Championship Blood celebrates 2014 Giants

Posted on December 11, 2014

It all started with a funny text message to my co-author Brian Murphy and myself from our publisher Chris Gruener from Cameron + Company on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 9:20pm PDT. The Giants had just defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh in the National League wild card game 8-0. “You guys wanna grab lunch at Marin Brew Co?”

Chris published our book NEVER. SAY. DIE. about the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants and the three of us had gathered for lunch at the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur on a fateful October afternoon in 2012 when the Giants were trailing the Reds two games to none in their divisional series. We always referred to our lunch as the turning point of the postseason. Our lucky lunch had turned the tide and helped lead the team to their sweep against the Tigers in the World Series, and the publication of our book. Sounds like Chris wanted to do another one.

Murph immediately replied to the text. “Haha! Yeah, baby.”

I remember thinking, there is no way they are going to win another World Series. Three in five years? Aint gonna happen.

Over the next week I watched two road games in Washington on television and photographed the two home games for Sports Illustrated. I was a nervous wreck. In the back of my mind I kept thinking about Chris wanting to do another book. I was worried that I did not have the pictures, but then I told myself that if the Giants somehow won the World Series, again, I would have to have some pictures by the final out. Right?

Well, the Giants beat the Nationals in Game 4 on October 7 to advance to the NLCS against the Cardinals. The next morning we got an email from Chris titled “not gonna jinx it….but” on October 8, 2014 at 11:18am PDT:

“We would totally be down to do the book again this year if all goes well. We would absolutely love the opportunity to do it again – bigger/badder. What do you guys think??? Should we keep it on the table or no?”

I was mentally fried and had to think about it, but wrote back the next day:

“I could be on board again but man it would have to be different in some way and very special. I would also only be involved if Murph was. And you guys.


We were all in. Now we just needed the Giants to win it all. Again!

Here’s the team putting the finishing touches on Championship Blood. From left: Iain Morris (creative director), Brian Murphy (author), Brad Mangin (photographer) and Mark Burstein (editor) hashing things out in the office on Wednesday, December 10, 2014. (Photo by Chris Gruener/Cameron + Company)

Fast forward a few weeks and we know what happened. There was a victory parade on Halloween in San Francisco (I still hate parades) and we had a meeting at the Marin Brewing Company on Monday, November 3 to plan a book about the 2014 World Series Champion Giants. Murph and I had done the Giants official book in 2010 Worth The Wait, and we followed it up in 2012 with the above-mentioned NEVER. SAY. DIE. about the 2012 team. If we were going to do another book it had to be big and bold. It could not be similar to anything we had done in the past. This team had just won it’s third title in five years. It deserved something special. The fans deserved something special.

This is a proof of a two page spread featuring Buster Posey from Championship Blood designed by Iain Morris of Cameron + Company. The book is 14 inches by 11 inches, which means this spread in 28 inches across. The book is huge! (Photos by Brad Mangin)

Luckily we all agreed. The most important person to get on board for me was the incredibly talented mad scientist Iain Morris. Iain is the creative director and design guru at Cameron + Company and for some crazy reason he is nice to me and listens to my ridiculous questions and comments. We did two books together in 2012, the earlier mentioned NEVER. SAY. DIE. and Instant Baseball, my book of iPhone Instagrams of the 2012 baseball season. After working with Iain on those two books I would trust him with anything. If Iain was not on board, I was not on board. I wanted a big, expensive art book on thick paper with huge pictures, including a mix of traditional photographs shot with my Canon cameras and Instagrams shot with my iPhone. It was too easy. We were all on the same page. Now we just had to put together a major art book in one month and Murph had to crank out over a dozen player profiles to make our deadline so our book would be available for opening day.

This is a proof of a two page spread of a player profile of Pablo Sandoval from Championship Blood designed by Iain Morris of Cameron + Company. The book is 14 inches by 11 inches, which means this spread in 28 inches across. The book is huge! (Photos by Brad Mangin)

We had a big meeting at the Cameron + Company offices in Petaluma, California yesterday. It was pretty sweet. Our publisher bought as lunch and later furnished cold bottled water as our editing session heated up! I don’t know how an acclaimed artist like Iain handles having knuckleheads like Murph and I huddled around his desk making design suggestions to him, but he patiently listens as he utters British curse words under his breath.

The digital production of our book is basically done. All that is left is some final proof reading before the files get sent to China for printing next week. The books should be ready by opening day in April of 2015. It will be an exciting spring of book signings and events for Murph and myself all over the Bay Area during the months of April, May, June, and July as our schedule will get booked up pretty full. You will be able to follow all of our events via our twitter accounts and on our Championship Blood Book Events page set up to list all of our appearances.

Photographer Brad Mangin and designer Iain Morris hold a dummy copy of Championship Blood (it’s huge!) in the Cameron + Company office in Petaluma, California on December 10, 2014. (Photo by Chris Gruener/Cameron + Company)

I can’t believe this is my third book about the Giants winning the World Series. I can’t believe the Giants have won three World Series! I am crazy lucky to have a partner like Murph to work with on these projects. There is no one else I would rather collaborate with. I can still see Murph in the bowels of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City after Game 7. I was soaked with champagne and trying to dry off around midnight when he approached me. We knew we had a big job ahead of us. I can’t wait for all of you to see it!

So many lessons have been learned while working on this project. I now realize that I could not have gotten to this third book without doing the previous two. I know so much more about the publishing process now than I did four years ago. I even know what French folds are now. Our lovely dust jacket on our new book has French folds- classy!

I promise all of you Giants fans out there will love this book. I own every book ever published about the Giants and I can guarantee you there has never been an art book this big or bold made about a current team. Go Giants!

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