants, the kidneytransplant?
Well over the years.
I mean the medication that wasdesigned for heart transplants
in 1992 was really medicationthat was over time would hurt

(38:31):
several other organs in yourbody, one being your kidneys.
Because at that point, 1992,they were saying okay, we think
you're going to last about 15years.
That's a pretty good run.
If you get 15 years, that'sgreat.
Well over right.
Some people are doing better.

(38:51):
They're outlasting 15 years.
There's still a lot of databeing gathered during the time
of 1992 where they don't haveall the record.
You know they don't have allthe data that they can kind of
predict things and they're goingto err on the side of being
cautious.
Kind of predict things andthey're going to err on the side

(39:12):
of being cautious.
You know they probably didn'thave that some, but probably not
as people as athletic as megoing into it pretty good shape
right, where maybe some of thepeople going into came into it
with problems already.
So it was harder for them torecover and, you know, get away
from those habits that maybecaused them illness in the

(39:34):
beginning.
So you know, as time goes on,especially hereditary illnesses
where they affect you at youngerages people have a lot more
reasons to live far.
They're younger, they canrecover quicker.
The medicine evolves, getsbetter, but the initial medicine
really started affecting mykidneys early on and after 26

(39:58):
years of my first heart, theydamaged the kidneys to the point
where I had to go on kidneydialysis for three years
dialysis for three years Now.
During that three-year time Ihad to get several stents put in
my heart.
So my heart function wasbeginning to decline, which it
does faster than a normal heartwill.

(40:21):
A transplanted heart will, justbecause it's transplanted.
There's reasons and I don'tknow what they are that will
cause you to have coronaryartery disease quicker than a
normal heart.
So it was beginning to godownhill.
Nothing like my old heart.
So the rule of thumb is youneeded a kidney transplant.
If you're going to need anotherheart transplant within the

(40:43):
next five years, you better.
You might as well get them atthe same time from the same
donor, because your chances forsurvival are going to be better,
much better for long-termsurvival.
So they decided to do ittogether and you know, at this
time it was my kidneys that werestruggling the worst, not my

(41:04):
heart.
Now I could feel my heartdeclining when I'd be at the gym
and things, but you know itwasn't shot Like my kidneys were
absolutely shot at the time.

Speaker 1 (41:14):
Why do, uh, the transplants?
Why did that lead to cancer?

Speaker 2 (41:20):
You're on immune suppressed drugs so you're
basically shut.
The medicine you're taking isshutting your immune system down
.
It's trying to fool your bodyinto thinking that the heart is
not a foreign invader.
When your immune system is upand running strong, it would

(41:43):
generally fight off the heart,reject it.
You would get infections.
So to make sure that your bodydoesn't reject your heart,
they're shutting down yourimmune system.
All right, to accept your heart, not kind of fooling it.
And that makes you moresusceptible to cancers as well,

(42:03):
because your immune system issuppressed, right.
So you're more susceptible tocancer, to infections, to
viruses, to a lot of differentthings.
So during 1992, they told methe number was 10 to 15% more
susceptible to cancers.
Nowadays they're going to tellyou more, 35 to 40%.

(42:26):
So the number is a lot higherthat you're going to get some
type of cancer and I've had.
I go to the dermatologist everyeight weeks because I get
cancers on my face, ametallurgist every eight weeks
because I had cancers on my face.
I've had four Mohs surgeriesnow, um, which is a remover in
cancerous little pieces from myface.
And I've had uh, you know I hadnon-Hodgkin's lymphoma, stage

(42:50):
four in 2003.
And that was a, that was atough battle.
That was a really tough mentalbattle where, you know, I sort
of isolated myself as much as Ican because you just felt so
miserable that you didn't wantto talk to anyone, because it

(43:14):
just hurt to talk.
Because it just hurt to talk.
Now my friends were there andthey'd always come by and they'd
make me laugh, but it was just,it was a personal battle,
one-on-one with the cancer, andthat was.
It was a hard, gritty battlebecause you know it's like every
two weeks you're getting poisonput in your body to kill the

