I recently asked Ron Maly, a Hawkeye author himself, for his take on my latest book about Hawkeye great Duke Slater.  As Maly was looking it over, I had an opportunity to help him track down another former Hawk in need of recognition.

Al Miller

On Maly’s blog last week, he put out a search request for former Hawkeye Al Miller.  Miller played football for Coach Evashevski at Iowa and lettered in 1958 and 1959.  He lined up at the end position and was a member of the squad that played in the 1959 Rose Bowl.

After graduation, Miller went to work for the Cedar Rapids Gazette as a sportswriter, and among other sports, he covered racing for the Gazette.  Recently, Hawkeye Downs Speedway decided to honor Miller’s contributions to racing in Iowa by inducting him into the 2013 class of the Hawkeye Downs Speedway Wall of Fame.

The only problem was, Kyle Ealy and the folks at Hawkeye Downs didn’t know where to find Miller!

Ron Maly publicized the issue on his blog.  When I read it, I recalled that one of my co-authors for What It Means to Be a Hawkeye had interviewed Al Miller for the book!  I went back through my old documents and found the phone number we had used to call Miller for that interview.  I passed the info along to Maly, who contacted Ealy.

Well, I’m pleased to say that the story has a happy ending.  Ealy got a hold of Al Miller, who was surprised and shocked that he was being honored by Hawkeye Downs Speedway.  Miller lives in Michigan now, but he plans to attend his induction ceremony over Memorial Day weekend in 2013.  I’m very happy it worked out…it’s a fine honor for Miller, and I’m glad that he’s seeing his work recognized.

Duke Slater Review – Ron Maly

Meanwhile, Ron Maly has had a chance to look over the book and had some very positive things to say.  “You picked a wonderful topic for your third Hawkeye book,” Maly told me over e-mail.  “It’s a wonderful book.”

He reiterated that sentiment in a blog post on October 16.  Maly wrote, “As for Neal Rozendaal’s book, Duke Slater, I recommend it to everyone.  It’s well-researched and well-written.  Rozendaal has done an outstanding job of telling the story of a Hawkeye he labels the ‘greatest African-American football player of the first half of the twentieth century.'”

Maly also encouraged me to keep up the good work on the Hawkeye front.  It means a lot to get positive feedback from someone like Maly, who, as I noted before, has written his own successful Hawkeye book.  His quotes will be added to the Reviews tab.  Sincere thanks to Ron Maly for taking the time to check out my book!

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