The Iowa man who was the inspiration for the 2007 baseball movie “The Final Season” is doing a book-signing in northeast Iowa this weekend. In the early 1990s, Kent Stock took over as the head coach of the Norway High School baseball team, which hoped to continue a championship tradition. It was Norway’s final season before being merged with a nearby school.
Stock says watching two years of his life story unfold on the big screen was “really surreal” and “amazing.” Actor Sean Astin, who gained global fame as Sam in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, portrayed Stock in “The Final Season.”
Stock says becoming acquainted with Astin and the other top-flight actors and actresses in the movie was an inspiring experience. Stock says, “It was neat to get to know those people because a lot of times you think they’re something really special and you put them on a pedestal but they’re just normal people like you and me.”
He says he became motivated to write a book about his experience after the movie was made. Stock says he did a lot of speaking engagements and afterwards people would ask if there was a book so they could learn more. He teamed up with Ken Fuson from the Des Moines Register to get the words on paper.
The book is called “Heading for Home,” and Stock says it’s touched people in a way he didn’t expect. “When I did it, I targeted it towards people that love baseball, but it ended up being more than just baseball,” Stock says. “It’s my love affair with baseball and it’s more about faith and family and friends and people have said they’ve laughed, they’ve cried and felt inspired by reading the book.”
Stock holds a book-signing in Dyersville at the Community Savings Bank tomorrow from 9 to 11 AM. He’ll also be autographing his book at the Manchester Community Savings Bank on December 12th.
Contributed by Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester