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The Batboy Hardcover – March 9, 2010

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books; First Edition edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039925000X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399250002
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–10—Brian's dad, a former big league pitcher, left Brian and his mom years earlier, and the boy still longs for his return. This summer, Brian has won a coveted spot as a batboy for the Detroit Tigers during home games at Comerica Park. He relishes his dream come true: hustling to complete tasks, enjoying a sleepover at the ballpark, and his front-row seat for the on-field action. On his days off, he plays on a travel team with his best friend, Kenny. Then his favorite player, Hank Bishop, returns to the Tigers following a suspension for steroid use. Bishop is stumbling at the end of his career: this is his last chance to reach a milestone 500 home runs. Brian shyly attempts to befriend his hero, but Bishop treats Brian and his teammates with frosty disdain. Lupica is at the top of his game, crafting a crisp, fast-paced novel teeming with edge-of-the-seat baseball drama. He limns his characters with well-observed detail and dialogue. Brian is a recognizable, multilayered teen; he's close to his mom, though they struggle to communicate and understand one another. Meanwhile, he learns the hard truth: "no matter how much Brian loved baseball, it was never going to make his father love him more." Though this novel will undoubtedly appeal to those who equate summer with baseball, it should also win over readers who appreciate finely crafted storytelling and engaging characters.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

After Brian Dudley lands his dream job as a batboy for the Detroit Tigers, he is disappointed when his hero, Hank Bishop, who has been given a final chance by the Tigers after a steroid scandal, proves to be uncommunicative and even hostile. Brian’s parents are divorced, and communication with his dad, an ex–major league pitcher who is working as a coach in Japan, is also difficult. Despite Brian’s efforts to reach out, his father doesn’t respond to e-mails or letters. Eventually, though, Brian does find a way to talk with Hank, who proves to be a softy. Lupica has hit upon an effective formula for his novels, giving his readers a behind-the-scenes look at major league sports. In this novel, he adds genuine insights into family dynamics and the emotional state of his hero. Pair this with Wes Tooke’s Lucky: Maris, Mantle, and My Best Summer Ever (2010), which also describes the life of a major league batboy. Grades 5-8. --Todd Morning

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 57 customer reviews
The story begins with Brian Dudley, a baseball aficionado.
Ricardo Godoy
If you like Mike Lupica or sports books this for you great story to it recommend it for anyone.
Best book EVA EVA EVA so good I stayed up late reading this sucker love Mike Lupica!!!
Kindle Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By G. Glover on April 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Batboy by Mike Lupica was written in 2010 about a 14 year old boy who is the son of a former major league baseball player. The main character is also the bat boy for the Detroit Tigers.

This is a youth book which is geared toward 10 years of age and up. I am a grandpa myself and loved this book and will save it for my own grandsons who will undoubtedly enjoy reading this and others written by Lupica in just a couple of years.

The bat boy deals with the problems of idolizing his father as well as other star athletes, but understands that these idols can be entirely different when they are not at the center of attention while in their own element. Throughout the story, Brian, learns about current problems in professional sports such as steroids, role models or not, as well as the love of the game of baseball.

He too is a baseball player on his town team while also holding down a full time job as batboy of the Tigers. He juggles both responsibilities to the best of his abilities, keeps his grades up in school, responds to his single mother like he knows he should, and hopes for a happy ending to this years' baseball season. Will the aging star of the Tigers get his 500th homerun of the season? Will his town team make it into the State Championship Series?

You've got to read this book to find the answers!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nadine M. White on August 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mike Lupica's book Batboy focuses on baseball and family. Both Brian and his mom are working through Brian's father's abrupt departure for Japanese baseball and a divorce. Brian snags a dream job as the Detroit Tiger's batboy for the summer, and also is playing his regular school league team - more than enough to take his mind off these events. Then Brian's idol, Hank Bishop, gets re-signed to the Tigers team, slightly shy of his 500th home run. He is in career repair mode from a steroids use charge and a hinted at divorce. Both, though they do not realize it, have entered recovery.

Both Brian and Hank can't seem to get to first base communicating at work. Both have serious mid-summer slumps to contend with. Hank, in fact is nearing dismissal from the team.

