A visit this Friday from a former professional baseball player and manager is just one of the highlights on tap in Trumbull, thanks to this year’s One Book, One Town program.

The theme of this year’s One Book, One Town is baseball, in celebration of Trumbull Little League’s 25th anniversary of winning the Little League World Series. This year’s book is Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding.

In keeping with the theme, Bobby Valentine, current athletic director at Sacred Heart University and former professional baseball player and manager, is visiting the Trumbull Main Library Community Room this Friday, March 14. During his career, Valentine played or managed for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the California Angels, the Texas Rangers, the New York Mets, Japan’s Chiba Lotte Mariners, and the Boston Red Sox. He’s also active in sports media in the United States and Japan. “A Conversation with Bobby Valentine” starts at 7 p.m. Friday.

“We are thrilled to have such an interesting baseball personality coming to Trumbull,” Library Director Susan Horton said. “It will really add a nice dimension to our overall program.”

One Book, One Town

This is the Trumbull’s fifth year of the One Book, One Town program, which is organized by a group of library staff, community leaders and educators.

“This year we have a committee of about 15 people,” Horton said. “We start planning for the following year as soon as one program is over. We literally plan for an entire year.”

All that planning pays off in a number of unique programs.

The chosen book, The Art of Fielding, can be enjoyed by any reader, Horton said.

“This book was chosen for two reasons,” Horton said. “One is that it is about baseball and we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Little League World Series, but we have also found that our audience likes a book that has issues, and this is about way more than baseball.”

According to a synopsis of the book, protagonist Henry Skrimshander, a baseball star at a small college near Lake Michigan, launches a routine throw that goes disastrously off course and inadvertently changes the lives of five people, including the college president, a gay teammate, and the college president’s daughter.

“This novel is about baseball, but really about ambition and its limits, about family, friendship and love, and about commitment to oneself and to others,” according to the synopsis.

The book’s author, Chad Harbach, will be speaking and making a presentation on the book on April 6 at 2 p.m. at Trumbull High School.

“This is very exciting for us,” Horton said of the author visit. “This was named one of the best books of 2011 by the New York Times Book Review, and for Trumbull to have him come here is just wonderful.”

Another highlight of the program is March 20, when St. Joseph High School and Trumbull High School debate teams face off to discuss if high schools emphasize sports to the detriment of academics. State Rep. Tony Hwang will moderate, and judges will include members of the Yale debate team.

The culmination of the program is May 4, with Trumbull Day at Bluefish stadium’s opening weekend. The game starts at 1:05 p.m. and tickets will be on sale at a discounted price at the Trumbull Library.

“The whole point of One Book, One Town is to bring a community together to share ideas and attend programs of interest,” Horton said. “We get the really book-y types who love to read, and we also get people who are enthusiastic about the topic.”

A full listing of events is available at Trumbullct-library.org. Events are also listed at TrumbullTimes.com.