Shoeless Joe and Me

Shoeless Joe and Me

4.2 54
by Dan Gutman
     
 

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When Joe Stoshack hears about Shoeless Joe Jackson — and the gambling scandal that destroyed the star player's career — he knows what he has to do. If he travels back in time with a 1919 baseball card in his hand, he just might be able to prevent the infamous Black Sox Scandal from ever taking place. And if he could do that, Shoeless Joe Jackson would

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Overview

When Joe Stoshack hears about Shoeless Joe Jackson — and the gambling scandal that destroyed the star player's career — he knows what he has to do. If he travels back in time with a 1919 baseball card in his hand, he just might be able to prevent the infamous Black Sox Scandal from ever taking place. And if he could do that, Shoeless Joe Jackson would finally take his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

But can Stosh prevent that tempting envelope full of money from making its way to Shoeless Joe's hotel room before the big game?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In this latest Baseball Card Adventure, Shoeless Joe & Me by Dan Gutman, Joe "Stosh" Stoshack travels back to 1919 but will he be in time to prevent Shoeless Joe Jackson from being implicated in a conspiracy to throw the World Series? ( Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Frequently described as the greatest scandal in baseball, the Black Sox Scandal of 1919 made famous the name Shoeless Joe Jackson. Many books and movies have been made detailing this moment in sports history. In spite of the debate about what should have been done with the players and whether Joe Jackson was treated fairly, the result of the scandal and its effect on baseball will always be the same. Or will it? What would you do if you could warn Shoeless Joe Jackson and the others? What if you could help change what happened to such great baseball players? What if just by holding a baseball card you could go back in time and see such great players as Satchel Page or Babe Ruth? Some might decide that with such a power they would go back and warn Joe Jackson and the others of what was going to happen. That is exactly what Joe Stoshack, a thirteen-year-old baseball player, is going to do. In the same style as his other books with Joe Stoshack, Dan Gutman uses a detailed knowledge of baseball and history to create a wonderful story. Just picking up the book, the reader is intrigued to find out how this young man is going to change the course of history and what that could mean for baseball. Recommended for any collection of historical fiction. 2002, HarperCollins Children's Books, Orsborn
VOYA
This new Baseball Card Adventure again features Joe Stoshack, a thirteen-year-old boy who can travel through time via old baseball trading cards. When Joe slides safely into base but is called out, he complains to Flip, team sponsor. Flip compares Joe's situation with ballplayer Shoeless Joe Jackson's in the fixed 1919 World Series. Although innocent, Shoeless Joe was ousted from baseball. Joe decides to alter Shoeless Joe's fate and travels through time after promising to photograph his relatives Gladys and Wilbur, children in that era. Once in 1919, readers witness exciting pregame events and meet Shoeless Joe, who comes to life through little-known facts, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The game proceeds, and after Joe photographs his relatives, he gives antibiotics to Wilbur, ailing from then-deadly influenza. Middle school history and/or baseball buffs will devour this novel despite improbabilities, particularly Joe outwitting World Series gamblers or giving Shoeless Joe's priceless autographs to Flip. Joe also fails to recognize longtime family member Wilbur, a puzzling presentation when Joe's travel clearly saved Wilbur rather than Shoeless Joe. The ending finds Joe receiving another mistaken call, but this time one that allows for his team's victory. Considering his concern over Shoeless Joe's story, Joe's gleeful acceptance of the mistaken call in a championship game seems disheartening. Nevertheless Shoeless Joe is compelling, and Joe's adventures are exciting. An appendix relays the fate of players in the 1919 Series and additional information about Shoeless Joe Jackson. Previous entries in the series are Honus and Me (Avon, 1997), Jackie and Me (Avon/Camelot, 1999), andBabe and Me (Avon/Camelot, 2000/VOYA April 2000), $15.89. Photos. Appendix. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2002, HarperCollins, 165p, $15.95. Ages 11 to 14. Reviewer: Lisa M. Hazlett SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-"Life isn't always fair," the team's sponsor tells 13-year-old Joe "Stosh" Stoshack after an umpire errs in calling him out during the Louisville Little League Championship. To reinforce his message, Flip tells the boy about the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, when gamblers allegedly paid Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other members of the Chicago White Sox to throw the World Series. They were expelled from baseball for life, but Flip contends that the illiterate Jackson was innocent. What Flip doesn't know is that Stosh can time travel into the past via old baseball cards. He goes back to 1919 to try to save Shoeless Joe and meets him shortly before the fateful payoff is about to be made. The criminals are out to make sure that nothing interferes with their profits and are willing to kill the boy if necessary. Antique photographs, baseball cards, and news clippings add to the authentic representation of the time. Action is intense and exciting, both on and off the baseball field, and there are touches of humor when Stosh mixes up his own era with 1919. The story evokes strong sympathy for Jackson, and an endnote suggests that readers write to the Baseball Hall of Fame in support of his induction. The fourth in a series, this novel is an intriguing melding of sports history and science fiction that should be a hit with middle-school readers.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Stories of time travel have appealed to readers for generations. Self-hypnosis, machines, time warps, and countless other devices have propelled heroes into amazing adventures. Thirteen-year-old Joe Stoshack has a unique method. He can travel back to any time period by holding on to an appropriate antique baseball card. Using this device, he has met Honus Wagner, Jackie Robinson, and Babe Ruth. In this fourth installment in the series, he travels to the year 1919, when America is reeling from the losses of The Great War, and even more so from the influenza epidemic that has killed millions, and when baseball is nearly destroyed as a result of the notorious "Black Sox Scandal." Our hero "Stosh" overhears notorious gambler Arnold Rothstein and his cronies as they plot with members of the Chicago White Sox to throw the World Series. Shoeless Joe Jackson wants no part of the fix. When one of the players gives him $5,000 "on account" from the gamblers, he tries to give it to team owner Comiskey and warn him of what is to come, but he is not believed. Joe plays his heart out, but cannot overcome the maneuvers of those in on the fix. Stosh tries desperately to help Jackson, but he is unable to change the outcome. Jackson will be banned from baseball for life as one of the "eight men out." In charming subplots, Stosh saves the boy who would be his great uncle by giving him the flu medicine he has carried with him into the past and, by virtue of obtaining rare, authentic autographs from the nearly illiterate Jackson, he saves his friend's business when he returns to his own time. Gutman keeps the action fast-paced and exciting. He creates a strong sense of time and place, using photographs andnewspaper clippings, as well as Stosh's acute observations, in a neat interweaving of fact and fantasy. In an afterword, he sets the record straight by clearly distinguishing the two elements. An entertaining romp that will appeal to those who love baseball, history, and fantasy. (Fiction. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402542503
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
09/16/2011
Series:
Baseball Card Adventure Series

