The Boy Who Saved Baseball

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The fate of a small California town rests on the outcome of one baseball game, and Tom Gallagher hopes to lead his team to victory with the secrets of the now disgraced player, Dante Del Gato.

The fate of a small California town rests on the outcome of one baseball game, and Tom Gallagher hopes to lead his team to victory with the secrets of the now disgraced player, Dante Del Gato.

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The fate of a small California town rests on the outcome of one baseball game, and Tom Gallagher hopes to lead his team to victory with the secrets of the now disgraced player, Dante Del Gato.

The fate of a small California town rests on the outcome of one baseball game, and Tom Gallagher hopes to lead his team to victory with the secrets of the now disgraced player, Dante Del Gato.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Ritter's enthralling third baseball tale (Choosing Up Sides; Over the Wall), developers want to come into quaint Dillontown, nestled among a California mountain range, to plow up the historic baseball field in order to make way for a new diamond-and houses and strip malls as well. When 12-year-old Tom Gallagher goes to visit Doc, the old man who owns the land, he raises an issue that gets the man to thinking: "Is it new facilities that would help this town the most, or a new spirit?" So Doc decides to let a single game of baseball determine how his land will be used. Tom finds himself working to get a small, poorly trained group of players ready for the big day. Some unlikely help arrives in the form of Cruz de la Cruz, a mysterious boy who literally rides into town (on horseback) to gear up for the pivotal game and to seek out Dante Del Gato, the legendary San Diego outfielder who supposedly possesses the "Secret of Hitting" (19 hits in as many games). Tom's fear of letting down his community mirrors the tale of Del Gato, who abandoned his team just before the World Series and lives like a hermit in the nearby hills. Ritter paints Dillontown as equal parts Mayberry R.F.D. and Twin Peaks (a homeless rapper/poet who talks into a broken cell phone, a beauty salon with the motto "We'll Chop Your Mop 'Til You Say Stop"). The author takes the cosmic view of a local story: Tom not only strives to save a patch of land but the soul of his hometown. Baseball fans will appreciate the lore, but the prose is also at times stunning ("A boy needs to read the earth.... A boy kept distant from the earth is a boy dissatisfied"), in a book filled with memorable moments. Ages 9-13. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Here is a baseball story for middle school students! It is centered on a Big Game—in this case, one that will determine whether or not a small town will be changed forever with a proposed development scheme. The town is located outside of San Diego, near the Mexican border, and many of the characters are Hispanic, with Spanish vocabulary thrown in frequently (especially food items). Tom is 12 years old, and he is friends with the 88-year-old doctor in town who is trying to decide whether or not to develop the 300 or so acres he owns. Tom wants no change to the town, especially no change to the 100-year-old baseball park in their midst—so the game is proposed to determine the outcome. A game played by 12-year-olds, most of whom aren't such good players. Can a week's training whip them into shape? Can their attitudes change—if they have the heart to win, won't that help? A boy comes riding into town, just when they need him. His name is Cruz de la Cruz. He is a good ball player and he also is developing a software program that will improve hitting skills. He is fascinated by one of the town's citizens: a retired baseball pro named Del Gato, who walked away from a World Series nearly 20 years ago, just when he seemed to have perfected hitting. Tom and Cruz approach Del Gato and persuade him to coach the team for the week before the game. Boys and girls take part, they focus, and their skills improve. But at the last moment, Cruz disappears, and the original team of 12 has to face the opposition alone. Tom has to be the pitcher. So much is riding on the outcome! Ritter loves baseball, as we know from his previous YA novels, Choosing Up Sides and Over the Wall. This one is more light-heartedthan the other two, which deal with some serious themes. Ritter played ball in college and still plays on an amateur team, so all the details about hitting, fielding, and coaching are accurate, which will please his readers who probably are themselves immersed in the game. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2003, Penguin Putnam, Philomel, 216p.,
— Claire Rosser