(43:34):
cancer and then you've got torecover from that poison to be
able to do it again in two weeksand sometimes it's very hard to
recover from that poison.
So so it becomes a just veryhard mental, um tough physical

(43:56):
battle where you you know what'scoming after your treatment and
you just get yourself ready forthat battle.
Some sessions there were 12sessions of chemo.
You know, some it's easier thanothers, but when, when the
tough ones come, it's very, veryhard.
I had an instance where I thinkI was in my sixth chemo

(44:21):
treatment and I got really,really sick and they didn't know
.
You know they're doing allkinds of tests to find out what
it was from.
Well, they found out that whatit was from is one of the chemo
medications there were four ofthem, and one of them is called
the red devil and the red devilhad attacked my lungs, it
damaged my lungs, and so theyhad to immediately stop that one

(44:45):
.
And at the time there was a lotof concern.
My lungs were pretty bad andyou know, I remember the doctor
coming in to me and telling methat you know, she said you know
this could end up being fatal.
And in addition to removingthat chemo, that one, and now
there's three left andcontinuing on doing those, I had

(45:09):
to fight for sort of survivalof my lungs, and every time I
would get a lung test they wouldtell me that my lungs were not
improved, and that was veryfrustrating because I actually
felt myself getting a little bitstronger.

Speaker 1 (45:25):
I was going to say.
There's one person in the bookwho says, no, my lungs are fine.
I know my body better thananybody else does.

Speaker 2 (45:32):
I wasn't having as bad episodes, removing this one
chemo, but I was in the hospitala lot for my lungs and I
remember being in there and theywere going to let me go home
and they tested my lungs andsaid there wasn't much, there
really wasn't improvement.
And you know, I remember goinghome and going right to the gym

(45:53):
and you know, every day I wouldgo there and get a little bit
stronger.
And you know, went in again onetime before Christmas and they
said, yeah, not really seeingmuch improvement.
And I was like you know youguys don't know what you're
talking about, because I cantell you right now my lungs are
getting stronger.
And then I remember going backlike two weeks before Christmas

(46:14):
and went into the room, had thetest and they were all there
kind of dumbfounded, scratchingtheir chins and said we can't
believe what we're seeing.
And they said we expected youback here the next day after we
released you.
We expected you back.
And I just said to them I saidlisten, I told you knuckleheads

(46:36):
that I was.
And I said in a kind way, Isaid I was getting better.
I said you've got to listen tothe patient sometimes I don't
know.

Speaker 1 (46:47):
Just, you just keep pushing yourself, you know I
mean you know, I mean, I guess,I guess when it's a matter of
life and death, you have to keeppushing yourself.
But at what point do you?
Because you're a very faithfulperson.
I was raised Catholic as well.
We went to, I went to a rivalchurch, st Francis of Assisi,

(47:07):
and you were at uh.

Speaker 2 (47:08):
At uh, st Margaret Mary, but at what point do you
throw your hands up and say, god, how much more are you going to
give me?
Um, you know, I I told eightand Annie was six, so I had all
the reason in the world to keepfighting.
And I remember being at Annie'sfirst Holy Communion and right

(47:29):
after treatment, and house fullof people and having a party,
and you know, kind of having todismiss myself and go lay down.
But you know, when you have twokids that age and a wife and
you stood before God at thealtar and committed yourself to
being there for them, yeah, Ijust there wasn't any give up in

(47:54):
me.
You know, I mean it just yeah,it was hard.
And you know, like I've toldAnnie before that you know, I
mean it, just yeah, it was hard.
And you know, like I've toldAnnie before, that you know,
sometimes I would give myselffive minutes after I was
diagnosed with something.
I give myself five minutes andit was five minutes where
probably I was very angry andvery verbal and after that five

(48:17):
minutes it's done, it's gone,there's nothing else.
You know it's time of fire andI remember being at work one day
and I was leaving work and Igot in my car and you know, it's
50 yards to the end of theparking lot.
By the time I got to the end ofthe parking lot to pull out on

(48:38):
the street, the anger was gone.
It was just like okay, let's gobring it on.
Bring it on and that's it.
You know, it's just kind oflike okay, god, if that's what
you want me to do, I'm going todo it.
You know, bring it on.
Just just be with me when Ineed you, because I can't do
this alone.

