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Cathy Byrd, author of ‘The Boy Who Knew Too Much’

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Southern California native Cathy Byrd is a busy mother of two and a successful real estate agent who says she had no aspirations of becoming an author until something so astonishing happened within her family, she needed to share it with the world. 

Byrd’s book, “The Boy Who Knew Too Much” (Hay House; $11.95), is the extraordinary story of her baseball-obsessed son, Christian, and his claims, from the age of two, that he had been a tall baseball player in the 1920s and 1930s.

When Christian began sharing specific and historically accurate details about baseball legend Lou Gehrig – some of them not widely known - the book becomes part-mystery and part-suspense, as Byrd’s detective work uncovered stunning information – not only about her son’s life but also her own.  

A few minutes before I was scheduled to interview Byrd about “The Boy Who Knew Too Much,” I mentioned it to my friend and colleague at Blueberry Broadcasting, Mike Elliott. When he told me that he had coincidentally just finished reading the book, I asked him to interview Byrd for this story. A portion of that conversation follows while the entire interview can be found on our website, www.TheMaineEdge.com

Mike Elliott: Christian is a bit of a bit of a baseball prodigy and started showing signs of that at a very young age. Let’s begin there. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

Cathy Byrd: The most unique thing about Christian’s baseball talent is that he was so young when he had these skills. When Adam Sandler cast him in a movie (“That’s My Boy”) when he was two years old, he had the catching, throwing and hitting skills of a seven- or eight-year old.

Elliott: After that movie finished filming, you took Christian to Fenway Park and the two of you saw that huge picture of Babe Ruth on the wall. What happened?

Byrd: When he saw that big picture of Babe Ruth, he became very upset and starting swinging his bat and saying “I don’t like him. He was mean to me.” We left the stadium actually because he was so upset by it. At that point, I didn’t really know what it meant in the bigger picture.

Elliott: When did you realize that there was something a little bit different about that reaction?

Byrd: He was obsessed with baseball from the age of two. He didn’t play with toys nor did he watch TV. He insisted on wearing his full uniform every day and had us pitching baseballs to him for hours every day. One day I was pitching him baseballs in our kitchen and he stopped me. He said “Mommy, I was a tall baseball player.” I said “Yeah, you’ll be a tall baseball player someday.” He stomped his feet and said “No. I was tall like daddy.” I said “You mean you were a grown-up?” He had this look of relief and said “Yes.” That was my first clue.

Elliott: And he said that when he was a tall baseball player, they used to ride trains to the game.

Byrd. Right. We were in an elevator and just out of the blue, he said “This elevator looks like a hotel. When I was a tall baseball player like daddy, I used to stay in hotels almost every night.” I started joking and said “Oh, did you fly on airplanes too?” He said “No, mostly trains.” He wasn’t a kid who had been on a train or played with trains. It was odd.

Elliott: People might say “Well that’s interesting, but how do you get from there to Lou Gehrig?”

Byrd: I’m a Christian and I went to see my pastor to describe these things that my son was telling us. It was all historically consistent with baseball in Babe Ruth’s era. My pastor insinuated that my son was possessed by the spirit of a dead person, which wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear. I did some research online and found a woman named Carol Bowman who wrote a book called “Children’s Past Lives.” I also found a man named Dr. Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia where the medical school there has been collecting cases of children who recall past lives since 1967. They have documented many thousands of cases. All of these children display the same behaviors between the ages of two to six. They have very vivid memories that are historically accurate from sources they could never have gotten the information from.

(Read the full interview at www.TheMaineEdge.com.)

Elliott: How did you determine that Christian had lived a previous life as Lou Gehrig?

Byrd: These researchers had me show Christian photographs from Babe Ruth’s era. I showed him a picture of the 1927 Yankees and asked him if he saw anyone in the photo who didn’t like Babe Ruth. He immediately pointed to a guy with dimples, which I didn’t know at the time was Lou Gehrig. And he said “That’s me.” Then the researchers had me show him photographs of Lou Gehrig’s family. I showed him photographs of Gehrig’s parents. I made a fictitious list of names and he was able to correctly identify their names. He kept providing more and more accurate details. He would say things like “When I was a tall baseball player, I wore metal cleats but I didn’t wear a helmet” or “We played all of our games during the day because there were no lights.” They didn’t have lights at Yankee Stadium until the 1940s. It got stranger and stranger over time.

Elliott: And the story gets even more interesting and complicated when you had a hypnotic life regression session of your own. What did you find out?

Byrd: That was something totally out of my comfort zone. You’ve read the book so you know how I went through this progression of gradually accepting all of this.

When Dr. Tucker came to our home when Christian was about five-and-a-half, Christian said something he had never said to me before and Dr. Tucker asked him about dying. He asked “Do you remember how you died?” My son said “My body stopped working.” Then he said “I picked her to be my mom.” Dr. Tucker asked “Where was she when you picked her?” and my son said “She was being born.” The doctor asked “Where were you?” and he said “In the sky.” Dr. Tucker told me that many of these children who recall past lives also recall choosing their parents and have very specific details about when they chose them.

Elliott: I know you’re uncomfortable with this part of the story but it’s very riveting. You went and had the past-life regression. You discovered that you actually were Lou Gehrig’s mother in a previous life.

Byrd: Yes. And what inspired me was that visit from Dr. Tucker and the fact that ever since I showed Christian the picture of Lou Gehrig’s parents, he looked at the mother and said “Mommy, you are her.” I never really believed him but when he brought up that story to Dr. Tucker of picking me to be his mom, I thought maybe there is something to this.

A friend had told me about this hypnosis thing you can do to access past-life memories. I still didn’t believe any of it but I was going through the motions. I went in and had these past-life regressions. There are six hours of recordings of basically every significant event in the life of Christina Gehrig. Some details were only verifiable through death certificates of children. I went to the Cooperstown Hall of Fame museum and researched all of the legal documents of Lou Gehrig and found a family that had gotten pictures that belonged to Christina Gehrig once she died. Through my regression I could find very specific jewelry – like a charm bracelet from Japan that Lou had given me that I wanted to give to a little girl. I described this family that I lived with. I described the floor plan of their house – what they looked like and how old they were.

By tracking down this family that had a relationship with Lou Gehrig’s mother, I managed to find these people – a seven-year-old little girl who I wanted to give my jewelry to is now a 70-year old realtor and the 10-year old little boy I described is now a 73-year old pastor.

This pastor, who doesn’t believe in reincarnation, confirmed that all of the details I provided about his childhood were correct. They verified that they had the jewelry which was strange because they had never told anyone that they had it. It was kind of a family secret.

Elliott: People need to read this book because there is so much to it - much more than we have time to get into during this interview. Let me finish with this question. You took Christian to visit Lou Gehrig’s grave. There’s a picture of him putting a rose … essentially on his own grave. Describe the feeling you had when that happened.

Byrd. That was a very special moment. My daughter was there with us too. What was most remarkable about it is that it was right when Christian turned six. After that visit to Lou’s grave, we also went to his old house. Christian stopped talking about it. It was almost like it provided closure for him on this chapter of his life.

The main reason I wrote the book is really to show people this evidence that came through that our souls survive this earthly existence and that love can surpass one lifetime.

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