When young baseball whiz Cruz de la Cruz rides in on horseback, he finds the tiny Southwestern village of Dillontown about to go under the bulldozer's blade in the name of suburban progress. The only thing that will save the town and its ancient baseball park from subdivision is to win a seemingly impossible wager by defeating a youth baseball team composed of all-stars from down in the suburban valley. The Dillontown coach is the high school science teacher and no baseball expert, and the team is more a summer activity comprising both girls and boys. In fact, until Cruz wanders in, they do not even have the required nine players. Meanwhile, in the hills above the town, Dante del Gato, the greatest hitter to ever play professional baseball, has been living in complete isolation for nearly twenty years. Cruz believes that del Gato discovered the secret to perfect batting before becoming a recluse and can help them out of their predicament. A strange running drill involving a desert hillside, a computerized batting simulation game, and lots of carne asada help the Dillontown nine come to the town's rescue. With just enough clues to make the reader wonder what is real and what is magic, this modern-day fairy tale is set in the desert Southwest. Cruz de la Cruz (double cross?) might be the "savior" or the "traitor" spoken of in a prophecy from years and years ago. Two wonderful surprises make for an enjoyable ending in this Holes (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998/VOYA December 1998) meets The Natural (1961) fable. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Philomel, 224p,
— Jim Blasingame
Children's Literature
Step up for a quirky, fastball thrown at young readers who will swing at this one for a homerun. Baseball aficionado Ritter loves kids and conflict and rich characters as much as he loves writing about the game and it all comes together in this young adult masterpiece. The local legendary ballpark is just about history with plans for tract housing in high gear as efforts build to bring fresh blood to the peaceful, quiet but economically challenged small town near San Diego. That's when landowner Doc Altenheimer throws young Tom Gallagher—and all of Dillontown—a serious curve. Beat the neighboring team, which is bigger, faster and better dressed, and Doc will not sell to developers. Tom's motley gang of witty, smart, original and determined buddies will need to pull together all the talent and imagination that 12-year-old baseball lovers can manage. Add to those dreams a has-been ballplayer named Dante Del Gato and a baffling new guy who rides into camp with a maple bat shining in its leather rifle scabbard atop his saddle. Ritter's story is carried by exceptionally meaningful and natural dialogue—between the young characters and in the head of the hero. Readers will relate to the themes of overcoming reticence, the drive to meet an impossible challenge, and the thrill of growing into a team. 2003, Philomel, Ages 8 to 12.
—Deborah Zink
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-The fate of a rural California town rides on a baseball game that pits a ragtag group of locals against a slick summer-camp team. Colorful characters, a mysterious ringer, and some awesome play-by-play are all part of this sports novel with a subtle reinforcement of small-town values. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A team of young ballplayers, who have the will but not necessarily the talent, can save the town’s legendary baseball field from developers by winning one crucial game. Tom, a sensitive youngster who wants to be a writer, loves his town, the surrounding countryside, and that special ballpark. He records the ensuing events in his journal and, in a nice twist, ends by writing the opening paragraph. The mysterious, wise Cruz de Cruz, the stranger riding in from nowhere, is the catalyst, à la Spinelli’s Maniac McGee, for the changes that affect the entire town. Dante Del Gato, a reclusive former ballplayer who appears to have found the secret of perfect hitting, agrees to help. Throw in some physics, ecology, astronomy, and extraordinary, eccentric coaching and guess who wins the big game. This is more than a baseball story; each character has a distinct personality with interests, strengths, and weaknesses that are accepted and admired. A fast-paced, sweet-natured tale for more than just fans. (Fiction. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756946050
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 492,394
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Boy Who Saved Baseball



Copyright © 2005 John H. Ritter
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-14-240286-9

Chapter One

Tom Gallagher sensed the ghostly calm even before he opened his eyes. In a hill town known for its harsh and wild winds, the morning broke without even the whisper of a breeze.

