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Teen's quirky book could provide Miracle lights

The question was simple enough and the answer was even more succinct:

“Are you confident there will someday be lights at this field?”


Barron Schimberg didn’t hesitate. For over seven years, his family’s goal has been to see towering lights high above the Miracle League field in Manasota.

In order to get it done, they’re going to need to sell a lot of books.

“We’re at $3,000 now,” said 17-year-old Sy Schimberg, co-author of "Pancakes and Pickles."

Parents and players at the Miracle League have watched Sy grow up. He has been announcing player names at Miracle League games for four years.

Often, with dramatic flair.

“There are names on the back of the shirt but I rarely read the names just because I’ve become friends with all the players,” said Sy, who started volunteering with the Miracle League as a 10-year-old water boy.

His charisma and love for the league, which gives special needs athletes a safe place to play baseball, have driven him to want to give back.

Sy and Barron co-wrote "Pancakes and Pickles" over the course of a decade. The inspiration for the book came from a breakfast trip. When Sy was 5, the two went out for breakfast at Mel’s Diner in Sarasota. Sy ordered pancakes and the waitress offered him a pickle to go with it.

Now, 12 years later, that comical suggestion inspired the book that could be the key to getting lights for the Schimberg’s beloved Miracle League.

“Mr. Mack mushed marshmallows in his messy mouth,” Sy read from his book in between Saturday morning games. “That’s my favorite part.”

The book pairs two food items that begin with the same letter, and are not commonly found together on menus, into a playful story. Ringling College of Art & Design students did the illustrations for "Pancakes and Pickles," which is available for $15 on PancakesPickles.com, Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

“We donate all of our profits for 'Pancakes and Pickles' to Miracle League,” said Barron, who is a volunteer coach for the Miracle League Orioles team. “Our goal is to make sure that (our kids) make sure that as privileged as they are, there are other people out there.”

Sy's ultimate goal is to share his "Pancakes and Pickles" story on the Ellen DeGeneres show.