Monday, April 13, 2020

Review of "Baseball Pals," by Matt Christopher

Review of

Baseball Pals, by Matt Christopher ISBN 9780316140058

Four out of five stars

Lesson on how selfishness can be detrimental

 Jimmie has just been elected captain of his youth baseball team and they are preparing for the summer schedule. He is in the process of recruiting enough players to field a team as well as determining who will play what position. His best friend Paul is known to be one of the best pitchers in the youth league, but Jimmie makes the decision that he will be the pitcher. Since they will be playing only one game a week, there is little need to have a second pitcher.

 Unfortunately, while Jimmie throws hard and has a curve with some significant bend in it, he lacks control, often unable to locate the strike zone. His decision to be the pitcher over Paul leads to some dissension and causes Paul to join another team. As they play practice games in preparation for the season, it becomes clear to all that if Jimmie continues to pitch, they will win very few games.

 Eventually, Jimmie realizes that he has to make a choice, stick with his selfish plan and lose games and friends, or to swallow some pride and ask Paul to come back and pitch for his team. He chooses the latter and it turns out that Jimmie is a much better player in the field than on the mound.

 The lesson here is a good one for young people in sports. Everyone wants to be the star player, but not everyone has the skills. All teams need players to fill specific roles, even though there may be less glamour in them. Team sports require players to be subservient to their roles and that is the lesson here.

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