Speaker 1 (49:00):
You know, that's all I ask.
You know you were talking abouthow sick you felt when you had
stage four non-Hodgkin'slymphoma.
But I remember in the bookSaves it's written by my
goaltending hero and AlumniAssociation Hall of Fame
inductee and St Louis SoccerHall of Fame inductee, jim
Teagans.
You were talking about one ofyour 12 battles with pneumonia

(49:20):
and I was ripping out my heartjust knowing how sick you were.
The sheer rawness of whatyou're talking about in the book
.
How did you overcome 12 boutsof pneumonia?

Speaker 2 (49:33):
It seemed like that my pneumonias would come at the
same time every year.
My worst one came at one of our1976 alumni soccer gathering,
which is in January every year.
I was at the banquet or at theparty and was fine.

(49:56):
I was at the gym in the morning, went to the banquet, you know
one o'clock by three o'clock.
It was horrible.
I drove myself to the hospital.
I think that was my worst one.
That was a pretty bad pneumonia.
And, uh, annie, they calledAnnie home from college.
Yes, so they must've thoughtthere was a chance.

(50:18):
I wasn't going to make it.
So when Annie walked in thedoor me being from Oakville,
being dollar conscious, I lookedat my wife, said what's she
doing here?
I'm like who's paying for thatflight?
Is the school paying?
Are we paying?
And my wife's like well, theytold me to get home.

(50:39):
I said why didn't you?
I said why didn't you talk withme?
I said trust me, I'm not goinganywhere.

Speaker 1 (50:47):
We have talked extensively about all of the
health issues that you've hadthroughout your life and we
haven't even talked about yourtime at Rawlings and the things
that you implemented in MajorLeague Baseball through your
affiliation with Ken Griffey Jr,through your affiliation with
Mark McGuire.
You were actually a part of theRawlings staff when McGuire hit

(51:10):
70 home runs.

Speaker 2 (51:12):
Right, that's right.
It was some good days atRawlings and I've actually, I
think I told you I reconnectedwith those guys, so those were
some amazing days.
You know I was a baseball fan,like everyone else in St Louis.
I mean, let's face it, we lovethe Cardinals Grew up in that.
I grew up in the era of Brockand Gibson and you know, just

(51:34):
saw some amazing teams.
You know, just saw some amazingteams, you know.
So, yes, I was a fan.
And to be able to come home andwork for Rawlings Sporting Goods
for 13 years Rawlings is asmall company so you get to know
everyone in the company.
There's 120 people in theoffice, you know.
You know the president, youknow everyone, you see him every
day.
So it was just a a greatexperience.

(51:56):
I connected back with thoseguys about a month ago and they
were their new office up inWestport Great new office up
there and they created somethingcalled the Rawlings Experience.

(52:20):
Takes two floors of the Westportbuilding and it is an
interactive and educational sortof instructional type of
interactive experience for kidsto come up there.
They can hit, they can look andthey can design their own
gloves, they can have battinghelmets fitted, they can have
bats fitted for them.
There's just so much they cando.
And, in addition, they havetheir pro players there, so

(52:41):
that's something called the proroom, where the pro players
actually come in and they designtheir own gloves in this room.
So it's kind of like you're in aroom where you're you know
you're picking out your paintand your carpet or your flooring
, you know they're picking outthe color of their glove, the
color of their lacing, what'sthe color of the web on the

(53:03):
glove?
There's 30 different Rawlings,labels, different colors.
What do they want that to be?
And they could be doing this onan iPad and projecting it on a
big TV and instantly changingthe color of the Lazy.
No, I want that, or I don'tknow what that.
I want to have this and see oh,that's perfect, that's exactly

(53:23):
what I want.
So the players' gloves are allindividually made.

Speaker 1 (53:28):
That didn't happen without you, Jim Tegens, and the
experience you had in springtraining with then-rookie Ken
Griffey Jr.

