Thursday, January 22, 2015

Black Ice: the story of Val James - the first black ice hockey player

Every now and then I like to spread the word about new books. SInce I love ice hockey, I thought this might be a good one to pass on.

"I am pleased and proud to announce the pending release of Black Ice: The Val James Story, a book I wrote with and about Valmore James, the first black American to play in the NHL. Val was the son of migrant farm workers from the Deep South who moved to Long Island during the JFK years to work on the farms that then filled large swaths of Long Island. Val was introduced to ice hockey at the late age of 13 when his father was hired as a night watchman at the Long Island Arena, home rink of John Brophy and the Long Island Ducks of the old Eastern Hockey League. From these humble roots, Val worked his way up through the lowest minor leagues to a place in hockey history as the first American-born black player to skate in the NHL as a member of Scotty Bowman's Buffalo Sabres. He would also become the first black player of any nationality to play for the Maple Leafs in the hockey mecca of Toronto. Val is remembered as a legendary enforcer and beloved teammate but the untold story of the abuse he had to endure and overcome on the way to his impossible dream is shocking and inspiring. Val's own recollections are joined by those of Scotty Bowman, Mike Keenan, John Muckler, John Brophy, Lou Vairo, Nick Fotiu, Kevin Lowe, Paul Stewart, Ted Nolan, and many other hockey "names" on whom Val made an impression over the years."

Black Ice is being published by ECW Press of Toronto. The hardcover release date is February 1, 2015, however, I am told that Amazon pre-orders have already started to ship.

The following link to the publisher's webpage for the book contains an internal link that will get you to an excerpt of the first 30 pages of the book:

I hope you will consider reading this book.

Warm regards,

John G in PA

Official Press release:

LEASE February 1, 2015
Publicity Contact: Sarah Dunn
ECW Press
Tel: 416.694.3348 ext. 158
Email: sarah@ecwpress.comValmore

James was born in Ocala, Florida, and raised in Long Island, New York. After 15 years of junior and professional hockey, Val hung up his skates and settled in Ontario, Canada, where he and his wife, Ina,recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.John Gallagher was born in New York City, where he worked as a police officer and an assistant district attorney. He later served as a White House Fellow in Washington, D.C. John now lives with his family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he works as a federal prosecutor.

Title: Black Ice: The Val James Story
Authors: Valmore James and John Gallagher
Publisher: ECW Press
Canadian distributor: Jaguar Book Group
U.S. distributor: Legato Publishers Group, a PGW affiliate
Publication: February 1, 2015
Price: $24.95 U.S./CDN
Specifications: 6 x 9", 228 pages, cloth, photo section
ISBN-13: 978-1-77041-201-

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