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The Greatest Show on Dirt Paperback – January 17, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

The Greatest Show on Dirt + The Bus Leagues Experience: Minor League Baseball Through The Eyes Of Those Who Live It + The Bus Leagues Experience: Volume 2: From the writers of Busleaguesbaseball.com
Price for all three: $21.58

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461116503
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461116509
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,393,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Greatest Show on Dirt is funny, fast-paced, and peopled with likable characters in a believable minor-league setting. In other words: manna for fans of sports fiction." -JOSEPH WALLACE, author of Diamond Ruby

"In The Greatest Show on Dirt, James Bailey performs a double-play pivot worthy of Bill Mazeroski, deftly pairing a page-turning coming-of-age tale about the cluelessness and angst of the post-college years with a richly detailed tour behind the scenes at a minor league ballpark." -JOSH WILKER, author of Cardboard Gods

"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." -TOM HOFFARTH, Los Angeles Daily News

"Nobody has a better feel for the sleepy rhythm of Durham life than James Bailey, nor can anyone give you a better guided tour of the fascinating subculture of minor league baseball. Give this man a steak. He's gone yard." -MIKE BERARDINO, Sports columnist, South Florida Sun Sentinel

"Bailey's knowledge of life in the minor leagues comes across in rich detail, making Greatest Show on Dirt an engaging and entertaining read of a young man finding himself during the daily grind of a season in Durham." -JOHN MANUEL, Editor in chief, Baseball America

About the Author

James Bailey worked for the Durham Bulls for three seasons, from 1990-92. He is a regular contributor to Baseball America magazine, for whom he spent six years covering minor league baseball. He lives in Rochester, N.Y., with his wife Jill and son Grant. The Greatest Show on Dirt is his first novel.


More About the Author

James Bailey moved to Seattle the year after the expansion Mariners were hatched. He grew up rooting for a team that rarely won, crying himself to sleep while listening to Hall of Famer Dave Niehaus liven up the broadcasts of a hapless bunch led by the likes of Ruppert Jones and Bruce Bochte. Just as better days were dawning in the Kingdome, he moved to North Carolina. While attending North Carolina State University in the early '90s, he worked for the Durham Bulls, planting the seeds for his debut novel, The Greatest Show on Dirt. He later spent six years covering the minor leagues for Baseball America magazine, for whom he is still a regular contributor. He lives in Rochester, N.Y., with his wife Jill and son Grant.

His second novel, Nine Bucks a Pound, was released in February 2014. It tells the story of an overlooked minor leaguer who breaks through after succumbing to the lure of steroids and must later deal with the consequences when his secret is exposed.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The ending was warm and closed out the story nicely.
DaveReadsALot
With that lesson in mind, Lane sets a new course when he takes a job with the Durham Bulls, one of baseball's landmark minor league franchises.
Thom H
The story line and characters were very engaging and realistic.
Craig Ryan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jeffrey s mooneyham on February 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful read. I downloaded it to my KINDLE yesterday, started reading it last night, and finished it up a little while ago. It's definitely a page-turner and I found myself unable to put it down. It reminds me of the great John R. Powers (Loyola Classics) trilogy, "The Last Catholic in America", "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?" and "The Unoriginal Sinner And The Ice-Cream God". I read those books thirty years ago and place "The Greatest Show On Dirt" right up there on the top shelf beside of them. I found it refreshing to finally stumble across another novel that I found to be as enjoyable.

My family experienced a renaissance with Minor League Baseball last year and attended quite a few games in Durham and Greensboro. We have purchased ticket packages to both Ballparks this coming season. As he noted in the Acknowledgement, the cities both have new Stadiums and MILB has gone through a Renaissance of it's own here and all across the USA. This is a good thing because the small towns of our Country are better because of it. Here in Burlington, the BAP remains just as described by "Lane Hamilton". Still plenty of great parking space right outside the gates.

Bailey says that he has written "a work of fiction". However, it reads, feels and smells exactly like Minor League Baseball and real life in the Piedmont of the Old North State. Congrats, and thanks to James Bailey.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy T on March 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am familiar with James' work through "Bailey's Baseball Book Reviews". When I find any free time to read a new book, his reviews are the first thing I check out to see what book I should grab. When I saw he was writing a baseball book of his own I was very excited. Upon receiving it the excitement did not diminish, as I have read the book twice already. The tales of the different minor league players reminded me of Dirk Hayhurst's "The Bullpen Gospels"...Bailey's characters were so real, in fact, I had to fight the urge to jump online and look up their minor league stats.

The behind-the-scenes look at minor league baseball is what I really enjoyed about Bailey's novel. My wife and I spent some time in Hornell, NY and hosted a player from the NYCBL's Hornell Dodgers...I also worked closely with the team's GM and got to see many of the front-office, behind-the scenes activities that Bailey writes about. "The Greatest Show on Dirt" captures the essence of minor league baseball and this book is a must-read for baseball fans or for those looking to learn more about the life as a player progresses through the minor league system.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thom H on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lane Hamilton has an uninspiring bank job and a high-maintenance, trophy girlfriend. Early on, the recent college graduate shares an insight from a professor, who warned him of the risk of waking up one day and hating his life. With that lesson in mind, Lane sets a new course when he takes a job with the Durham Bulls, one of baseball's landmark minor league franchises. There are more lessons to learn, as Lane navigates the long hours, various challenges and wacky twists and turns of a baseball season. In a breezy, compelling read, filled with humor and insight, James Bailey gives us an inside look at minor league life, and how it shapes a young man trying to find his way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book_lover on June 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is great for anyone that enjoys baseball. I really liked the behind the scenes look at the minor leagues. As the title of my review states, if you like baseball you'll enjoy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nacnt28 on March 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not a big fan of baseball, but I could relate to the characters in this book and the secondary story lines about a minor league baseball team. Even if you're not a baseball fan, there is strong entertainment value in The Greatest Show on Dirt. The main character is surrounded by a host of very colorful supporting characters who flesh out the story lines and keep us interested in the plights of this young adult trying to make his way through life after college. Though the book is set in the home of the Durham Bulls, the real interest here is Lane's personal growth as learns valuable life lessons. Of course, he has a lot of fun along the way and the author finds lots of ways to keep his audience entertained.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Lig on March 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to admit I bought the book because I know James and wanted to support his literary efforts. Well, that and it's Spring and baseball is in the air as well as back in the newspapers. What better way to kick off the season?

And a great kickoff this book was! James is a strong storyteller and he made behind-the-scenes life at the ballpark come alive for me. From the mundane tasks of cleaning warehouses and stocking shelves to field maintenance and the effort it takes to spread a tarp across the infield in driving wind, James' tight and witty writing style kept me turning pages.

But life's show goes on beyond the dirt too. There are themes of lasting friendships, old and new romance, human failings and hope for the future. The main characters are well-developed and likable and I found myself drawn in, rooting for Lane and Emma and wanting to have some beers with the crew at the nacho stand after the game.

I thoroughly enjoyed "The Greatest Show on Dirt" and would recommend it to anyone. It is a relaxing and light-hearted look at that transient stage in life where we're still getting a feel for the world and our place in it. Minor League baseball is the perfect context for a story like that!

Pick it up. You'll enjoy it! And you certainly can't beat the price!!
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