Lucas Mann in Seattle

written by Mikaela Cowles on May 27, 2013 in Hot Stove League Book Club with no comments

Lucas Mann at the RBI Club book club

“Thanks for having me in Seattle. I wore plaid,” Lucas Mann said. He was reading at Elliot Bay Book Company. It was the first stop during his five-day book tour throughout the Seattle area for which he truly felt prepared.

Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere is Lucas’ first book. He is just 26-years-old. Confident yet humble, he moved from interview to interview with an I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening look.

On Sunday, May 26, he joined RBI Club members and guests before our Friends & Family Day at Safeco Field. Held in an open reception area on the Suite Level, Lucas’ reading was followed by a Q&A.

I could tell you about his writing – it will knock your socks off with its real life look at the seedy underbelly of minor league baseball. I could tell you about how he gets up close and personal with the town, the fans and the inside of an old mascot head splattered with blood. But that’s been done here, here and here. And here. And here. And here. All stunning reviews. All spot on.

You get the idea. The book is good. It’s well written. It’s catchy.

And it’s not for everyone.

Class A Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere by Lucas Mann

As Lucas is so quick to point out, he didn’t set out to write a book about baseball. He needed a topic. He liked baseball. Clinton was close, relatively speaking.

An MFA student at the University of Iowa, the original plan was to use the material for his thesis. On a regular basis, his grad school peers were not baseball fans. He was determined to make them like baseball anyways. He did (mostly).

This beer loving grad student turned a collection of essays into  story that grabs you. His sometimes edgy language can take you from laughing to deep contemplation within the same sentence.

Yet I learned Lucas is so much more. Recently engaged, he spoke of how he loves Ottavia De Luca and how he proposed on a hike with a ring he’d carefully chosen. (She’d dropped a few hints over the years. He’d paid attention.) He spoke of his passion for teaching, his dream to write without constraints and his taste for a good bitter beer.

Where does his writing go from here? Lucas isn’t sure, but it won’t be baseball. He doesn’t plan to be a sports writer, but he’s still a baseball fan.

Lucas we wish you the best of luck.

A huge thank you to Rebecca Hale of the Seattle Mariners, Marilyn Dahl of Shelf Awareness, and Elliot Bay Book Company for coming together to create this new Baseball Book Club reading series.

Lucas Mann signing books for RBI Club members

Click image to view a complete photo album from Lucas’ Seattle trip.