Jalen DeLuca loves baseball. He’s playing for his summer travel team and trying to win a regular spot in the rotation. But Jalen’s got more than talent on the field. He’s a baseball genius who can analyze and predict almost exactly what any pitcher is going to do with his next pitch. He can’t quite explain how he knows, he just does. His unique ability helped him save the career of New York Yankee star baseman James “JY” Yager, and now Jalen figures he’ll be almost part of the team. Or will he?
After a power struggle with the Yankees GM and a failed negotiation with Cat, JY strikes out on his own to show he can still hit in the majors without Jalen’s help. Disappointed, but focused on his own baseball career, Jalen tries to carve out his own spot with the Rockton Rockets.
When things go wrong for both of them, JY works out a deal with Cat, bringing the pair together again. With JY’s help, Jalen and Daniel are able to join a travel team from a nearby rival town who will face off against the Rockets in the championship game of an elite tournament in Boston. With the pressure mounting for JY to perform at the Green Monster and Jalen intent on paying back his former team, they’ll have to pull off the ultimate double play if they’re both going to succeed.
About the Author
Derek Jeter is a fourteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series winner who played for one team—the storied New York Yankees—for all twenty seasons of his major league career. His grace and class on and off the field have made him an icon and role model far beyond the world of baseball.
Read an Excerpt
Double Play 1
THE POLICEMAN TIGHTENED HIS GRIP on Jalen’s arm.
Jalen just grinned.
Up they went in a fancy elevator reserved for the Yankee Stadium VIPs. Down a hallway lined with team offices, all lit up. People bustling by gave them curious glances. Jalen supposed the offices stayed busy into the night when there was a game, and there had been a game, another victory for the Yankees.
Jalen’s grin was born from something bigger than a win, even though the Yankees were his team. His was the grin of someone whose life was about to change. Someone who’d won the lottery or unexpectedly inherited a fortune from a long-lost relative. It was the smile of the kid who’d gotten the lead role in a play, or the MVP trophy at the team banquet. He wanted to share his joy, and he wished the policeman would ease up on his arm.
“Everyone looks happy about the game.” Jalen smiled up at him, but the massive officer remained stone-faced. Of course, how could the policeman have known that Jalen’s ability to predict the next pitch in an MLB game—or any game, for that matter—had helped the Yankees win this one?
They stopped outside a pair of dark, tall wooden doors. Jalen thought the officer was reaching for one of the heavy chrome handles, but instead he knocked. After a moment, he knocked again and a stern voice ordered them inside. The Yankees GM, Jeffrey Foxx, sat behind a mahogany desk which was as broad as a boat. A telephone was pressed against his ear. Foxx pointed, not to the chairs, but to an empty space on the thick rug in front of the desk as he finished his call.
“You never were good at poker, Don,” Foxx said. “You’re bluffing, and I’m going to double down. Good luck.”
The GM hung up the phone with anger in his eyes. Even though Foxx was sitting behind a desk, Jalen felt his power.
The policeman finally let Jalen loose. He flashed a smile up at the officer while rubbing the blood back into his arm.
“Thanks, Jimmy,” the GM said to the cop. “You can wait outside.”
Suddenly Jalen hated to see the enormous policeman go.
“How about you take those sunglasses off so I can see you?” Foxx hadn’t blinked.
Jalen had forgotten about his glasses. He removed his hat and pushed them up onto his dark, curly hair. His eyes adjusted to the brightly lit office. In the window behind the desk, the stadium lights burned white and the empty field glowed emerald-green, a rare bit of color in the concrete city.
“Those were so no one could see what you were up to, right?” The GM’s frown deepened.
Jalen adjusted the glasses. “I guess.”
“You guess.” Without warning, the GM smacked his hand down on the top of the desk with a noise like the crack of an ax.
Foxx leaned forward, planting his hands on the desk as if he was preparing to pounce. His voice was a low, nasty growl. “Son, I have no idea why you’re standing there smiling. You are in a world of trouble.”