Jim and Me (Baseball Card Adventure Series)

Jim and Me (Baseball Card Adventure Series)

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by Dan Gutman
     
 

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He was the world's greatest athlete, and a hero-until his medals were taken away.

Stosh is shocked when his enemy, Bobby Fuller, begs him for a favor. He wants Stosh to take him back in time to meet Native American Jim Thorpe-an Olympic champion who lost his medals in a scandal. Thorpe went on to play professional baseball and football, but he could never again… See more details below

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Overview

He was the world's greatest athlete, and a hero-until his medals were taken away.

Stosh is shocked when his enemy, Bobby Fuller, begs him for a favor. He wants Stosh to take him back in time to meet Native American Jim Thorpe-an Olympic champion who lost his medals in a scandal. Thorpe went on to play professional baseball and football, but he could never again achieve such fame. His name was disgraced.

Join Stosh and Fuller on a quest to save Jim's reputation. You'll meet Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, and the rest of the New York Giants in this eighth exciting, action-packed baseball card adventure!

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
AGERANGE: Ages 12 to 15.

Stosh and Bobby have always been enemies, so Stosh is surprised when his classmate comes to ask him a favor. Bobby wants to use Stosh’s special ability to travel back in time to meet the great Native American athlete Jim Thorpe, who is Bobby’s great-grandfather. Stosh reluctantly agrees, but he starts to get really interested when he learns how Thorpe was forced to return his Olympic medals. The two boys go back to 1913 and meet Thorpe, and they begin to understand more about the prejudice he had to deal with as they watch his difficult first season with the New York Giants. Stosh and Bobby both entertain hopes of saving Thorpe’s tarnished reputation, though Bobby, it turns out, wants to do it with steroids. In an afterword, Gutman explains what’s fact and what’s fiction in his lively account, the eighth in the popular Baseball Card series. B/w period photos and news clippings illustrate the tale, which will appeal to middle school and junior high sports fans. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060594947
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/29/2008
Series:
Baseball Card Adventure Series
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.77(d)
Lexile:
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Jim & Me AER

Chapter One

Games of Deception

"See the ball. Hit the ball," our coach, Flip Valentini, was telling the guys when I skidded my bike up to the dugout at Dunn Field. "Catch it. Throw it. And show up on time or you don't play. It's a simple game, boys."

Flip ought to know. He pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers in their glory years. He was with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh too for a while. Flip won 287 games and struck out almost 3,000 batters during his career. He's in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

But Flip wasn't always famous. He used to be just a plain old guy who owned Flip's Fan Club, a baseball card shop here in Louisville. He coached our team in his spare time. But then Flip and I did something crazy one day. We traveled back to 1942 with a radar gun. We wanted to see if we could clock the speed of a Satchel Paige fastball. While we were back there, Satch taught Flip a few trick pitches. I had to leave Flip in 1942, and he got to live his life all over again. So when I returned to the twenty-first century, Flip was famous.

Oh, yeah. I can travel through time. I'll get to that in a few minutes.

I was sure that Flip was going to stop coaching our team after he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Why should a famous guy like him bother with a bunch of kids like us? But he just loves the game and won't give it up.

Anyway, I parked my bike and Flip winked at me even though I was a few minutes late. The other team hadn't shown up yet. While the guys and I huddled around Flip, I kept looking around.

"Who are we playing today?" I asked.

"Your favorite team, Stosh," Flip said. "The Exterminators."

"Oh,no!" we all groaned.

"Do we have to play them again?" asked Phillip Rollison, our shortstop.

"I told their coach I wanted a rematch," Flip said.

What?!

"Those guys are murder!" said Kevin Cordiero, who plays first base for us.

The Exterminators are this weird team sponsored by a Louisville company that kills bugs . . . and other Little League teams. They've got a roach for a mascot. They also have this tall left-hander named Kyle who we nicknamed Mutant Man because the kid is virtually unhittable. He throws like 80 miles an hour. We were lucky to score a run off him the last time we played.

"Fuhgetaboutit," Flip said. "I got a plan to beat 'em this time."

We were all pretty P.O.'d that we had to face the Exterminators again, but we forgot about it once the game started. The nice thing was that the Exterminators didn't start Kyle the Mutant. Maybe he was tired or something. He was sitting on the bench spitting sunflower seeds.

Without Kyle on the mound, the Exterminators were still a good team. We were playing them pretty evenly, and they only had us by a run going into the sixth inning. That's the last inning in our league.

We were getting ready to come to bat in the bottom of the sixth when guess who walked out to the mound to warm up.

"Oh, no!" we all groaned. "They're bringing in the Mutant!"

The Exterminators wanted to shut the door on us so we couldn't tie it up in the bottom of the sixth. Kyle's first warm-up pitch sizzled across the plate. I could hear it hiss before it exploded into the catcher's mitt. And the guy hadn't even loosened up yet!

"We're finished," moaned Phillip. "Might as well start packing up the gear."

"Relax," Flip said as he stepped out of the dugout. "I told ya I got a plan."

"Maybe Flip can hit this guy," said Kevin, "but I know I can't."

Flip is really old...in his eighties, I think. When he shuffled out of the dugout, the umpire came over so Flip wouldn't have to walk too far. Flip took a piece of paper out of his pocket.

"Excuse me, Jack," Flip said to the ump. "Can I have a word with you?"

"Whatcha got there, Mr. V?" asked the ump.

"A birth certificate," Flip said, handing him the paper.

"Tryin' to show me how young you are, Flip?"

"It's not my birth certificate, you bonehead," Flip said good-naturedly. "It's his birth certificate."

Flip pointed at Kyle the Mutant, who stopped his warm-up pitch just as he was about to release the ball. Everybody looked at him. The Exterminators' coach came running out to see what was going on.

"Is there a problem here?" the coach asked.

"The problem is that your pitcher is fifteen years old," Flip told him. "If I'm not mistaken, this league is for kids who are fourteen and younger."

"Lemme see that!" the coach said, grabbing the paper.

The three of them gathered together, examining the birth certificate. Finally the ump walked over to Kyle, who was standing on the mound with his hands on his hips.

"Son, how old are you?" the umpire asked.

"I just turned fifteen yesterday," Kyle said.

"Happy birthday," said the ump, "but you can't play in this league anymore."

Well, it was like Christmas and New Year's and the last day of school all wrapped up in one. We all started whooping and hollering on the bench. Kyle the Mutant handed the ball to the ump and slinked off the field. His coach ran desperately up and down their bench trying to find somebody who could pitch the last inning. Flip shuffled back to our dugout and we all got down on our knees and did the "we're not worthy" thing.

"How'd you get the Mutant Man's birth certificate, Flip?" Kevin asked.

"I got my sources," he replied.

We were so happy, we almost forgot that we still had to score another run just to tie the game. I was due to bat fourth, so somebody had to get on base for me to get my ups.

Jim & Me AER. Copyright © by Dan Gutman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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