Tom had hoped today would be as ordinary, as possible. He'd woken early, dressed, and finished off a plate of his mother's chorizo con huevos, as he usually did on a Sunday morning. Then he'd walked outdoors to pay his friendly old neighbor, Doc Altenheimer, a friendly old visit, as he usually did on Sundays. He'd stopped to pick up the paper at the foot of Doc's long driveway, as usual. But today, Tom was planning to do something unusual.

"Hey, Doc!" he called as he hustled toward the huge white house. "Padres are in third!"

"Well, what do you know," Doc called back. "There's hope yet, isn't there?"

The eighty-seven-year-old apple rancher sat at a yellow kitchen table set smack in the middle of his long front porch. He leaned out and slid a chair over the wooden deck boards.

"Come have a seat, Tom." Doc talked like he moved, slow and easy. "Good to see a friendly face. My gosh, with that Town Hall meeting coming up tonight, everybody and their brother's been by here lately, trying to sell me on one fool plan or another."

Doc's words hit Tom two ways. First, he felt instantly guilty, since he was here to do the very same thing. Tom wanted to make sure, once and for all, that Doc understood this whole land-development scheme some people were pushing for was a bad idea.

Then he felt double nervous. Tom had spent all week working on a little speech. Never in his twelve and a half years had he done anything like that before-to write out a speech ahead of time in order to remember what to say when the time comes.

Should be easy, right? All he had to do was to step up and deliver his pitch, just the way he'd practiced it. Well, not so easy for Tom Gallagher. Even though his father was a teacher-who spoke to crowds-and his mom was the school librarian-who read to crowds-Tom was far more comfortable keeping his thoughts to himself, even with his friends.

"Yesterday," said Doc. "the mayor stopped by for about the hundredth time. Him and that new banker fellow from Texas who's been buying up all the land." Doc opened up the sports pages with soft, tremoring hands. He spread out the baseball section so Tom could read him the scores.

"Funny, ain't it, son? Now that it's all come down to me, it looks like I took over being the most popular and the least popular man in town at the same time."

Tom puffed out a small laugh. He'd heard that phrase lots of times in these hills, but never in regards to Doc. There was a shadowy former pro baseball player named Dante Del Gato, a one-time hometown hero, who officially wore that title. Nowadays, the man was practically a hermit, living on top of Rattlesnake Ridge.

"After the mayor left," Doc continued, "the Historical Society came calling. Daisy Ramirez and that bunch of busybodies. Tried to tell me that this old, broken-down baseball field was a historical monument. Oughta be preserved. Well, I told 'em, it's history, all right. Soon as I sell the land, it'll be history." Doc laughed. "They didn't appreciate that."

Sell the land? Wait a minute! Just yesterday Tom had reassured the other ballplayers, saying, "Trust me on this. Doc won't sell. He's a baseball man. And he loves these hills. He used to walk up his ridge, spot the perfect big-leaf maple tree, trim off a branch, and make his own bat from it. He's on our side."

Now Tom wondered how he could've been so wrong. "You mean, you might-you might actually-"

"I'm leaning that way, son," said Doe. "Trouble is, I've gone round and round on this deal so many times, I feel like a windmill in a windstorm. But tonight's the big night, isn't it? Got to let everyone know tonight." He took out a handkerchief, held it against his mouth, and coughed.

Now, Tom told himself. Tell him now! Don't wait another second.

Tom scooted his chair closer. He gripped the seat bottom. Then he scooted back. He closed one eye and tried to focus on his mission. Then he closed the other. He saw the words, but he could not make himself speak.

"I ain't a fool, Tom. Sure, it means more traffic and noise and bulldozers kicking up dust all year long. But all in all, I think it'll be good for us. This place is dying, son. And as far as I can see, there's only one way to pump life and spirit back into Dillontown. Open up the highway, build new roads and new homes, and bring in more jobs. Those builders did nice enough work down the hill. I expect they'll do the same up here." He tucked away his handkerchief. "Wouldn't be selling 'em my land if I didn't. Jumpin' jackrabbits, what do I need with six million dollars, man my age?"

