Scholastic Booktalk

Ty loved baseball, but wasn't any good at playing it. Now all he had to do was tell his coach, who was also his baseball-obsessed dad.

"Let me be clear about this from the beginning: I love baseball. I love to watch it, talk about it, collect baseball cards – everything but play it. I'm a lousy player. I stumble, trip, fall down, drop catches, and can't hit a homer to save my life. I totally suck at playing baseball. But I play anyway. Why? Because my dad's the coach, and for about twenty-four hours, years ago, he was a major league player and played in Yankee Stadium. Ever since then he's been obsessed with baseball, and with having a son turn pro. He doesn't seem to see what everyone else, including me, has figured out: if I suck at Pee Wee baseball, and am terminally klutzy, then there's no way I'm ever gonna make it to the pros, much less onto any team my dad doesn't coach.

That's why I'm standing in the right outfield of a sunburned, brown-grassed baseball diamond, in the middle of a blistering hot and muggy Arizona afternoon on June 28, wishing I was anywhere else. It's the last game of the season–or at least I hope it is. My team, the Brewers, is in third place in our league, playing the second place team, the Tigers. Whoever wins will play in the county tournament next week. If we lose, the season will be over, and my dad will be totally angry with me and the rest of the team, and my days of Pee Wee baseball will finally come to an end. And I have to tell you, I really want to be a loser this time."

Follow Ty through that last game, pitch by pitch, hit by hit, error by error, as he waits, watches, tries to catch or hit the ball, and hopes for the worst. And if you love baseball as much as he does, whether or not you can play, this is the book for you!

This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart