Satch And Me (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Satch And Me (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.5 41
by Dan Gutman

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"You wanna know who threw the fastest pitch ever?"

Many baseball players claim that Satchel Paige was the fastest pitcher in the history of the game. Stosh and his coach, Flip Valentini, are on a mission to find out. With radar gun in tow, they travel back to 1942 and watch Satch pitch to power hitter Josh Gibson in the Negro League World Series. They soon learn


"You wanna know who threw the fastest pitch ever?"

Many baseball players claim that Satchel Paige was the fastest pitcher in the history of the game. Stosh and his coach, Flip Valentini, are on a mission to find out. With radar gun in tow, they travel back to 1942 and watch Satch pitch to power hitter Josh Gibson in the Negro League World Series. They soon learn that everything about Satch is fast -- whether it's his talking, driving, or getaways. But is he really the fastest pitcher who ever lived?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this latest addition to the "Baseball Card Adventure" series, Stosh and his washed-up, lonely coach, Flip Valentini, go back in time with a rare, E-Bay-auctioned baseball card and a borrowed radar gun to determine once and for all whether or not Satchel Paige was really the fastest pitcher who ever lived. Gutmann manages to weave together abundant sports action with all the excitement of time travel. This book includes a serious and disturbing look at the entrenched racial prejudice of the 1940s, when some of the greatest players in the history of baseball were confined to the Negro League and denied service in whites-only restaurants. Stosh witnesses the painful ugliness of racism close up, gives Flip a chance to do his life over again with success in both sports and love (best not to think about how these "Back to the Future" scenarios are even conceivable, let alone possible!), and learns that "some legends ought to stay legends and some mysteries ought to stay mysteries." A warmhearted, fast-paced story that works on multiple levels to engage and satisfy even reluctant readers. 2006, Amistad Press/HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
—Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
In this seventh adventure featuring Stosh, a 13-year-old with the ability to travel back in time, he and his Little League baseball coach, Flip, try to find out who threw the fastest pitch ever. Legend has it that the great Satchel Paige was the fastest, but there are no baseball cards of Negro League players (there are some pointed comments on the cruelty and unfairness of Jim Crow in this novel)--and Stosh has always needed a player's baseball card in order to time travel. Luckily, Stosh finds an old photo postcard that does the trick, and he and Flip, armed with a radar gun, find themselves in Spartanburg, South Carolina, back in 1942. They get a ride with Satchel himself and watch him play in a baseball circus as well as pitch to Josh Gibson in a thrilling Negro League World Series game. Stosh also gets a chance to bring about an important change in his beloved coach's life. In an afterword, Gutman, the author of many popular books for young readers, explains what's fact and what's fiction in his tale, pointing out that much of the dialog in the book was actually spoken or written by Satchel Paige. The reader will get a good sense of this wry, articulate, and immensely talented player, and b/w photos and other illustrations are a nice addition. Baseball fans will enjoy this lively new entry in a deservedly popular series. (A Baseball Card Adventure). KLIATT Codes: J*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 2006, HarperCollins, 192p. illus. bibliog., and Lib. bdg: Ages 12 to 15.
—Paula Rohrlick
Flip Valentini, Joe Stoshack's Little League coach, has borrowed a radar gun to test the pitching speed of the players. Stosh has the ability to time travel with the help of baseball cards and postcards. Wouldn't it be cool to go back in time to see just who the fastest pitcher in baseball was and prove it with a radar gun? Deciding that there is a good likelihood that Satchel Paige had the fastest pitch, Stosh, with seventy-two-year-old Flip, time travel to 1942 in the hopes of meeting up with Satch. They find themselves in South Carolina, with Flip's wish to be eighteen again answered. They meet up with Satch who is driving to Pittsburgh for the Negro League World Series where he will pitch against Josh Gibson, one of the best hitters of all times. As with the other six book in the Baseball Card Adventure series, the flavor of the time visited comes through. Stosh and Flip witness the effect of the Jim Crow laws and the way that baseball was played in the Negro Leagues. There is humor when the shy, young Flip catches the eye of an attractive waitress and Satch gives him advice on women and baseball. This fast-moving adventure provides baseball lore, history, and a rollicking good time. The series remains fresh and enjoyable. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2006, HarperCollins, 192p., and PLB Ages 11 to 14.
—Susan H. Levine
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-When 13-year-old Joe Stosh's coach brings a radar gun to practice, it prompts a discussion of who was the fastest pitcher in baseball history. Able to use baseball cards to go back in time, Stosh clocks the fastball of famous Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige. Since no cards were produced for those teams, he substitutes a postcard found on eBay. His coach, Flip, accompanies him on the journey to the past and they arrive in Spartanburg, SC, in 1942, a few days before the Negro League World Series. They witness racial discrimination at a local diner, and, shortly thereafter, the duo hook up with Paige and join him on the road to the big game in Pittsburgh. Gutman sketches Paige's colorful personality: confident, cocky, talkative, and undoubtedly one of the greatest talents ever to play the game. The story is lighthearted but clearly conveys the injustice that denied the athlete the opportunity to play in the major leagues for most of his career. Supporting characters border on the stereotypical and the fast-paced plot hangs heavily on coincidence. Enhancing the action-driven story are plenty of well-written baseball scenes, black-and-white photos, and the appearance of Negro League players Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and Buck O'Neil. Fans will be delighted with this latest addition to the series.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Stosh is back in a new time-travel baseball adventure. This time, his vintage baseball cards carry him and his elderly friend Flip Valentini to 1942 to use a radar gun to determine if Satchel Paige really threw the wickedest, speediest fastball in baseball history. They meet up with Satch on the way to the Negro League World Series. As they travel, they enjoy Satch's eccentricities and unique personality, as well as the camaraderie and competitive spirit among the enormously talented ballplayers. But they are also witness to the humiliation, pain and hopelessness of segregation. The trip also results in a life-changing alteration of Flip's personal history. Stosh is a terrific narrator, a thoroughly modern kid who understands that the past has much to teach us. Gutman has again crafted a delightful mix of humor, magic and history surrounded by the sheer joy of baseball. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Baseball Card Adventure Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Satch & Me