Figuring his batting slump is due to not being able to practice for his league play, Brian and his fellow batboy Finn stay after a game, and hit ball after ball in the batting cage to find out what his swing needs. Out of the dark, Hank Bishop shows up, unasked for, but with freely given advice and suggestions that by the end of practice look to be connecting Brian's swing with the ball. Out in the parking lot, Hank meets Brian's Mom and gets invited to dinner. Brian notices for the first time in a long time, his Mom is interested in baseball or is it in Hank?

In a nice move to fix Hank's slump, Lupica makes great use of all the DVDs and sports footage ever stared at by any baseball fan or player anywhere. Brian, in the midst of viewing Hank's old games spots a critical change in Hank's batting stance. Hank brushes off Brian's efforts to communicate, until Brian finally blurts out what he saw.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Cole on August 8, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Thjs book always kept you on your toes. You could guess what would happen, but there was still so much tension in the air. I also like how they built Hank's character. I was hoping for a different ending. Hank and Liz would marry and Brian's dad would be his hero.
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Format: Hardcover
Brian Dudley has every baseball kid's summer dream job: he is batboy for his hometown's major league team, the Detroit Tigers. Even more exciting, his hero, Hank Bishop, is returning to the sport after a 50-game suspension to play for the Tigers. This could be the year Bishop hits his 500th home run --- the elusive goal for all hitters that almost guarantees a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame --- and Brian will be on the field to see it. But Bishop seems to dislike Brian from the very start. Will Bishop be able to make a comeback after the steroids scandal that nearly ended his career?

THE BATBOY deals with one of the most difficult subjects to hit major league baseball in recent years: whether it is possible to redeem a player both suspected of and suspended for steroid use. What connects a contemporary hitter like Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez to Hank Aaron, one of baseball's all-time home run champions? The statistic --- or, as author Mike Lupica puts it, "the numbers that not only held the sport together, but connected one season to another, one era to another." Many fans feel that the recent drug scandals have forever marred those statistics, making for comparisons that measure not the players' talent but the substances they used to assist it. Lupica slyly slips in trivia about the use of tobacco and amphetamines in the past; one of Brian's duties as batboy is to make highly caffeinated coffee, which many of the players use to give themselves focus and speed on the field.

But Lupica's question here goes far beyond the ethics of performance-enhancing drugs. In a recent interview about the book on "Good Morning America," he said, "It takes no talent to get knocked down, it's how you get back up that's a measure of your character, your spirit and your heart.
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More About the Author

Mike Lupica is one of the most prominent sports writers in America. His longevity at the top of his field is based on his experience and insider's knowledge, coupled with a provocative presentation that takes an uncompromising look at the tumultuous world of professional sports. Today he is a syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News, which includes his popular "Shooting from the Lip" column, which appears every Sunday. He began his newspaper career covering the New York Knicks for the New York Post at age 23. He became the youngest columnist ever at a New York paper with the New York Daily News, which he joined in 1977. For more than 30 years, Lupica has added magazines, novels, sports biographies, other non-fiction books on sports, as well as television to his professional resume. For the past fifteen years, he has been a TV anchor for ESPN's The Sports Reporters. He also hosted his own program, The Mike Lupica Show on ESPN2. In 1987, Lupica launched "The Sporting Life" column in Esquire magazine. He has published articles in other magazines, including Sport, World Tennis, Tennis, Golf Digest, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, ESPN: The Magazine, Men's Journal and Parade. He has received numerous honors, including the 2003 Jim Murray Award from the National Football Foundation. Mike Lupica co-wrote autobiographies with Reggie Jackson and Bill Parcells, collaborated with noted author and screenwriter, William Goldman on Wait Till Next Year, and wrote The Summer of '98, Mad as Hell: How Sports Got Away from the Fans and How We Get It Back and Shooting From the Lip, a collection of columns. In addition, he has written a number of novels, including Dead Air, Extra Credits, Limited Partner, Jump, Full Court Press, Red Zone, Too Far and national bestsellers Wild Pitch and Bump and Run. Dead Air was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Mystery and became a CBS television move, "Money, Power, Murder" to which Lupica contributed the teleplay. Over the years he has been a regular on the CBS Morning News, Good Morning America and The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour. On the radio, he has made frequent appearances on Imus in the Morning since the early 1980s. His previous young adult novels, Travel Team, Heat, Miracle on 49th Street, and the summer hit for 2007, Summer Ball, have shot up the New York Times bestseller list. Lupica is also what he describes as a "serial Little League coach," a youth basketball coach, and a soccer coach for his four children, three sons and a daughter. He and his family live in Connecticut.

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