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The Madison Record

McCarter writes ‘Pandamonium’ to recount return of baseball in North Alabama

MADISON – Mark McCarter has written “Pandamonium: Engineering Pro Baseball’s Return to the Rocket City,” a book chronicling the Trash Pandas’ arrival in Madison.

The book will be released in April. “’Pandamonium’ not only goes behind the scenes to reveal the maneuvering that brought the team into existence and the people who made it happen, but it also explores the rich history of baseball in the area that serves as the foundation for this franchise,” Bud McLaughlin said. McLaughlin is Public Relations Manager for the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

The book symbolizes another unprecedented landmark in the Trash Pandas success before their first game, along with merchandise sales, season tickets and rekindling North Alabama’s love for baseball, McLaughlin said.

Trash Pandas’ President and CEO Ralph Nelson wrote the book’s introduction. Team manager Jay Bell wrote the foreword.

“With his unique style and award-winning sports writing background, Mark is the perfect person to write our story,” Nelson said. “He brings home our message of ‘Minor League Baseball in a Major League way.’ We are proud of this work.”

McCarter has won “Alabama Sportswriter of the Year” honors four times. His work has appeared in “Sports Illustrated,” “Fortune,” “The Sporting News” and “USA Today.”

McCarter’s other two books are “The Racetracks Book,” published by The Sporting News, and “Never A Bad Game: 50 Years of the Southern League,” printed by August Publications in 2014. August Publications is publishing “Pandamonium.”

Individuals can make pre-sale orders with shoptrashpandas.com. Officials estimate that books will be available April 25 in the Trash Pandas team stores, The Junkyard at Toyota Field and the Emporium at Bridge Street Town Centre. Individuals can pick up online copies at The Junkyard.

McCarter offers a unique perspective on the story, having launched his career by covering the Chattanooga Lookouts in their return to the Southern League in 1976. He then spent 16 seasons following the ups and downs of the Huntsville Stars franchise as a columnist and writer at “The Huntsville Times.”

“No one is more qualified to write about Huntsville baseball than Mark McCarter, and he shows why in ‘Pandamonium,’” “Sports Illustrated” editor and Huntsville native Mark Bechtel said. “It evokes memories of the past — for me, of hawking souvenirs at Joe Davis Stadium. With its entertaining behind-the-scenes look at how the Trash Pandas came to be, the book sets the stage for what is certain to be a very bright future.”

Opening day for the Trash Pandas’ inaugural season will be April 15 against the Mississippi Braves at Toyota Field. Season tickets, mini-plans and group outings are on sale now. Individual game tickets will be available March 14 at 9 a.m. at Toyota Field. Visit trashpandasbaseball.com.

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