Cody Parker may be overweight (he prefers the word burly), but he plays third base like a dream. Too bad no one knows it yet, because he’s new to Baltimore, where he’s a target—okay, a big target—for brutal teasing. Even worse, he’s competing for the starting job on the Orioles of the Dulaney Babe Ruth League against budding hoodlum Dante Rizzo, who vows to squeeze Cody’s head like a grape if Cody beats him out. Life gets even more complicated when York Middle School is beset by a rash of mysterious thefts, a crime wave that threatens to sideline Cody—and ruin a golden season for the Orioles. Will Cody ever succeed in getting people to see him for who he really is?
About the Author
Cal Ripken, Jr. was a shortstop and third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles for his entire twenty-one-season career (1981–2001). He is most remembered for playing a record 2,632 straight games over seventeen seasons, shattering the record previously held by the legendary Lou Gehrig. In 2007 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, after earning the most votes in history.
Kevin Cowherd is an award-winning sports columnist with The Baltimore Sun. He has also written for Men’s Health, Parenting, and Baseball Digest magazines and is the author of a collection of columns, Last Call at the 7-Eleven.