‘America at the Seams’ Book Was Stitched Together in Sioux Falls
I've never been much of a baseball guy, but my interest was sparked after seeing some work by Nathan Rueckert, Artist & Founder The Baseball Seams Co., LLC.
I asked Nathan a few questions about his artwork, and the book America at the Seams.
For anyone who is not familiar with you or your work how would you describe you?
For the last 16 years, I’ve been tearing apart old tattered baseballs and repurposing them into beautiful works of art and accessories. My passion for the artwork dates back to childhood playing catch with dad in the yard. Each scuff mark and ripped seam reminds me of the countless hours we spent together in the back yard and the bond that was formed. For me, baseball has always more than just a game….it’s a pastime that we all have an opportunity to participate in – putting our differences aside, grabbing our gloves, and strengthening relationships through a ball and a glove. I think that’s why my artwork resonates with so many Americans – my story is also so many other people’s stories.
When and why did you start writing this book?
Actually, the initial idea for this project had nothing to do with a book! It began in April 2016 as a Kickstarter artwork project to make a massive map of the United States from baseballs obtained from all 50 states. When thinking through ideas to reward Kickstarter backers, the idea for a book came up and I felt it would be very powerful to intentionally attempt to obtain baseballs from 50 persons in 50 states who have inspirational stories about how baseball helps, heals, mends or brings people together. The Kickstarter went on to become the most successfully funded artwork Kickstarter EVER from the state of South Dakota and provided funds to begin the project.
Fast forward to today and the book has become a much larger project in and of itself! Also…I’m quick to point out that I didn’t “write a book” per se....I oversaw the vision, design and direction for the project while many, many people helped bring this book to market. Ethan Bryan, a talented author and writer from Springfield, MO was hired on to do all 50 interviews and draft the stories. Throne Publishing Group here in Sioux Falls provided the book project backbone for graphic design, editorial proofing, legal hoops, and outsourcing the printing effort.
Who did you have in mind when you wrote it, and who would benefit from reading it?
Honestly, I think this book resonates with ALL baseball fans across the country. We are all so tired of hearing how divided we are as a country – divided by politics, by race, religion, gender, economic status, and more…I feel the timing of this book couldn’t be better. We are all longing for a message that there are still things in this country that bring us together, that unite us, things that we can all rally around despite our differences….and one of those things is baseball. The stories found in the book are all stories of hope, of inspirational persons overcoming adversity, stories of tragedy and how baseball was a platform that helped heal and bring hope to the situation.
Where did you find most of your inspiration for writing this?
Through the years, I’ve had countless customers share with me how meaningful their artwork is to them because of how it reminds them of someone special in their lives. The whole idea behind “America At The Seams” isn’t about me or my story, but how my story really is America’s story – Our story. The idea of making an artwork using baseballs obtained from other people and telling their stories seemed like a natural fit for what we do at Baseball Seams Co. and in line with our mission, which is that “we strive to honor God and reflect His love through creating unique and meaningful products that connect people and transform relationships through the platform of baseball.”
If you could have lunch with 3 Baseball players living or dead who are you eating with, and what’s on the menu?
Ty Cobb - I’ve always been fascinated with how competitive he was.
Nolan Ryan – because I met him once as a kid and would love to follow up.
Tim Tebow – to found out what life in the minors is like and how he shuts out all the haters.
If you could attend any baseball game in history which one you going to?
Babe Ruth calling his shot at Wrigley Field…..did it reeeeeally happen?
Do you have any advice for anyone who has a book inside them they would like to write?
Follow your dreams and listen to your heart….but also lean on the wisdom of people that have gone before you. They say it takes a village to raise a baby and from my experience, the same can be said about the book publishing process.
To order a copy of America at the Seams click here.
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