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Children’s book tells story of Mendonca, Bulldogs’ triumphant run

POSTED June 10, 2011 8:49 p.m.

Today at Willow Bridge Books in Oakhurst, George Takata will hold a book signing from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. to promote his new children’s book, “TimeOut’s Great Baseball Adventure: How Fresno State’s Favorite Bulldog Helped the Diamond Dogs Win the College World Series,” which tells the story of the Fresno State baseball team’s greatest triumph through the eyes of its mascot, TimeOut. That campaign, which took place in 2008, was led by Turlock High graduate Tommy Mendonca, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Takata, a sportscaster who won an Associated Press Award for best newscast and an Emmy nominee, describes the 2008 run as the most memorable and exciting sports event he ever witnessed in his long career, and it was while covering the College World Series that he first conceived of telling the Bulldog’s story in a children’s book.

The book (published by Craven Street Books, an imprint of Linden Publishing) was written for children ages 4 and up, with illustration by Fresno State student Marci Thiessen. The story is told through the eyes of TimeOut, who is told that he can’t get on the team bus with the Bulldogs on their journey to the College World Series. However, coach Mike (better known as Fresno State coach Mike Batesole in real life) tells the mascot that he can join them during the victory parade if the Bulldogs win it all. And that’s how TimeOut’s adventure begins.

Throughout the book, TimeOut follows the Bulldogs’ run in the College World Series in between talking with Coach Mike and numerous players on the 2008 roster, including Mendonca.

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