PORTSMOUTH — General Manager of local radio station WNXT Steve Hayes is celebrating Portsmouth with a new book called 21 Down in Vegas: Magic in the Madness.
Rated with five stars and found on Amazon Prime, the book tells an uplifting story about Hayes’s hometown, Portsmouth, Oh.
“I wanted to write an uplifting story about my hometown, Portsmouth, that would have a lasting impression in the literary world because I think there are a lot of positive things in our town,” Hayes said. “What I did was write a fantasy story based in a reality where Shawnee State University, which in the book is called Bentley State University and a major league baseball team in Los Vegas that I call the Vegas Vipers and they play in the National League western division.”
Hayes explained the book is a story of a small college town with a baseball team that almost won the College World Series. The team was one play away from winning it.
“They would have been the smallest college to win the College World Series, but they lost, but this guy in Vegas that has more money than god and a very bad baseball team, fell in love with them while watching them on ESPN,” Hayes said. “Basically, the whole story is this little team from Portsmouth ending up in Los Angeles and then the story goes from there.”
Hayes shared he moved back to Portsmouth in 1999 and wanted to reflect the community. With Portsmouth being a big baseball community with Al Oliver, Don Gullet and many others, it was easy for him to try to make it all fit with a lot of local people in it.
“There are a few made-up names, but for the most part, I just used local places like the Ramada Inn (now Holiday Inn), The Ole Lantern Restaurant, the Portsmouth Brewery Company and Market Street Cafe, places that we would know around town and the University area,” Hayes said.
Hayes’ book, he says, is a big book with 543 pages. Hayes was working in Lexington before he came back up to Portsmouth.
“I left when I was 20 and was gone for 29 years with different radio stations,” Hayes said. The place he worked for in Lexington then bought the station here and he came back and said that at the time, his mother was still here and alive and said it was a good time to come back and that he enjoyed it.
“I’m real excited about it. I think that anyone who reads it is gonna get a really good feeling about Portsmouth. I think it’s a really good story too. I think it stands on its own legs. It is kind of got a little bit of everything. It’s got sports, a love story; one of the reasons it took me 17 years to write this is I had to insert a love story in it. I didn’t want it to be just a baseball storybook. I wanted it to appeal to women too, which I think it does. It’s got a very exciting ending; I don’t think anybody can anticipate the ending.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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