Welcome to the Circus of Baseball: A Story of the Perfect Summer at the Perfect Ballpark at the Perfect Time (Hardcover)

Welcome to the Circus of Baseball: A Story of the Perfect Summer at the Perfect Ballpark at the Perfect Time By Ryan McGee Cover Image

Welcome to the Circus of Baseball: A Story of the Perfect Summer at the Perfect Ballpark at the Perfect Time (Hardcover)

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A gloriously funny, nostalgic memoir of a popular ESPN reporter who, in the summer of 1994, was a fresh-out-of-college intern for a minor league baseball team. Madness and charm ensue as Ryan McGee spends the season steeped in sweat, fertilizer, nacho cheese sauce, and pure, unadulterated joy in North Carolina with the Asheville Tourists.

"A sweet and funny book that reminds us it’s not just the game itself that draws us. It’s also the people." —Tom Verducci, MLB Network, Fox & Sports Illustrated, and New York Times bestselling author of The Yankee Years

In the spring of 1994, Ryan McGee (new college graduate) bombed his coveted interview with ESPN--the only place he ever wanted to work. But he did receive one job offer: to work for $100 a week for the Asheville Tourists, a proud minor league baseball team in the heart of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. McCormick Field, home to the Tourists, had once been graced by Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Jackie Robinson. What could go wrong?

Welcome to the Circus of Baseball is McGee’s hilarious, charming memoir of his first summer working in the sporting world. He has since risen the ESPN ranks to national TV, radio, and Internet host, but his time in Asheville still looms large. Among the many jewels of his experience. . . McGee recounts one of the most entertaining on-field brawls you’ll ever witness (between the fourteen league mascots who had assembled for the all-star game--an eight-foot-tall foam-costumed crustacean, a pudgy red fox, a giant skunk . . . and they were really fighting), as well as the nervous moment he oversaw the game-day entertainer known as "Captain Dynamite and His Exploding Coffin of Death." Most important, McGee details a magical summer of baseball, of learning the ropes, of the ins-and-outs of running a minor league team, and of coming to understand how the pulse of a community can beat gloriously through a minor league ball club.

Welcome to the Circus of Baseball is a baseball classic in the making.
RYAN MCGEE is a senior writer for ESPN and cohost of Marty & McGee on ESPN radio and the SEC network. He has won five Sports Emmys, including two for his scriptwriting and feature work on College GameDay. McGee has authored several books, including cowriting the New York Times bestseller, Racing to the Finish, with NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. He also works as a field reporter for ESPN's SportsCenter, and as a feature reporter for E:60. McGee lives in North Carolina with his family.
Product Details ISBN: 9780385548403
ISBN-10: 0385548400
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English
"Evoking the shimmering green of Asheville’s sunny diamond, Mr. McGee’s chronicle is a celebration of baseball when it isn’t only the greenbacks that matter. The circus of baseball is still, despite all the problems, the greatest show on Earth."The Wall Street Journal

"If you fell in love with baseball at some point when you were growing up, you will love this journey back to the scene of your first love. McGee clearly loves minor league baseball, and in reading his new book, you will, too."Baseball America

"Every once in a while, every baseball fan should go to a minor league game to be reminded of why they love the game. And if you can’t get there, or don’t want to risk spilling nachos on your lap, Welcome to the Circus of Baseball is the next best thing. Ryan McGee has crafted a sweet and funny book that reminds us it’s not just the game itself that draws us. It’s also the people."
—Tom Verducci, MLB Network, Fox & Sports Illustrated, and New York Times bestselling author of The Yankee Years

“Ryan has captured the absurd and whimsical nature of one of the most classic forms of entertainment we still have around. Asheville, North Carolina—real life home to the Minor League Tourists, and fictional home of Major League's Crash Davis—is a perfect example of a place where it feels like time stops once the first pitch is thrown. I've taken pretty much every partner I've ever loved to see a game at McCormick Field to experience it, and now I might just recommend this book instead and save myself some money.”
Clinton Yates, ESPN host and columnist

“Ryan McGee’s prose makes me yearn for the sights, sounds, and smells of a bygone era. Fortunately, this fast-paced, funny and deeply moving journey to the soul of baseball brings it all back to life.”
—Andy Martino, SNY Network analyst and senior writer, and author of Cheated

“You're 21 years old, have just graduated from the University of Tennessee. You put on your first version of grown-up clothes - a blue blazer, Dockers khakis, shirt and tie, sensible shoes - and wrangle a $100-per-week intern job in minor-league baseball. And away you go. We're watching you, Ryan McGee. What a bunch of fun. This book is a well-written joy, a romp through a grass-roots summer of snow cones and sunshine at the old ballpark. Except, of course, when the tarp is on the field. Terrific.”
Leigh Montville, New York Times bestselling author of The Big Bam, Ted Williams, and Tall Men, Short Shorts

“If you fell in love with baseball at some point when you were growing up, you will love this journey back to the scene of your first love. Ryan McGee clearly loves minor league baseball. He's pulled the tarp, tapped the kegs and cleaned up after promotions that went awry. With Welcome to the Circus of Baseball, he'll help you understand why sometimes the best spot in the world is a small ballpark on a weekday night with your summer family.”
—J.J. Cooper, Editor-in-Chief, Baseball America

“Ryan McGee has done it again – a grand-slam home run. A book that will take everyone back to a time of innocence. It tugs at the heart, makes you laugh and cry all in the same sentence. This is simply a must-read book for all ages.’’
Paul Finebaum, ESPN analyst, radio host, and author

"Ryan McGee is the kind of guy you’d be lucky to sit next to at the ballpark, telling entertaining tales from first pitch to final out. In WELCOME TO THE CIRCUS, he combines a deep well of baseball knowledge with a sharp eye for detail, a keen sense of humor, and empathy for everyone he met during a memorable year in baseball’s minor leagues. This is a perfect book about baseball, and like a day at the ballpark, the game is only a small part of the story. Best enjoyed with a hot dog and a cold beer close at hand." 
—Jay Busbee, Yahoo Sports senior writer

"[McGee's] unwavering appreciation for baseball warmed my heart and led me to recall my earliest memories of the game.... McGee gives me hope baseball contains an enduring core that will last.... His knack for weaving baseball lore into his writing will satisfy diehard fans."
—Chapter 16

"...Readers will be charmed by the gallery of owners, players, coaches, groundskeepers, concessionaires, (fighting!) mascots, fellow interns, and fans McGee paints with such vivid colors in this account of one small, all-hands-on-deck, minor-league club back in the beforetime."
Booklist

"A picaresque, funny account of a side of lesser-rung baseball too little represented in the literature."
Kirkus Reviews

"This book is a hilarious yet endearing account of McGee’s experiences during that 1994 season in Asheville. Readers who are baseball fans will enjoy the descriptive, picturesque scenes McGee paints."
Library Journal

"A love letter to McCormick Field... [Welcome to the Circus of Baseball] is a fun, funny, and moving story of a young man trying to figure out what to do with his life, and getting some valuable lessons along the way. Plus, the story of the on-field mascot brawl that unfolded during the minor-league All-Star Game is worth the price of admission."
Book & Film Globe