Read an Excerpt

Shoeless Joe & Me

Chapter One

No Fair

"I'll give you five bucks if you get a hit right now, Stoshack," our shortstop Greg Horwitz yelled to me. “I'm late for my soccer game.”

I wiped my nose on my sleeve and knocked the dirt off my cleats. Yeah, I was going to get a hit. I could feel it in my bones. And we needed one pretty badly.

The guys on my team didn't call it “Little League” anymore. We were all thirteen now, and we were in the majors. That doesn't mean major-league quality or anything like that, but we could play the game.

In our league, you didn't see kids getting bonked on the head by easy pop-ups like you did when we were in the minors. You didn't see kids crying when they struck out. You didn't see kids standing around the outfield watching planes fly by. We came to play ball. By this time, the kids who couldn't hack it had switched to playing musical instruments or doing art or whatever kids do who don't play sports anymore.

I live in Louisville, Kentucky, which in case you don't know is just across the Ohio River from Indiana. The Kentucky Derby -- a famous horse race -- is held here each May. But since I'm a baseball fan, my favorite part of town is the Louisville Slugger Museum on West Main Street. They've got a baseball bat outside that's six stories high.

I wiped my nose again and looked over at Coach Tropiano standing in foul territory near third base. He clapped his hands together twice, then rubbed the palm of his right hand across the words “Flip's Fan Club” on his shirt. The swing away sign. Good. No way I want to be bunting at a time like this.

I wiped away some more snotand wished my nose would stop running. I was just getting over the flu, but I hadn't quite shaken it yet. My mom didn't want me to play until I was all better. But it was the play-offs! If I waited until I was all better, the season would be over.

“Five bucks, Stoshack,” Horwitz hollered as I walked up to the plate.

“Give ya ten if ya strike out,” the catcher cracked.

“And I will eject both of you young men from the game if you continue this line of discussion,” warned the umpire, Mr. Kane, the science teacher at my school, who umpires some of our games in his spare time. The catcher and I looked at him, and then at each other. What a spoilsport! The guy has no sense of humor.

I got into the batter's box and dug my right cleat into the dirt five inches from the plate.

“C'mon, Joey,” my mom shouted from the third-base bleachers. “Blast one outta here, baby!”

It had taken a long time, but I had finally taught my mom enough baseball chatter so she wouldn't make a fool of herself. Used to be, she would shout the lamest things when I came to bat. Stuff like, “Hit a touchdown!” Sometimes I would have to pretend I wasn't related to her.

I wiped more snot off my nose and glanced at the scoreboard. 5-5. The bases were loaded. One out. Bottom of the sixth. Last inning of a one-game play-off between us and Yampell Jewelers. Nothing like a little pressure to get a guy motivated.

If I could drive in Chase, our runner on third, we'd win the Louisville Little League Championship. If I couldn't, the game would end in a tie and we'd have to play Yampell again next Saturday.

The Little League officials are convinced that our thirteen-year-old bodies are too frail and fragile to play extra innings. Me, I could play all day.

The pitcher stared at me. I pumped my bat across the plate a few times to show him I meant business. Mentally, I counted the seven things that could happen that would get that winning run home.

1. I could get a hit and be the hero, of course. That would be my preference.
2. I could draw a walk and force the run in.
3. Somebody could make an error.
4. The pitcher could throw a wild pitch.
5. There could be a passed ball.
6. I could fly out to the outfield, and Chase could tag up and score.
7. I could ground out, and the runner on third would score on the play.

The pitcher looked nervous. I licked my lips.

“Let's go, Matthew!” somebody yelled from the first-base bleachers. “Strike this guy out.”

“If you ever get a hit in your whole life,” Chase yelled through cupped hands, “get one now!”

I blinked my eyes hard a few times in the hope that I wouldn't have to blink when the ball was coming toward the plate.

I really didn't want to have to play these guys again next Saturday. Half the guys on our team would be away at a soccer tournament in Lexington. They happened to be our best players. The soccer coach hates baseball and gets crazy if any of his players miss a soccer game to play baseball. But baseball is the only game I play. I really wanted to end the game now.

The pitcher went into his windup and reared back to throw. When the ball was about halfway to the plate, I suddenly realized there was another thing that could happen that would bring the runner on third home.

8. I could get hit by a pitch.

The ball was coming straight at my head.

I don't know if you've ever been in a situation like this, but there's no way to think rationally. You just let your instincts tell you what to do, like a wild animal trying to survive in the jungle.

Shoeless Joe & Me. Copyright � by Dan Gutman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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