Back in October of 2022, I received an email from an author by the name of Taylor Coleman… this is not uncommon, I receive emails from authors, musicians, publicists, and teams daily asking us to promote books, albums, merchandise, upcoming shows and events, etc. This was different though, she didn’t ask that we promote anything… she asked if I wanted to hear her story. She offered to send me a manuscript. She self published it. I looked it up and read the description and saw that she had been abandoned by her father, Vince Coleman. Yeah, that Vince Coleman. Having grown up feeling like I had been abandoned by my father and some family, I felt that I could relate a bit, so I decided to purchase the book myself instead. The book is available on Amazon, click here.
Vince Coleman was an electric outfielder in the 1980s with the Cardinals, known for his speed, big daring lead-offs, and stolen bases. He made his debut in 1985 and set a single-season rookie record with 100 stolen bases and scored 107 runs. He was the unanimous choice for the NL Rookie of the Year award. He would lead the league in stolen bases all six seasons he played for the Cardinals. All that speed, but he wasn’t fast enough to out-run a 2mph tarp in the 1985 post-season. It was no secret that it was an automatic tarp, it had obviously been raining, and the team even announced that they would be putting the tarp out… but that’s another story.
After the 1990 season, Vince Coleman became a free agent. The Cardinals offered him a four-year, $10.5 million contract but he turned it down to join the Pond Scum Mets for a four year, $11.95 million deal. His career would then spiral. He had issues on and off the field for the Mets. Hamstring injuries plagued him. He fueded with manager Jeff Torborg and coach Mike Cubbage and was suspended for a couple games after physically shoving the manager. Coleman was investigated in a rape allegation in Port St Lucie, Florida in 1992 and who can forget 1993 when he threw an explosive device into a crowd of autograph seeking fans in a parking lot. I remember it being called a ‘firecracker’ but it was a M-100, a military device having 200 to 300 grains of gunpowder and used to simulate grenades. An arson investigator compared it to a “quarter stick of dynamite.” When it exploded, he injured a 2-year old girl, and 11-year old boy, and a 33-year old woman.
Five days later, Coleman would call his actions “inappropriate” in a prepared statement, but he complained about being portrayed as insensitive and uncaring.
“I take full responsibility for a very foolish act for which I am suffering greatly. It was never my intent to hurt anyone.” – Vince Coleman
Two days after that, he played his last game for the Mets (against the Cardinals). He was removed from the lineup until authorities determined whether to file charges. He would be charged with a felony a few days later and faced a maximum sentence of three years in jail. He would request to be put on an unpaid leave of absence.
“It’s a shame Vince Coleman didn’t charge Ryan … Maybe we ought to have Nolan Ryan clean this game up, administer his brand of frontier justice, and restore baseball’s vanishing morality.” – Bernie Miklasz, St Louis Post-Dispatch
Three weeks into his leave of absence, the Mets told Coleman he never would be welcomed back to the team.
Later that year, Robert Shapiro (OJ Simpson lawyer), would get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor and one-year jail term was suspended. Coleman was given three years of probation and assigned 200 hours of community service. He also agreed to make restitution to the three people he injured.
“I’m relieved, very relieved,” Coleman said. “I’m sorry it happened. I’ve suffered dearly.”
He would be traded to the Royals before the following season. He would play a total of 154 games over the next four seasons for four different teams. He would attempt a comeback with the Cardinals in 1998, but did not earn a spot on the opening-day roster. He played well for the Memphis Redbirds for 20 games but after failing to be promoted, he decided to retire in May of 1998.
Taylor was born in 1994 after his season with the Royals, and Vince would abandon her when she was 8 years old, cutting off all communication and avoiding his parental responsibilities.
Raised by her strong single mother, Taylor would persevere, earning a college degree and becoming a successful businesswoman in cybersecurity sales.
She wrote a book about her father and his rejection of her, it’s called: “A Letter To My Dead Beat Dad: The Facade Is Over.” It is a very well written book that will stir emotions. The book is available on Amazon, click here.
When I saw him in the store last year, it was the first time I had seen him since I was 8 years old. My mother was with me, and we walked up to him. I asked him why he abandoned me, why he won’t just talk to me… he continued to ignore my questions and wouldn’t even look me in the eye half the time. All the extra details of that occurrence are in my book, but the way he treated me that day was traumatizing and I was very hurt by his dismissiveness.
Does he have other children, and what is your relationship with them?
I have two older brothers, from his first marriage, and I talk to them daily. However, our father no longer talks to them. He wasn’t at their mothers funeral, their high school graduations, and didn’t even come to Vincent Jr.’s wedding. On the other hand, this past year I found out I have two younger siblings from his current wife, Denise Coleman. But she wants me/our brothers to have nothing to do with them. She has never once contacted me. His first wife was a great woman and made sure I was connected with my older brothers.
What is your main goal and purpose of writing this book?
There’s two main reasons why I wrote this book: 1.) I want to bring major awareness to this world wide issue of absent/dead beat parents who think it’s totally okay to walk out of their innocent child’s life and treat them as if they literally do not exist. 2.) I spent the last 20 years of my life being silent because I was too scared to tarnish his image, and too embarrassed to admit my dad wants nothing to do with me. But that is over now, and I deserve to be heard and it’s important for me to finally let all of this out, so I can heal and help others heal from sharing my story. Great things come from people sharing their stories, and I want to advocate for all who can relate.
Has your father reached out to you at all since he heard about the book/since publishing?
He has not once reached out to me. He has only reached out to the people who have interviewed me and demanded they take down the interviews because he’s scared and embarrassed that I’m telling the truth. I knew he was going to try to sue me, even though I’m his own daughter… that’s just the type of man he is. This could all be resolved with a simple conversation between him and I. All I’ve ever wanted was a relationship.
Its time we start holding dead beat dads accountable! My father is a St. louis Cardinals Hall of Famer, Vince Coleman, and i am here to ensure my voice and story is heard by sharing the book i wrote. Please make this go viral!
Her book is available on Amazon, click here.
Mick Lite served for 12 years in the military and is now an entrepreneur and photographer. Has worked as the official scorer and social media manager for the River City Rascals, Statistician for the Missouri Monsters and St. Louis Attack arena football teams, and as the Team Photographer and social media consultant for the St. Charles Chill, SLU Hockey, St. Louis Slam, and Gateway Grizzlies.