This is the one I’ve been waiting on. Every April, Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News immerses himself in the world of baseball books, running a month-long feature called “30 baseball books in 30 days.” Not only did he include The Greatest Show on Dirt, he was kind enough not to torture me with a long wait, running his review on just the third day of the month. Here’s a little of what he had to say:
The best baseball novels know how to straddle that line of realism and corny, and made it really about a human situation rather than a “baseball-themed” plot.
As Bailey digs deep into his baseball life here for the landscape, it’s not just believeable, but is easy to imagine as being the starting point for a movie script — even with “Bull Durham” already a classic. Bailey doesn’t use baseball locker-talk for shock value, but keeps the reader moving at the right pace, fully locked and loaded, trying to figure out how this crumbling old minor-league park will somehow expose the secret to life for at least one person who feels disconnected, but it willing to listen to see if if it’s speaking his language.
Be sure to check out the full review, called Rub a little Durham dirt on it, things might feel better. It’s another very positive take, coming a week after Bob D’Angelo of the Tampa Tribune posted his.