That nearly knocked Tom off his chair backwards. Six million dollars? That much? Well, Doc, he thought, you could give it to me. But Tom had never considered the idea that a man might reach a point in life when even a million dollars was not important.

And Tom had seen the new ballpark down in Lake View Mesa, the shiny chain-link fences and store-bought grass, all neat and trim. He'd seen the new baseball camp whose summer team began an annual challenge game against the Dillontown camp three years ago. Some challenge. Each year, they'd beaten Tom and the Dillontown Wildcats by at least ten runs.

Maybe brand-new and improved was better.

For the next half hour, Tom pored over the sports pages for Doc, their usual ritual. He'd call out each game result and the box score highlights, and each time. Doc had something wise and thoughtful to contribute.

"Don't count them Pirates out of it just yet. Those young players've got more heart and hunger than all them overpaid millionaires combined!"

Tom nodded, but in his brain all he could do was yell at himself. Why didn't I talk to him sooner? Why'd I keep putting it off? And why can't I tell him now that I think we're losing the greatest ballpark in the world, with a hundred years of baseball swirling its walls and a right-hand batter's box that holds the very same dirt that Dante Del Gato once dug into and spat into on his way into the world-record books?

Slowly, Tom found the next score, the Yankees game, and was about to read it out when Doc spoke up again.

"You know, I've been here all my life. My wife and son, God hold them close, lived and died right here. Even in hard times, this town's been good to me." He set his elbows on the table and laced his fingers together. "And I just hope to return the favor. That's all."

Tom sat back and stared off into the distance. From Doc's front porch, he could see the spires and crosses of several churches rising above the scattered rooftops of the town below. He could see the shops on Maine and Mercado, the little adobe post office and Town Hall, and La Plaza de Oro, where a cluster of old ladies in white scarves stood feeding the birds before making their way to Mass.

Closer, near the apple groves and farmlands, he could see the ancient baseball field-Lucky Strike Park-built on a dry lake bed a hundred years ago by Doc's father and a gang of crusty gold miners, including Mr. "Long John" Dillon himself, the founder of the town.

Doc still owned Lucky. Strike Park, but more importantly, he owned a total of 320 acres of prime real estate, which was key to the whole deal. Doc's land was where the golf course would go, where the best homes would be built, and where the new lake had been planned-a lake that would drown the town's baseball field under fifteen feet of water.

Doc coughed again, wiped his mouth, while his eyes seemed fixed on empty air about halfway to the orange trees on the edge of his front lawn.

"For fifty-five years, I delivered just about every, baby born in this town, Tom, including you. So I figure I can deliver the town this one last gift. A new park and a chance for a new life."

Tom's stomach wrenched tighter. He lowered his head. No sense now saying anything. Doe had made his decision and he'd made his peace with it.

Ever since the early 1900s, the Altenheimer family had leased Lucky Strike Park to the townspeople for a dollar a year. This summer, the 100-year lease was up. And over that 100 years, Dillontown had shrunk from 5,000 people down to 559, give or take. Meanwhile, to the west, an ocean of red-tiled rooftops-houses and malls-had crept along the land, coming closer and closer, like a pool of blood oozing up out of the earth itself.

"Once those builders put in a spanking-new field, Tom, it'll be a whole lot better for your team, don't you think? Better facilities. Better equipment. My gosh! Look what it did for those boys down the hill."

For some reason, hearing that fired up a spark in Tom. At the same moment, a breeze began to stir. "Those guys aren't so great," he said. "lust because they got a fancy park with batting cages and everything doesn't make them such great ballplayers. Our field's just as good. And we like it!"

