The Kid Who Only Hit Homers, by Matt Christopher
Three out of five stars
While Christopher is one of the best writers of juvenile sports fiction, this book is not one of his best efforts. This is largely due to the poorly executed mysticism. While other books have demonstrated that the injection of mysticism and spirits into a sports book can work very well, this one fails.
Sylvester Coddmyer III is trying out for the local Little League team and he is doing very poorly. He fails in the field and at the plate. Understanding his ineptitude for the game, during the practice time the next day he is in the bleachers, watching the other kids going through their drills. Suddenly a man called George Baruth comes up to him and talks to Sylvester about giving it one more try.
Suddenly, the ball flies off his bat, hence the title, and Sylvester can catch fly balls he could only wave at before. He of course makes the team and they have a winning season. Sylvester also has ups and downs, generally up when Baruth is there and down when he is not.
Given this completely predictable situation, the success of the team in generally known beforehand along with how Sylvester will do. There is just no tension or excitement in the story.