Speaker 2 (53:37):
So I like to think so , but there may be some that
argue that.
But I honestly think it's thetruth.
Ken Griffey Jr was a rookie andhe comes pulling into camp in
his white BMW all white.
The windows were completelytinted black.
He had gold-spoke rimss on it.

(53:59):
I think he might have been inhis teens uh, maybe close to 20
or 20 when he had all this goldstuff um, hanging off when he
got out of the car.
But I mean, he was, he was apure kid, he liked to have fun.
So one day he came to the earlyin spring training he had a
black trapeze glove and he askedme to relace the glove farm and

(54:24):
to put this you know, we werein what we call a raleigh sports
caravan, so I was sitting in atruck that he can actually come
up on and walk into and see.
So he was able to see otherlaces that I had hanging around
and I had laces that were brownfor brown gloves, but they
actually look closer to goldthis year, um, and they were

(54:46):
really.
They really popped.
So he came up in the truck andsaid, hey, can you relace my
glove and can you put that thatgold lacing in there really
wasn't gold, but it looked kindof stylish.
Um, so I relaced his entireglove with this brown slash what
he called gold lacing and thentrans trapeze glove.
There's a lot of lacing inthose gloves, so when you took

(55:08):
it after it was done, it lookedpretty cool I mean it really
looked pretty cool and itcertainly stiffens it up a lot
like it's a new glove.
And then as I traveled aroundfrom spring training, uh, team
to team and see each team, theyyou know I had guys come up to
me and say, hey, you know whatyou did to griffey's glove, can

(55:30):
you do that to my glove as well?
So I had to have a bunch of newlacing shipped in because I was
running out of lace, because wewere we were totally was lacing
gloves.
It didn't even need to be lacedso, but it was a lot of fun.
Um, one year McGuire's gloveripped and he asked if I could
sew it up.
He was using a black firstbaseman's mitt and I said I can

(55:53):
fix this mark, but I can onlyfix it with a brown piece of
leather.
Um, and I fixed it in twosignificant areas where the
leather leather the brownleather would be very visible in
his web.
So he liked it and he startedhaving the gloves made like that
from the factory.
So I can't say that I was theguy that brought all the color

(56:17):
into it, you know.
But before the Griffey thing Istarted to do it just as a, you
know, sometimes just to get toknow a few of the players break
the ice with them.
It'd be a good way of doingthat.

Speaker 1 (56:31):
How many baseballs per year does Rawlings go
through just in major leaguebaseball?

Speaker 2 (56:35):
I know that every game there's 10 dozen balls
prepared per game.
You can see how quick balls getthrown out of the game.
But you know, every year 10baseballs are rubbed up with the
mud before the game.
Um, and again, I haven't beenaround rawlings in a long time,
but that was secret mud thatcomes from somewhere down in the

(57:03):
south, yeah, where that mudcomes from.
And they still rub thosebaseballs up every game before
the game with 10 dozen balls.

Speaker 1 (57:09):
Can you explain to me and I played baseball for 22
years and I've never understoodthis uh, a ball gets hit ground,
ball throws over to first base,they throw it back to the
pitcher and he uses it again.
A ball bounces in the dirt athome plate, they throw that ball
out.
I mean, I would think thatthere would be more damage to
the ball that's been hit andfielded yeah, that's a great

(57:30):
point, you know that's.

Speaker 2 (57:32):
That's a different way of looking at it you know
the ball's been pounding arounda while.
Yeah, you're right.
Um, I saw something on a sportsshow espn, it was about a month
ago where there was actually aball hit the major league game
where the cover came off.
Wow, and that was, uh, yeah, Ididn't think you'd ever see that

(57:53):
in the game.
Uh, actually, when I was atrawlings I learned how to sew
baseballs.
So one of the things we did onthe truck when we went around
the country during the seasonand stopped at sporting goods
stores, we stopped at a lot ofmom and pop sporting goods
stores in small towns and we puton these shows how to make a
glove, how to make a bat, how tomake a ball were, uh, or

(58:17):
actually would show them how yousew the baseball.
Yep, I had, uh, I had twopanels of a baseball brought to
me by a hollywood director,producer I forget his name, but
back in the day he was a bigname he had two panels of a

(58:38):
baseball flat that he brought tome and had Muhammad Ali's name
autographed on him.
So I was able to sew them, youknow, on around the ball again
and give them back to him.