The east wind gusted up and rustled the paper on the table. Tom slammed his arm down to catch it. Then he said something that surprised him as much as it seemed to startle Doc. "Shoot, we could stomp those guys like a bush on fire any day of the week."

Doc pulled back and smiled. "Well, you haven't done it yet."

Tom folded his arms. "Still, we could beat 'em. If we really wanted to. Like the Pittsburgh Pirates, like you said, we got heart. We do. And hunger. Those other games just never meant anything, that's all."

Doc sat a moment longer. "I like your spirit, Thomas. Your age, I was the same way." He took a black pen from his pocket. On the sports page margin, he began to write. Doc often left Tom with a few words to ponder, "words of encouragement," he called them. This time he wrote, Even in the dead of night, the sun is always shining.

He replaced the pen. "Nice to hear you speak up, though. But the plain fact is, times've changed. I'm sorry, Tom. It's just too late."

As Doc had promised, that night, in front of five hundred people sitting on five hundred rickety metal folding chairs, with another few dozen crowded around the edges of the rickety, crickety Town Hall, he let the whole world know what he'd decided to do.

Tom sat in the far back row with Frankie Flores, his best friend, alongside Ramon Sabala and a few other kids who'd signed up for the 12-and-Under Wildcat Baseball Camp. Sitting nearby were Tom's parents, along with Rachel Gleason, the quietest girl in school, and her little sister, Tara, who was not so little, but, as she put it, "big-boned." Next to them sat Frankie's loudmouthed cousin, Maria.

They all strained to see the color graphics the builder flashed on the video screen showing fancy ranch houses with mountain views, a golf course with slick greens and white sand traps, and a combo sports field. Next came shots of families playing soccer, golfers hitting golf balls, and little baby ducks floating on a blue lake. It was a fancy, professional show, and Tom could tell people were impressed.

Finally the lights came on. Doc stood up and walked to the podium. And it seemed like the whole room sucked in one big breath at once.

"As I've said all along," Doc began, "I only want what's best for this town. I'm sick of all the feuding and the brouhahas. Too old for all that. But I'm also too old to look after my land." While he spoke, Doc tipped back his white silk cowboy hat and took in the whole crowd with his silvery blue eyes. "These men from Orange County came down here and made me a decent offer. They'll widen the road, put in some nice homes, throw up a new park for the kids. From the get-go, it all sounded good to me."

Doc glanced at a cluster of other big landowners sitting right up front, including Ray Pruitt, a cattle rancher; Alabaster Jones, the bank president; and Mayor Oscar Calabaza. They all owned big spreads near Doc's land. They all knew that if Doc's property got developed, then the value of their land would go sky-high.

"But early this morning," Doc continued, "a fine young ballplayer came to visit me. And he had a few things to say that put a hitch in my hat."

Tom's heart thumped against his chest bones like a bad-hop grounder. He sank low into his seat.

Doc wetted his lips. "Now, I ain't much of a churchgoer, you folks know that. But here's what I do believe. Dillontown is a baseball town. And that makes whatever we do here a baseball decision. And since I also believe that baseball is God's game, then I'll put the fate of this town in His hands."

The whole crowd rumbled, swiveled. They all turned to ask their neighbors if they'd heard right. Had they heard what this old codger'd said?

Doc raised a hand. "Now, hold on. Don't jump out ahead of me. These fine gentlemen stood here and told us how beneficial their housing project has been for those families down the hill. How much more advantage and opportunity their children have than our kids do up here. And I felt the same way. But what young Tom Gallagher said today set me to wondering. Is it new facilities that would help this town the most, or a new spirit?" His eyes roamed the room. "So here's what I've decided to do."

Tom sank even lower. Everyone twisted and turned to look at him.

