Get into the Game–Baseball Fiction

Baseball season is officially here! Some (including me) say that it is the most wonderful season there is. 

Check out some of these Teen novels centered on baseball, on display now at the Library:

High Heat by Carl Deuker
Shane’s life comes crashing down when his father is arrested for money laundering and commits suicide.  Shane lived a privileged life that revolved around baseball so when he, his mom, and his sister are forced to move to a small apartment and live in virtual poverty, Shane rebels.  He’s arrested for stealing and as part of his probation Shane has to work on repairing a local baseball field and he slowly rediscovers his love for baseball.

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
Ryan is a Cubs fan thanks to her father, who passed away when she was 10.  So, when she skips school to attend the opening day game and meets Nick, a fellow Cubs fan, an intense relationship blossoms.  Ryan’s world comes crashing down, though, when she learns that Nick is terminally ill.

Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz
It is 1890 and Toyo is attending an elite boarding school in Japan.  Toyo comes from a family of samurai and is trained as such; however the emperor has outlawed the samurai practices.  Struggling to fit in at school and maintain his samurai heritage, Toyo finds solace in a new sport, baseball.

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena
Danny is half white and half Mexican and attends a predominantly white private school in San Diego County where he definitely does not fit in.  However, one summer he decides to stay with his father’s family in National City just across the border.  It is there that Danny finds friendship and that he has a great talent for pitching.

Center Field by Robert Lipsyte
Mike wants nothing more than to play baseball in the center field position.  However, a new kid at school threatens his position on the team.  Combined with other problems at home and with his girlfriend, Mike’s life spirals out of control and he gets in trouble at school.  Forced to do community service with the Cyber Club and sit the bench, Mike begins to learn that there’s more about his center field replacement than the school is letting on.

Change-Up by John Feinstein
While covering the World Series game, two teenaged reporters discover that the star rookie pitcher has changed his life story when the details of a tragic incident change from his earlier interviews.  The two reporters are faced with the dilemma to uncover the truth and expose the pitcher’s secrets.

Click here for a more complete list of titles.

Also, check out some of these classic baseball movies at the Library:

The Natural
I can hear the theme music now, as Roy Hobbs hits the game winning home run into the lights.  This is definitely my favorite baseball movie!

The Rookie
This movie is based on the real life Jim Morris who had a brief 2 seasons in the big leagues, but whose story made him famous.

For Love of the Game
A romantic spin on the game of baseball.
The Bad News Bears
A girl who may be the best pitcher around and a guy who is a motorcycle riding trouble maker who just happens to be the best athlete in town—this is a classic if for nothing else than Walter Matthau as Coach Buttermaker.

A League of Their Own
“There’s no crying in baseball!”  This film is another one of my favorites, with classic performances by Tom Hanks and Geena Davis.

The Pride of the Yankees
This is the 1942 biographical film about Lou Gehrig, played by Gary Cooper. 

Field of Dreams
“If you build it, he will come…”  most commonly misquoted as “If you build it, they will come…”