Connor Sullivan is a talented player for his Babe Ruth League baseball team. His athletic prowess, though, is offset by his explosive temper, which earns him suspensions and the enmity of his teammates. He also finds himself the subject of critical articles by a student reporter, Melissa Morrow. At home, Connor�s father is out of work, the bills are mounting, and his parents do not have a lot of patience for Connor�s behavior. By the book�s close, though, Connor learns to keep his cool, helps lead his team to victory, and even finds that he is attracted to Melissa. The clich�s are abundant in this sports novel: Act like you own the batter�s box. This is your office. Go to work. Yet Hall of Famer Ripken and veteran sports writer Cowherd manage to convey honest emotions, particularly Connor�s frustrations when he is unable to maintain his self-control. Fans of standard sports novels will enjoy this. Grades 5-8. --Todd Morning
About the Author
Cal Ripken, Jr. was a shortstop and third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles for his entire career (1981-2001). Nicknamed "The Iron Man" for his relentless work ethic and reliability on the field, Ripken is most remembered for playing a record 2,632 straight games over 17 seasons. He was a 19-time All Star and is considered to be one of the best shortstops professional baseball has ever seen. In 2007 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Since his retirement Ripken has worked as President and CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc. to nuture the love of baseball in young children from a grassroots level. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.
Kevin Cowherd has been a writer for the Baltimore Sun since 1987, is nationally syndicated by the Los Angeles Time - Washington Post news service, and is the author of Last Call at the 7-Eleven, a book of selected writings published by Bancroft Press. In 1990 he was honored by the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors for excellence in feature writing. He currently writes a sports column and blog for the Baltimore Sun. He is also a humorist, and an experienced Little League coach. He lives with his wife and three children near Baltimore.