Day 6

If you write it, W.P. Kinsella will come

This year, the MLB playoffs open without the attentive gaze of W.P. Kinsella, one of the world's greatest baseball writers. Kent Williams shares his story about stumbling across W. P. Kinsella's car in a parking lot in Iowa City, and about how he got Mr. Kinsella to sign his copy of "Shoeless Joe."
W.P. Kinsella stands on the baseball field before Game 5 of the World Series between Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves at the Skydome in Toronto on Oct. 23, 1992. ( Rusty Kennedy/CP)

It was a chance meeting between a man who would become a world-renowned author, and one of his newest fans.

Canadian writer W. P. Kinsella was probably best-known for his novel Shoeless Joe, which was then made into the blockbuster film Field of Dreams.

Kinsella died in Hope, British Columbia on September 16th. He was 81.

Before he was known as one of the world's greatest authors of baseball fiction, Kinsella lived in Iowa, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in English from the University of Iowa.

It was only four years after graduating from the University of Iowa that Kinsella published Shoeless Joe. That was 1982. And that's when Kent Williams had his chance encounter with the writer.

It involved the parking lot of Senor Pablo's restaurant, a note on Kinsella's windshield, and a knock at Williams' door.

Hit the "Listen" button above to hear Kent Williams recount his story.