Doc's voice rose up loud and strong. "I hereby propose a good old-fashioned baseball game to settle the matter. A team from that new summer camp down the road versus a team from our camp here in town. Like they've done the past few years, only this time it's really going to mean something. One Big Game. Do or die. If our team wins. I pull out of this deal and this town stays the way it is. If they lose, bring on the bulldozers." He touched the brim of his hat. "Thank you kindly." He stepped away from the podium. No one said a word. His boot clicks filled the hall.

Tom was now crouched on the floor. Maria Flores, tall and lean, towered above, one hand on her hip. "You said he was on our side!" she hissed. "That you were going to talk to him for us. What'd you say?"

"I don't know!" Tom squeaked out. "I didn't say anything."

"I don't get it," said Rachel. "Us? Mr. Gallagher, does he mean us?"

Tom's dad, the camp coach, had a look on his face that said it all. His mouth hung open like a sand trap. His eves were as big as golf balls.

"That's not fair!" said Tara. "We'll never win. And when we lose, everyone'll hate us and blame us for the rest of our lives."

Frankie leaned over and swatted Tom's shoulder. "I kind of like the idea." he said. "I bet every girl in town will be at that game."

Ramon shook his head. "You'd say that about a funeral, you dog."

Tom buried his head in his hands. "You guys!" he said. "It will be a funeral. Ours!"

And that was precisely the feeling Tom Gallagher woke up with the next morning-as if he were going to a funeral.


Excerpted from The Boy Who Saved Baseball by JOHN H. RITTER Copyright © 2005 by John H. Ritter . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 40 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 21, 2013

    This is a book that not just baseball fans would love, but infac

    This is a book that not just baseball fans would love, but infact all sports fans. Tom (the main charector) eats sleeps and breaths baseball. He is outside all hours of the day playing on the Dilltown feild with his friends Jimmy Walters and Brian Newman. Suddenly, great suspence arrises when the town needs to bulldowze the park because of the bad economy . Tom and his friends get a team together full of friends from school. But unfortunatly, they aren't old enough to coach a team leggally, so they decide to find an old baseball pro named Cruz de La Cruz. They find Cruz after two weeks of printing signs and making advertisements. Cruz agrees to coach the team to "save baseball" for Dilltown. The point of veiw is first person omnisient, from the veiw of Tom. This book will have you laughing, crying, screaming and on the edge of your seat for the entire book.I agree with rubberducky53 because he is deffinatly correct, this is an amazing novel that I will read again and again, and never get tired of. I would have to say that my faviorite charector is Donald "Doc" Burton. Doc supports Tom as if he were a second father to him (Tom's father died fighting in Veitnam before he was born). Doc has a loving heart and will do anything to help Tom "save baseball". "You don't need to be the next Mickey Mantel to enjoy baseball." (Riiter, 139) I like this qoute because it represents that you don't need to be the best to play not just basball, but any sport. As long as you enjoy the game, and have fun, that's all that matters. Bravo John Ritter on another amazing book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2012

    The book ¿The Boy who saved Baseba

    The book “The Boy who saved Baseball” I thought was a good book for kids who enjoy baseball and adventure, because the book consist of both, when a boy named Tom is talking to Doc (a man who owns a majority of the land in Dilliontown) about not selling his land because the old baseball field was on his land he had owned and had been a piece of history for Dilliontown for years but the release for the land it was on was up, and Doc is leaning toward selling the land so they can put a highway through the town and build houses and businesses and try to make the town popular again. Another adventure is when Tom and Cruz go through woods up on the mountain to get Del Gato (a famous American baseball player who hit 19 constitutive hits setting a record) house to get his tips on hitting and to help coach the team and well for baseball there is a big game for the baseball field if Dilliontown wins they may keep it but if they lose the highway is going to be built along with the houses and businesses. I would recommend this book to kids ages 10 through 13, because it’s a fourth grade reading level and in the book the boys and girls who play baseball for Dilliontown consists of ages 11through 12.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2015

    Where to Go

    Master ball res one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014



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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Dear alex

