Babe and Me (Baseball Card Adventure Series)

Babe and Me (Baseball Card Adventure Series)

4.6 72
by Dan Gutman

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On October 1, 1932, during Game Three of the Chicago Cubs — New York Yankees World Series, Babe Ruth belted a long home run to straightaway centerfield. According to legend, just before he hit, Babe pointed to the bleachers and boldly predicted he would slam the next pitch there.

Did he call the shot or didn't he? Witnesses never agreed. Like other baseball

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On October 1, 1932, during Game Three of the Chicago Cubs — New York Yankees World Series, Babe Ruth belted a long home run to straightaway centerfield. According to legend, just before he hit, Babe pointed to the bleachers and boldly predicted he would slam the next pitch there.

Did he call the shot or didn't he? Witnesses never agreed. Like other baseball fans, Joe Stoshack wants to know the truth. But unlike other fans, Joe has the astonishing ability to travel through time and solve one of baseball's greatest puzzles....

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A boy and his father zip back in time to discover whether Babe Ruth actually predicted his home run in Game Three of the 1932 World Series. "Gutman's account of Joey's strained relationship with his divorced father and his portrait of the intriguing, revered slugger against the backdrop of Depression-era New York are equally skillful," noted PW. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, January 2000: In this time travel adventure, Joe goes with his father back to 1932, to the World Series when Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig won the series for the Yankees in a sweep. Joe wants to see for himself whether or not the Babe called the home run in the 5th inning of the 3rd game at Wrigley Field, Chicago, a much-debated topic in baseball history. Joe's dad, who has been for the most part an absent and angry parent in the present, goes into the past with Joe with schemes to get rich. All the schemes come to nothing, and Joe's dad learns from seeing the real suffering in the Depression Era that his life in the present isn't really so bad. When the two return to the present, they find they are beginning anew with a much-improved relationship. Another theme is that the autumn of this World Series corresponds to the time of Roosevelt's election and Hitler's rise to power in Germany. Joe learns from his dad just how important the Holocaust was to his own history. This is easy fare for younger YAs, especially those who love baseball cards and baseball history. But there is enough, with the time travel details and the general history, to attract more readers than just hard-core baseball fans. (A Baseball Card Adventure). KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2000, HarperTrophy, 161p. illus.,
— Claire Rosser

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Baseball Card Adventure Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.42(w) x 5.06(h) x 0.30(d)
600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Babe & Me
A Baseball Card Adventure Chapter One

It was about eight years ago—when I was five that I discovered baseball cards were sort of . . . oh, magical to me.

It was past my bedtime, I remember. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my dad. This was before my mom and dad split up, before things got weird around the house. Dad was showing me his collection of baseball cards. He had hundreds, a few of them dating back to the 1920s.

My dad never made a lot of money working as a machine operator here in Louisville, Kentucky. I think he spent all his extra money on his two passions in life-fixing up old cars and buying up old baseball cards. Dad loved his cars and cards. They were two of the things Dad and Mom argued about.

Anyway, we were sitting there at the table and Dad handed me an old card.

"That's a Gil McDougald card. from 1954," Dad said. "He was my hero growing up. What a sweet swing he had."

I examined the card. As I held it in my right hand, I felt a strange tingling sensation in my fingertips. It didn't hurt. It was pleasant. It felt a little bit like when you brush your fingers lightly against a TV screen when it's on.

I felt vibrations. It was a little frightening. I mean, it was only a piece of cardboard, but it felt so powerful.

"Joe," my dad said, waving his hand in front of my face, "are you okay?"

I dropped the card on the table. The tingling sensation stopped immediately.

"Uh, yeah," I said uncertainly as I snapped out of it. "Why?"

I "You looked like you were in a trance or something," Dad explained, "like you weren't all there."

"I felt like I wasn't all there."

"He's overtired," my mom said, a little irritated. "Will you stop fooling with those cards and let Joey go to bed?"

But I wasn't overtired. I didn't know it at the time, but a baseball card-for me-could function like a time machine. That tingling, sensation was the signal that my body was about to leave the present and travel back through time to the year on the card. If I had held the card a few seconds longer, I would have gone back to 1954 and landed somewhere near Gil McDougald.

After that night I touched other baseball cards from time to time. Sometimes I felt the tingling sensation. Other times I felt nothing.

Whenever I felt the tingling sensation I dropped the card. I was afraid. I could tell something strange was going to happen if I heldon to the card. I didn't know what would happen, and I wasn't sure I wanted to find out.

Gradually, I discovered that the year of the card determined whether or not it would cause the tingling sensation. Brand-new cards didn't do anything. Cards from the 1960s to the 1990s didn't do much. But I could get a definite buzz from any card from the 1950s. The older the card, I discovered, the more powerful the tingling sensation.

One day, I got hold of a 1909 T-206 Honus Wagner card—the most valuable baseball card in the world. The tingling sensation started the instant I picked up the card. It was more powerful than it had been with any other card. For the first time, I didn't drop the card.

As I held the Wagner card, the tingling sensation moved up my fingers and through my arms, and washed over my entire body. As I thought about the year 1909, the environment around me faded away and was replaced by a different environment. It took about five seconds. In those five seconds, I traveled back through time to the year 1909.

What happened to me in 1909 is a long story, and I almost didn't make it back. After that, I didn't think I would ever travel through time with a baseball card again. But once you discover you've got a special power, it's hard not to use it. For a school project, I borrowed a Jackie Robinson card from a baseball card dealer and sent myself back to the year 1947.

I nearly got killed in 1947, and my mom grounded me. She didn't make me stay in my room or anything like that, but she did make me stay in the present day.

"No more time traveling!" she ordered.

But, like I said, when you've got a special power, you want to use it.

Babe & Me
A Baseball Card Adventure
. Copyright © by Dan Gutman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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