A volume in a classic quartet of baseball stories, repackaged for a new generation.
Spike and Bob Russell are baseball-playing brothers, toiling in the minor leagues. While playing for the Nashville Volunteers, they get the call they've been dreaming about--a promotion to the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Major Leagues. But their excitement proves short-lived as they are embroiled in a contretemps surrounding Brooklyn's new Jewish catcher, Jocko Klein. This excellent story, with a subplot of prejudice, discrimination, and their ultimate resolution, written by perhaps the foremost children's sports author of his generation, is sure to captivate young readers. The author ably describes day to day life among professional baseball players, painting an accurate picture of clubhouse and team dynamics. This book is set in the late 1940s so the author's discussion of that era's low salaries and the banter of his characters can seem dated to contemporary readers. The prejudice faced by Klein and Tunis' description of his teammates' bias against "cowardly" Jews may also be odd to today's readers. However, this and other idiosyncrasies of the 1940s should prove to be a bonus, helping today's sports fans appreciate the way baseball and society used to be. With excellent characterizations and crisp prose, this book has much to offer. 1987, (orig.