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A baseball story that throws a Curve: Ed Bogart, far from the usual hero, is a wealthy Austin boy whose uncontrollable temper and feelings of parental rejection require regular sessions with a child psychologist. Friendless except for Luke whom he plays with yet despises: Ed vacillates from fierce hostility to tearful despair, even after convincing his worried mother and the doctor to let him compete in the Little League. The discovery of his mother's tranquilizers provides a temporary solution to tension, but his usually absent father finds him out and he has to suffer through a few days without drugs before returning to the diamond and facing the Competition on his own. Learning that his father isn't perfect either, goes a long way toward helping him accept himself. The little league victory of the title is a lost game, but the beginning of progress for Ed: he consoles Luke for dropping the last ball: congratulates his greatest rival on his pitching, slaps his teammates on the back--not a miracle: Just a beginning. Unlike most sports books, the important events are internal: Ed's slow Journey toward acceptance of himself as a part of a team, toward some self-control, toward the letting up of some resentments. Baseball action doesn't suffer, though it is strictly little league ball, fumbles and all. An unusual situation handled in a sensitive way, but not every eleven-year-old will understand Ed's problems.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1967
Publisher: Lippincott