Speaker 1 (58:50):
Very cool.

Speaker 2 (58:51):
Years, years ago, something was going on with the
DEA and something was going onwith the DEA and they really

(59:24):
wasn't a factory where we weremaking baseballs.
But there were people downthere that were able to take the
cover off the baseball andre-sew it on and investigate the
baseballs themselves to see ifanything was inside them.
So, you know, to not set offany red flags, this had to be

(59:45):
done very quickly.
So they sent a Learjet down tothe airport down there and had
the people at Rawlings undo theballs and undo them back up.

Speaker 1 (59:55):
So yeah, nothing is sacred with criminals.

Speaker 2 (59:58):
We would always joke with the guy down there that had
to do it.
We said, yeah, I heard there'ssome people in town asking about
you.

Speaker 1 (01:00:09):
You had a very interesting opportunity and this
speaks to your tremendoushumility, Jim Tegins.
The night that Mark McGuire wasgoing for home run number 62,
his agent had special ticketsfor you.
You turned them down.
What were those tickets?

Speaker 2 (01:00:26):
Well, he had told me that I was going to be sitting
next to the Maris family and Isaid you know, jim, his name was
Jim Miller.
I said, jim, I can't do that.
I said, listen, I'm a mid-levelguy.
Here at Rawlings, the Maristfamily is going to be all over
the TV.
I can't be on the TV, you know,as this mid-level guy next to

(01:00:50):
the Marist family when at thissame game is going to be you
know, the top executives atRawlings Sporting Goods.
So I said, you know, great, youknow, I appreciate that, but
you know, let me see if we canfigure something else out.
But I did end up at the gameand you know I just said no, no,
no.
You know, I had a ton ofrespect for the president of

(01:01:11):
Rawlings and you know I seeRawlings as a big part of
baseball history.

Speaker 1 (01:01:19):
The Rawlings president.
Howard, you hope to live yourlife in such a noble and
compassionate way that you get acompliment like this on your
way out the door.

Speaker 2 (01:01:33):
You know, I felt like that when I left.
My dream was always to work atAB and I had that opportunity,
anheuser-busch, when I was 40years old.
And I felt that when I leftRawlings there was two or three
people that I had to go to andtell them personally that I was
leaving and to thank them fortheir confidence in me over the

(01:01:57):
years.
Howard was one of them.
And Howard just said to me andagain, you know your shy kid
probably lacked a littleconfidence, but he said to me,
jim, he said never has a betterman walked through that front
door.
And I mean that just I've neverhad a compliment like that.

(01:02:21):
It just meant the world to me.
It's almost like you saying Iused to come and see you play.
I wanted to come and see youplay where you know, you kind of
stopped me in my tracks therebecause I never heard that
before.
But yeah, coming from how, fromHoward, was just amazing.
And then, you know, getting tosee the Rawlings people it's

(01:02:45):
been about three weeks now.
I went up to them, I saw them,visited with them.
Three weeks, three days later,the phone rings.
They asked me to be their guestspeaker at their sales meeting.
Uh coming up the next week andthey say Jim, we're going to
give away your book, um, as agift to all our salesmen.

(01:03:06):
So just uh went up there, spokeamazing event, had amazing time
and uh now keep in touch withthose guys regularly.

Speaker 1 (01:03:15):
Saves is the name of the book.
You can get it at inspire mestoriescomcom.
Why the name Inspire Me Stories?