    I still dont get it did tommy break us up or was it jenna or wait..... why am i blaming them when it was definently me ! Since i told two people when we both said that we wouldnt tell..... im sorry...... its all my fault... maybe we should just mail each other instead of texting. Wait ho told tommy it wasnt me!!!!! Everyone who i told hate tomys guts.... im so sorry that my big mouth split us apart.... well can u still come over this wekend even though that we cant be together doesnt mean that we cant be friends so i think that is why u should still come over we could be friends like carlie and brandon r ! Whatever i mean if it is ok with u so please please please come over this weekend. Bye

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012


    I thought this book was great.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2011


    The book is about these to kids playing baseball. They are in a delima that their field is about to be torn down by people wanting to build something on it. Tom has to figure out how to save the field. He needs to hire a coach.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2011

    Awesome book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    great book

    it is a pretty good book for people who like baseball

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    The Boy who saved baseball

    _The boy who saved baseball was a really interesting book that I couldn't stop reading it because the author explains well the scenes of the book well in the story of ''The boy who saved baseball''. The book surprise me when Tom and Cruz think that Dante Del Gato has a secret of hitting and when Dante Del Gato speaks to them when he was at doc's porch he tells the truth why he quit baseball and also he tells the secret of hitting.The Best part of the book is when Tom and Cruz go together at midnight to find Dante Del Gato at Rattlesnake ridge to tell him what was the secret of hitting, why he disappear in the world series and also if Del Gato could coach them to win the big game._Well I did sort of like the ending of the book because The Wildcats win the big game and also because Tom becomes Millionaire because of his diary and also because when Doc died he left a fortune to Tom because he made history in Dillontown but in other part I didn't like the ending because I didn't know what happen to the rest of the players like Cruz when he disappear._____

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    Buy This Book!

    In the book " The boy who saved baseball" the main character is Tom Gallager. Tom probably wants nothing to do with anything if it doesn't involve baseball. The only thing Tom wants to do is to play baseball. The only problem is that he doesn't have a place to play. Well, he did but it's going to get destroyed by builders. The boys have tried everything to convince the builders not to build. Soon a boy named Santa Cruez rides in on horseback and he has a plan. The plan is that the boys will play a game trying to win the field. So the boys play the game and Tom was the winning hit for the boys. They were able to get the field back also.

    My personal opinion about this book is I liked it a lot I liked this book for many reasons. The first reason is that the author used a lot of good detail. Using a lot of good detail is key for an author. Finally the book was about baseball and I love baseball. When I read books about things I like I am able to make connections easier. This is good because I can comprehend the book better. Some connections I made with the book are that people might have to convince someone to do something. This is a connection because I convinced people a lot. The main theme in this book is that people might not be able to get what they want. This means they have to keep trying and never give up. A recommendation for this book is that if you like baseball you should read the book.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2009

    Best book I ever read!

    I think this book was awesome and great to read if you like baseball.I like the climax at the end of the book.This book should be at every library around America. The book was very well written. I learned never give up when something bad comes your way. Good for readers who play baseball.

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  • Posted April 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book is horrible!!!!

    The Boy Who Saved Baseball
    This book, written by John Ritter, is a book that would be a fun book to read. That is if you like crazed spells, prophecies, and one-game seasons. If you are a die-hard baseball fan, DO NOT read this book. It is about the Dillontown Wildcats and their annual game against the Lake View Vikings. Lake View plays Dillontown every year, and every year Lake View beats Dillontown like it was their job. But this time, it was different. This time, if the Wildcats lost to Lake View, Dillontown would be destroyed. They get help from two people: Cruz de la Cruz, a Paloma native, and Dante Del Gato, a former baseball player who quit baseball in the World Series. It sounds good to the average reader, but the actual game doesn't come until the end of the book. The rest is talk and cookouts and stupid prophecies that no one cares about, nor should care about. It is a waste of life, time, and money. Ritter tries to make the book a sports book, but it might as well be the twin book of Harry Potter. This might be the worst book I've ever read, or ever will read. With absolutely no regret whatsoever, I give this book the rating that you see above this review. I hope and plead with all sane Americans that have any form of common sense, dignity, and taste in literature to happily pass this book by if you happen to come in contact with it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Boy Who Saved Baseball

