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Yes, It's Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots Hardcover – April 15, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

A witty and wild ride narrated by a sharp writer with a big heart and beautiful soul. (David Ritz, bestselling author of The Man Who Brought The Dodgers Back to Brooklyn)

As a professional fantasy sports analyst, I usually overlook the impact mascots can have on a player's performance. But after learning that AJ Mass, a former Mr. Met, once inspired Bret Saberhagen to pitch a five-hit shutout and that his performance once distracted Braves slugger Fred McGriff to the point he was nearly decapitated during infield practice, perhaps I shouldn't. Yes, It's Hot in Here is a fascinating and fun look at a part of the sports world that everyone is aware of but few people really know. (Matthew Berry, New York Times bestselling author of Fantasy Life)

Mass, a nice Queens boy and current writer for ESPN.com, lifts the proverbial and physical mask to explore what he calls the "certain weirdness" of being a major league mascot. The result is a memoir-cum-Mr. Met-genealogy which traces the roots of the character and the intersection of his own turn in the role through a taxonomy of mascotdom, from the royal courts of Renaissance Europe to keg-saturated college campuses. It is studded with profiles of mascots Mass has known and those he has searched out, the quiet practitioners of the art of mugging for a crowd in an anthropomorphized animal suit. (Gelf Magazine)

About the Author

AJ MASS is a professional fantasy football, baseball, and college basketball analyst for ESPN.com. In 1994, he became the first person to don the Mr. Met suit since the mascot was retired by the Mets in the 1960s, and he played Mr. Met through the 1997 season. His first book, How Fantasy Sports Explains the World: What Pujols and Peyton Can Teach Us about Wookiees and Wall Street, was published in August 2011. He lives in New Jersey.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162336003X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623360030
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It's great for sports fans and entertainers everywhere.
Kelly Frank
Yes, Dandy was a bust but it seems odd not to write about the first mascot in Yankees's history in a book about mascots and their failed attempt .
Dreamstuff
I would enjoy it more if Mass would have just started with the early sports mascot in America the San Diego Chicken.
HuntleyMC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ken Katzman on September 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a fun read! Mr. Mass not only gives his firsthand thoughts as to what it's like to be a mascot (as Mr. Met), but he gives you plenty of stories about other mascots over the past few decades. The writing is warm, thoughtful, and accessible. A perfect gift for die-hard sports fan as well as the casual reader. I was looking for something light and fun to read on my morning train ride and this book was the perfect solution.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Frank on May 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable book, pretty much one of kind, that looks in detail into the lives of professional mascots. It's great for sports fans and entertainers everywhere.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rock'n Rod on March 13, 2015
Format: Hardcover
This is a sluggish effort of mascot mush, uninteresting and unfunny. Don’t bother.

Author AJ Mass’ biggest career highlight as Mr. Met is in chapter one, a severe warning from the Secret Service to not approach Bill Clinton for a photo opp during a visit to Shea Stadium. Spoiler alert: that’s it. The remaining pages are basically flat anecdotes of himself with fans and reflections of other people who’ve worn sports mascot outfits, some current and retired. Stories of Halloween house party escapades or the costumed creeps who clog Times Square for cash tips would’ve been far more interesting, in fact.

Mass also takes an ill-advised swipe at the San Diego Chicken while admitting he declined to be interviewed for the book. Wise choice by the Chicken. What should’ve been an amusing read instead fails miserably as the author backslides further into a Twitter-like brood about the man credited for trailblazing the world-wide mascot trend and hence, Maas’ time in it. It begs the ungracious question, got jealousy?

Mass’ bitterness continues with his firing from the Mets and hurls incessant insults at the organization. Moreover, he engages other disgruntled mascots about similar incidents with their former bosses. Misery loves company and these tales are a heap of cringe worthy junk, frankly. It's a good guess Mr. Maas' venting here at least saved him money in therapist bills.

At no point does he ever show the reader what---if anything---made his Met character supposedly entertaining. Clearly, nothing. Rather, the book’s only premise seems to say, “Hey, look at me in my Mets clown suit.” Big deal. Yes, It’s Hot In Here isn’t worth the sweat.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Maitland on March 4, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Any sports fan into mascots has to pick this book up. It's an absolute fun must-read. The author was Mr. Met for a number of years and is able to give us the inside scoop on the sports mascot world from the pros right down to the minor and college ranks. So if you want to know what The Chicken really is like and why he's not well loved by the others in the mascot fraternity or why the Phillie Phanatic started off and continues to be such a huge success when other mascots fail, this is where you'll learn all that.

The author AJ Mass weaves his own personal tale of his life in the mascot world in and out of the story in such a way you never get the feeling he has the ego of, well, The Chicken. This is a guy who loves sports and loves to entertain. As Mr. Met, the Rachel Robinson (Mrs. Jackie Robinson) and Bill Clinton at Shea Stadium tales are priceless.

All I can say that after you read this you'll want to live your life in the words of the Phoenix Suns' Gorilla mascot and "Be The Gorilla."
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