Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baseball Crazy: Ten Short Stories that Cover all the Bases

BASEBALL CRAZY: TEN SHORT STORIES THAT COVER ALL THE BASES; New York: Dial, 2008; 191pgs. Fiction.

For anyone who loves, plays, or has played baseball, Baseball Crazy is a delight. Rather than a table of contents, this book has a Lineup chart. Jerry Spinelli leads off with a story of an orphan boy who is taken to a ball game by a very nice bald guy, who explains the game to him for the first time. Batting cleanup is Paul Acampora with "Great Moments in Baseball," the story of a brother and sister whose father is gone, and whose mother has become cranky and demanding. They cope by working together on the brother's slider (the "wishball," and reeneacting great moments from baseball). My favorite is Sue Corbett's "Fall Ball"--". . . height is my shortcoming as an athlete," but Ron Koertge's "Riding the Pine: a Play," and John H. Ritter's title piece, "Baseball Crazy" are both funny and touching. Each author has a stat sheet at the beginning of his/her story detailing BBI ("books batted in") and favorite players, teams, and "best game ever." I think kids will like this book--I know grownups will.

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