It's hard to keep your mind on baseball when your parents are splitting up--but, in the nick, twelve-year-old Bobby Canfield, ""the not-so-famous third baseman for the not-so-famous Sunbirds,"" discovers that he has a talent for stealing bases. His slightly scatty mother is involved in her own affairs, his more compatible, outdoorsy father is dating the mother of a rival ballplayer, truculent Walter Wilson. But, thinks Bobby, ""Both of us have only a mother living with us. . . . Maybe he's going through the same kind of strain I am."" And, when Waiter's lit cigarette blows up the Canfield boat--and, worse, he lies about it--Bobby defends him. Meanwhile, coaching by both Dad and (maternal) Grandpa Alex has improved Bobby's base-stealing and set him up to handle his biggest crisis, Dad's impending departure for that round-the-world trip he's always wanted to take. A canny balance of action and introspection, with only the last-minute suggestion that Bobby's parents may get together again to mar the honest handling of an all-too-common problem.