Teresa Strasser has been busy. Currently the host of The List, she’s also an Emmy-winning writer (Comedy Central) and Emmy-nominated television host (TLC). She has been a contributor to the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Arizona Republic, The Jewish Journal, HuffPost, and The Today Show. Her first-person essays have garnered three Los Angeles Press Club Awards, including Columnist of the Year. She’s appeared on The View, CNN, Good Morning America, The Talk, and Dr. Phil. Radio and podcast audiences know her as Adam Carolla’s co-host. Her first memoir, Exploiting My Baby: Because It’s Exploiting Me, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and optioned by ABC.
Now, the wife and mom took on another project—writing her memoir called Making It Home: Life Lessons From a Season of Little League. The book—which debuted June 6—is set here in the Valley, where Strasser lives. We caught up with her to talk baseball, grief, family, and Scottsdale.
You just released a book! Can you tell us about it?
Making It Home: Life Lessons From a Season of Little League is about one season of Little League Baseball, the season I watched with my dad after my brother died of cancer at age 47. My dad and I turned baseball into our grief group of two. You know those weirdoes who get way too into 10-year-olds on the diamond? We were twice as bad as those people. But it was a distraction, and a sport filled with hope and second chances.
What do you hope people take away from this book?
There is no wrong way to do grief. We did it behind the first base line in beach chairs. And in life, as in baseball, there is always hope. A comeback is possible until you’re down to your last strike, and human beings need hope. That’s why baseball is so magical—because it’s a game with no clock, where a win is always possible.
How long did it take you to write?
I spent two years locked in my office writing. I’m pretty sure the rug is soaked with tears. I also used about a thousand index cards, just moving around elements of the story. The season is a framework, but it flashes backward in time, so there were many tricky puzzle pieces.
Do you have a favorite memory of your brother that you want to share?
During this magical season, baseball resurrected a version of my brother we’d forgotten during his long illness—the baseball version. I love to think of him playing first base, an athletic, confident lefty who never missed a ground ball. I love that memory of him, shaggy hair coming out of his baseball hat.
You are so busy (husband, kids, work, book, dad …)! Any tips on juggling it all?
I left Hollywood and moved to Arizona to live a mom life: to be there for my kids, to wash the baseball pants, and watch the games. I don’t regret it, but sometimes I feel jealous of people who are really successful in their careers. I repeat my mantra: this was a deliberate sacrifice, it’s not always easy, but it is always right.
Piece of advice for someone going through grief?
Just know this: it’s going to get different. And different might not feel better, but it is. Your loss will enable you to have deeper empathy for others, even if the crack in your heart never heals.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I’m just an introvert trying to get this book out into the world. I feel like I want to crawl back in my writer’s hole and never talk about myself again!
And last, but certainly not least, any favorite locales in Scottsdale?
When I got my first great review (Publisher’s Weekly) I took the kids to The Sugar Bowl in Old Town. That place is like baseball; it’s timeless. And the sugar-free vanilla ice cream lets me believe I’m eating something healthy! That place is an Arizona treasure. Long live The Sugar Bowl!
[I also love] Zizzo Tailor Design Boutique. Mr. Zizzo is a character, and your pants will fit within an inch of their lives! And he does a mean baseball pant if your kid is between sizes.
Beg Bakery and Creamery: I don’t know how they sweeten their vegan muffins with applesauce and somehow they taste good, but I call it a miracle.
And Echo Coffee. We started going there daily during the pandemic, and now it’s a treat. The coffee is top-notch, and the pastries are homemade. Nothing like a real neighborhood coffee shop if you need a place to feel like you’re writing.