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Author shares 'a bitter cup of coffee'

"When I finally delivered the manuscript I felt the weight of the world was off my shoulders," said Gladstone, who self-published the book in mid-April.

Uncovering a controversial issue was not only morally satisfying for Gladstone, it also fulfilled a version of every sports fans' dream.

"These were the ballplayers of my youth and it was really a treat to talk to and be on a first name basis [with them] and a friend to so many ballplayers I watched growing up," said Gladstone. "I'm going out to one of their homes this August and he's going to teach me how to shoot quail."

Gladstone said he'll always remember when the magnitude of his quest for justice hit home.

"I was watching the 1969 National Championship on ESPN Classic with my wife and I started jumping up and down screaming at the top my lungs 'that's the guy I was just talking to!'" said Gladsone.

He's already gotten feedback from players who were unaware anything was amiss.

"A Hall of Famer who had no idea this was occurring, he was a players rep during '70s, called me last night and said 'this is an outrage, I didn't know about this but I want to help you, I want to help get this issue in the public eye,'" said Gladstone.

Getting the public to take notice will start, he hopes, with a catchy title. "A Bitter Cup of Coffee" is a phrase in the MLB that's been around more than 100 years. It refers to a brief duration when people were called up from the minor leagues for just one month in September to play a game and affected about 17,000 men since 1980, making them eligible for a full pension.

"What a sweetheart deal for all these men. The opposite of sweet is sour, which I connote bitter. This whole situation has left a foul and sour taste in the mouth of many people, not just the 874 affected players," said Gladstone.

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