Each night, from April through August, up to a quarter of a million people in small towns and cities across America watch minor league baseball, experiencing the ups and downs of their local team - every move, every player, every inning. Welcome to the world of Short Season. Meet the Mason City Royals. Live with the team for five months, across eight mid-western towns, with "no more than two days off from April through August and a night-long bus ride every three to six days." Join in the triumphs and misadventures of its collection of hopefuls and has-beens as they get to know each other in English and Spanish, admire baseball groupies, crisscross backroads propelled by a beery-eyed driver in a rattletrap bus, play cards, steal cars, get sent up and down, and somehow through it all play good enough ball to become the Class A champions.
Jerry Klinkowitz is executive director of the Waterloo Indians, a farm team of the Cleveland Indians. In the off-season, he teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and has published twenty books of literary and cultural criticism.