    This story is by John H. Ritter. It is an exciting and fun read. The story takes place in a small town in California. The town's land is highly prized and wanted by several land owners. The owner of the land is an older gentleman named Doc. Doc has lived in the town for his entire life, but is very short on money. He has to make a choice as to keep the land or sell it. A young boy by the name of Tom hears about this problem and decides to pay a visit to Doc. Once he gets there he tries his best to persuade Doc into keeping the land. Tom doesn't want the land sold because he loves the town. At a town meeting, Doc makes up his mind. He chooses to solve the problem with an old fashioned game of baseball. The game will be between the Tom's baseball team and the wealthy land owners. If Tom's team wins, then the land will stay as it is and Doc will send the land owners packing. If the land owners win, in will come the bulldozers. So it is a "stay or go" situation for the town. <BR/> I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sport books and excitement.<BR/> I enjoyed this book and I believe you will too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    The Boy Who Saved Baseball

    This is a great book. It is about a young boy who lives in the town of Dillontown. The town decides that they are going to destroy the baseball field and not allow baseball to be played in the city anymore. When the main character Tom decides he is going to stand up for what he beieves in and not let the town take away baseball, He soon realizes that he cant do this alone and so he finds help. A retired baseball player lives near him and he wants to get his help to tell the town that baseball has importance to the people of the town. I would rate this book a 9 out of 10 and would highly recomend it to any sports lover.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008


    i luved this book i just thought that it has an awesome plot and the setting is perfect i like the adventure and that its also a disapointment in the end when cruz leaves but i still luved the book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    The Boy who saved baseball: not good!

    I didn't really like this book. I don't recommend it. It just didn't draw me in. I didn't get the story line and i didn't like the way it was written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    The Boy who Saved Baseball is the book I am describing. The main character is Tom he is funny, cool, and brave. The plot of the book is a boy tries to save a baseball field so they play a game against there cross town rivals and if they win doc won¿t sell the ball park and they can save it. It reminds me of my love for baseball just like Tom did. This book was an extraordinary book I thought it had a lot of adventure in it just overall a great book because of the brave main character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2007

    The Boy Who Saved Baseball, Or did he?

    This book is about a town in the country named Dillontown which is in California. In Dillontown there is a man named Doc who owns a lot of land. He is debating whether or not he should sell the land to other people outside of Dillontown to make Dillontown grow, but many people in the town don¿t want that. Doc says that if the towns little league baseball team wins their big game than he won¿t sell the land, but if the team looses than doc will sell the land and the town will eventually become a city. The team is working hard, but their still not good enough to beat their competitors until a stranger called Cruze who is an outstanding baseball player comes to play on the team. Then they get help from the best former baseball player named Dante Del Gato. Now the team looks like they might have a chance to save the town of Dillontown. This book had some good qualities and bad. One thing I liked about the book was that after you had to stop reading you wanted to keep reading because it was so exiting. Another thing that I liked was the message that it sent. If you work hard anything is possible. One thing that I disliked about the book is how the author would sometimes use Spanish words in the text. The author would also talk about one topic at the beginning of the chapter and then start to talk about something totally different. This book was written by John H Ritter and so fare this book is not part of a series. If you like to read sports books with action that this is the book for you. This book also reminded me of the movie Bad News Bayers because in both the movie and the book have underdog baseball teams who become great and beat the best team that they will have to play. That is all that I can say with out giving the ending of the book away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2006

    Amazing Book

    This book The Boy who Saved Baseball is a great book about a 13 year old boy who gets into BIG trouble by saying just one darn thing

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