Lost Lakers


With sports serving as its background, Lost Lakers: Grosse Pointe to Grand Valley—Cake Eater Meets Convict is a memoir by Detroit native Bob Evancho (right)—a tale that brings him full circle from his early years in the Motor City to his current home in Idaho and back to a Michigan state prison where he reunites with former college football teammate Reginald “Hook” Johnson (left).

Born in the Motor City in 1952 and raised in nearby St. Clair Shores until he was 14, the author recalls his early love of baseball, his family’s move from the suburbs back to Detroit’s east side on the heels of the 1967 race riots, and his beloved Tigers’ epic World Series triumph the following year.

With humor and candor, he writes about his aversion to the outdoors, his general ineptitude in most things related to sports, and his largely misguided efforts to play football at Grosse Pointe St. Paul High and Grand Valley State College—schools that shared not only the same nickname but also a distinct lack of gridiron cachet at that time.

It was at Grand Valley in 1972 that Evancho and Johnson (aka Amin Abdullah Mu’min), a two-time ex-con from Ecorse, first met. With Johnson’s help, the author tells an intriguing and compelling story of how two divergent lives came crashing together—literally—on a football field, went in starkly opposite directions and reconnected more than 40 years later.