Book celebrates historic Dayton Flyers season

David P. Jablonski
David P. Jablonski

EDITOR’S NOTE: Through Sept. 4, a 30% discount is available using the coupon code “SeptemberFlash” at Blurb.com. Links for purchasing are below.

In early April, after the pain of seeing the sports world come to a quick halt because of the coronavirus pandemic had somewhat lessened, I started compiling a book — with my stories and photos from the pages of the Dayton Daily News — to remember to the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball season.

It’s titled simply, “29-2: The Story of the 2019-20 Dayton Flyers.” I don’t know if the title’s impressive, but 29-2, the team’s record last season, that’s something fans will never forget.

I’m ready now to share links to this book with all the Dayton fans so they can order their own copies if they like. This book is 13 inches by 11 inches. It looks great on a coffee table or bookshelf. Although I designed all the inside pages, I had help from a design expert, Kevin Sorg, who designed the front and back covers. Thanks, Kevin.

I produced this book on Blurb.com. It’s a self-publishing website that produces a great product. I’ve ordered many books full of vacation photos through it and have never been disappointed. It is more expensive to publish books this way because they’re not being mass produced and then sold. Blurb will print books as they are purchased by you.

That’s why the price is higher than what you would normally pay for a book. Most of the profit goes to Blurb. I created three different versions of the book — large, medium and small — to give people different pricing options. Also, there are coupon codes easily found online to get discounts; just Google “Blurb” and “coupon code.” One fan used the code JULYFLASH25 with success on Wednesday.

• The large book has 208 pages and includes every game, plus extra photos and features and even a separate chapter on the end paying tribute to Obi Toppin.

Use this link to purchase the book: https://tinyurl.com/yy94j2rz

• The medium-sized book has 100 pages and also includes pages on every game but fewer extra features.

Use this link to purchase the book: https://tinyurl.com/y6bqnema

• The small book has 50 pages. There is basically one photo and a short story on every game, plus some of the season-ending features that ran in our special section.

Use this link to purchase the book: https://tinyurl.com/y6mwdogv

At each of those links, you have the ability to preview the entire book before purchasing. The links can also be found on a story publicizing the book on DaytonDailyNews.com.

The book came together day by day, or night by night, usually after my toddler son Chase had gone to bed. I knew a season of this magnitude needed the proper treatment. Of course, plenty of fans clipped stories or saved the Dayton Daily News special section that ran after the season in March or the full-page posters of the players we published late in the season. For many fans these days, though, stories and photos fade away in the vastness of the Internet and can only be found by Google searches after a short time. This book, however, can live forever — just like the memories of the 2019-20 season.

This was my seventh season covering the team. I took over when Doug Harris retired just before the 2013-14 season and was sitting on the baseline with my camera when Jordan Sibert hit the game-winning buzzer-beater in the season opener. More than four months later, I was in a similar spot when Vee Sanford made the famous shot against Ohio State.

The shots have kept coming: by the Flyers and by myself, using the same camera and lens I had nearly seven years ago. As I’ve said many times, in giving speeches to fans or talking to UD students, it’s a beat I wouldn’t trade for anything, and I say that mostly because of the fans who have such a great interest in the Flyers and thus my work. That’s why I wanted to bring this book to life.

I dedicate the book to the Flyer Faithful, who didn’t get the ending they wanted in March because of the coronavirus pandemic but got the regular season they have long imagined in their wildest dreams. It’s also dedicated to the Flyers themselves — the players and coaches. They took me along on a wild ride from Maui to Phoenix to Chicago and all those Atlantic 10 cities I have come to know so well. I had a front-row seat with my camera for all 31 games, and in this book, you can see what I saw: a magical and historical season for the ages.