By Dan Gutman

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Dan Gutman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060594926

Chapter One

Run on Anything

"This guy ain't so fast, stosh," my coach, flip Valentini, hollered. "He can't pitch his way out of a paper bag."

We were at Dunn Field playing the Exterminators, probably the weirdest team in the Louisville Little League. Most of the teams in our league are sponsored by doctors, hardware stores, or banks. Normal businesses, you know? But these guys are sponsored by an exterminator. Whoever heard of a Little League team sponsored by a company that kills bugs?

On the front of their uniforms, the Exterminators have their logo (a squashed ant) and on the back they have their phone number (1-800-GOT-BUGS). It looks really stupid. They even have their own cheer, which they insist on rapping along with a drum machine before they take the field. It goes like this . . .

Stomp 'em! Spray 'em!

That's the way we play 'em!

We send the pests back to their nests!

When we turn the lights on,

It's lights out for YOUUUUUUUU!

Man, I'd be embarrassed if I had to play on that team.

The Exterminators even have a mascot. Before each game, some little kid dressed up like a roach runs out on the field. They call him Buggy. The whole team chases Buggy around the infield. When they catch him, they pretend to beat the crap out of him. Or at least it looks like they're pretending. The mascot is probably the little brother of one of the kids on the team.

It's all very entertaining, and the moms and dads in the bleachers get a big kick out of it. I must admit, even I get a kick out of it.

The thing about the Exterminators, though, is that these guys can flat out play. Usually when a team has a dumb gimmick, that's all they have. They can't hit, can't pitch, can't run, and they can't field. They put on a show because they're no good. But the Exterminators won the Louisville Little League championship last season, and they really know the fundamentals of baseball. They always throw to the right base. They always hit the cutoff man. Their coach must know what he's talking about.

But we're pretty good too. Our team, Flip's Fan Club, is sponsored by a local baseball card shop that's owned by our coach, Flip Valentini. Sponsors don't usually get involved with the team, other than paying for the uniforms and bats and stuff. But to Flip, owning our team is like owning the Yankees. He lives and breathes for us. He's our owner, manager, third base coach, and even our chauffeur if our moms are late or their cars break down.

Our team doesn't do any silly rap songs. But we can play solid baseball, because Flip taught us everything he knows. And believe me, Flip Valentini has forgotten more about baseball than most people ever learn.