Speaker 2 (01:03:24):
Jeff came up.
You know I can't take creditfor that name and honestly I
have to admit I can't takecredit for the name saves.
At first I wasn't crazy aboutthe name saves but the more I
heard it the more I liked it,because the more it really

(01:03:45):
expressed what the book wasabout.
It's not about my greatestsaves, which really speaks to
soccer right.
It's about all the people thathave been in my life to save me,
so's really it's not a soccerbook.
You know there's soccer in it,there's some good stories in it,
but really the book is aboutall the people that have been in

(01:04:05):
my life to save me.
So that name grew on me and Ihave to give Jeff full credit
for that and also full creditfor inspiremestoriescom as well.
It was about a two year projectand a lot of now I'm just
hitting the marketing and thesales hard.
You know it's not about makingmoney at all because you know

(01:04:27):
you're generally not going tomake money on a small book like
that, but I want it to do welland what I'm finding is a couple
things.
I'm finding that I'm meeting alot of people that knew of me
and it seems like when I sellthe books on our own website,

(01:04:48):
wwwinspiremestoriescom.
I see every book that comes in,I autograph it, and every book
sold in St Louis, I'll deliverit myself.
So I'm delivering books 30 and40 minutes away.
But what I'm finding is everybook I deliver, there's a story

(01:05:08):
related to it.
There's a story that mightconnect me and the buyer, or me
and the reader, indirectly notdirectly, but indirectly.
Pretty cool Some of the storiesthat are coming of it.

Speaker 1 (01:05:21):
And it's real cool and the book is fantastic.
It's called Saves, it's writtenby Jim Tegens and you can get
it at inspiremestoriescom.
Brother, when I was watchingyou play in 75 and 76, I never
thought I'd have thisopportunity to talk with you and
I definitely never thought I'dhave the opportunity to say man,
I love you brother.

Speaker 2 (01:05:39):
Well, thanks, I love you too.
And again, we're just goodOakville people, good roots, you
at St Francis of Assisi, me atSt Margaret Mary, and just
trying to do the right thing,and so a couple of things.
We got the Soccer Hall of Famecoming up.
One of the reasons I'm lookingforward to hall of fame is

(01:06:06):
because you see, guys like youknow you mentioned pat mcbride
and then you know, in my opinion, guys like that, you know,
their soccer royalty, him, althrows, guys that are in the
national soccer hall of fame,pete sarber, things like that
you know.
So it's just good to shake ahand and just still have them
with us and show the respect forthem.
So I'm looking forward to thatnight as well.

Speaker 1 (01:06:24):
It's great to still have you with us, buddy.

Speaker 2 (01:06:26):
Yeah, thank you.

Speaker 1 (01:06:28):
Keep fighting the good fight, man.

Speaker 2 (01:06:30):
I think I got another 20 in me.
I really do.
That's what I'm counting on.

Speaker 1 (01:06:34):
Take care buddy.
We'll be in touch, all right.
All right, have a goodafternoon, all right, you too,
jim Bye.
So there you go.
When you think you've hadenough and life just keeps
piling on, think about Jim andlet his mental strength and

(01:06:54):
self-belief inspire you to keepgoing and do things in yourself
that you never thought werepossible Again.
Jim's book is titled Saves, andif you live in St Louis, jim
will personally deliver a signedcopy to you.
Go to inspiremestoriescom.
My thanks to Jim Tejans forjoining me.
My thanks to you for listeningand watching on YouTube To help
the Fuzzy Mic grow, and this isthe only way we're going to.

(01:07:16):
Please give it a rating, a like, subscribe on YouTube and share
episodes with anyone you thinkcould use a dose of inspiration.
I'm grateful for any help youcan give me.
The Fuzzy Mike is hosted andproduced by Kevin Kline.
Production elements by ZachSheesh at the Radio Farm.
Social media director is TrishKline.

(01:07:36):
For a weekly dose ofpickup-inducing laughter, check
out the Tuttle Klein podcast.
It's the podcast I co-host withmy longtime radio partner of 25
years, tim Tuttle.
We give you new episodes everyWednesday.
Join me next Tuesday foranother new episode of the Fuzzy
Mike.
I'll be just as surprised asyou to see who, if anyone, joins

(01:07:57):
me, because, well, I had ascheduled conversation back out
until a later date.
So I'll see you then and thankyou.
That's it for the Fuzzy Mike.
Thank you, the Fuzzy Mike.
With Kevin Kline.
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