Our problem is that the Exterminators have this one kid named Kyle who we nicknamed Mutant Man. Kyle must be some kind of genetic freak. He's only thirteen, like most of us, but he's six feet tall and he's got these long arms. Mutant arms. His arms are so long, it's like he's a different species or something.

Mutant Man doesn't bother with a curveball. He doesn't have a changeup or any other kind of trick pitches. All he's got is his fastball. But he just lets loose and brings it with every pitch. He's a lefty, and when Kyle lets go of the ball, watch out. With those arms, you feel like he's releasing the ball right in front of your face.

It's especially hard for a left-handed batter like me, because the pitch seems like it's coming at you from the first base dugout. Scary. It's almost impossible to stay in the batter's box because the ball looks like it's going to take your head off. Then, while you're bailing out, it shoots across the plate, and the next thing you know the ump is yelling, "Strike three!"

One dominating pitcher can take a team a long way. Kyle the Mutant Man has struck me out a whole bunch of times. He's struck us all out a bunch of times. In fact, we've never beaten the guy. Once, he struck out fifteen of us in six innings. That's just about impossible.

But this time, we had Mutant Man in trouble. It was the bottom of the sixth inning, which is the last inning in our league. The Mutant was shutting us out as usual, but our pitcher, Jason Shounick, had pitched a pretty good game too. He had given up only two runs.

Blake Butler grounded out to second base to start the inning. Tanner Havens fouled off a bunch of pitches, and he finally worked out a walk. I was up, and I represented the tying run.

In case you're not a big baseball fan, when you "represent the tying run," it means that if you can find a way to score, the game will be tied. A homer would be the quickest, simplest way to do it.

But I wasn't even thinking about hitting a homer. No way I was going to take Kyle the Mutant over the wall. I just wanted to get the bat on the ball. If I could push it past one of the infielders and get on base, one of our other guys might be able to drive me and Tanner in. That's all I hoped for. Make something happen. Just make contact.

As I stepped into the batter's box, I was giving myself advice. "Don't bail out," I said. "Don't bail out. Even if it looks like it's going to hit you, stay in there."

I decided not to swing at the first pitch no matter how good it looked. If I could just stay in the batter's box without stepping backward, it would be a small victory.


Excerpted from Satch & Me by Dan Gutman Copyright © 2006 by Dan Gutman. 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.

Meet the Author

Dan Gutman has written many weird books for kids. He lives in New Jersey (a very weird place) with his weird wife and two weird children.

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Satch and Me 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you were allowed to write ten stars, I would! One of the greatest books I ever read. READ IT!
Booksoldier More than 1 year ago
This book is a 100 mph fastball, right down the middle! Satchel Paige, an awesome Negro league pitcher, is featured in here. Satch was born in the south, and he grew up to be a star in baseball! He is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, nut he never played in the major league because of his skin color! If you like baseball, you will LOVE this book! Ecspecially if you like baseball history!!!!!! Dan Gutman hit a home-run with this book! I DEMAND you to read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Official-Reader More than 1 year ago
Okay. First, not only does Stosh meet Satchel Paige, but he gets Flip Valentini into the baseball hall of fame. Stosh also meets a girl named-oops, if you want to know, you'll have to buy the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the baseball card adventure series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dan Gutman Satch and me was great you have the best writing skills ever you are my favorite auther please write more books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gr8 book read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You gotta read this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i like it yay
Neil Sherman More than 1 year ago
It was great. For anyone that likes baseball. My four children loved it. And my wife loved reading it to them. You will love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
satch and me was a good book if you have not raed it then you should it is about a kid who can go back in time of his baseball card
Guest More than 1 year ago
Satch and Me, by Dan Gutman, Historical Sports Fiction This book is about a kid who can travel through time with baseball cards so he and his baseball coach take a trip back in time to see if Satchel Paige was the fastest pitcher to ever throw. I really liked it because I got to learn about baseball history and it made me see how much different the past is than my life today. I liked how there was a lot of action when they were driving to Pittsburg. I like how it ended with a drop off, and you kind of had to make up your ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is in my top 20 for sure!!! Joe the kid in the book wants to know who was the fastest pitcher so he goes back in time with his baseball coach, but they almost get stuck in the 1900's. It is a page turning adventure because I finished it in 2 days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I kind of liked it ,but it sucked.... this boring book made me go to sleep
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This book is amzing u should really read it !!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago