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The Kid Who Only Hit Homers

6 Responses to The Kid Who Only Hit Homers

  1. GWP says:

    Reading essays like these makes me realize how much we truly have in common, Joe! Thank you for this essay!

  2. Rick says:

    There is something about kids baseball literature that doesn’t translate to adulthood.

    As good as Roth, Malamud, Coover, and Kinsella are, for me, none of them could compare to Duane Decker (I’m a lot older than Joe). Even today I can name the starting nine of the Blue Sox and recall the plots of most of the books.

    Thanks for the memory.

  3. Ryan says:

    Thanks for bringing me down memory lane. As a baseball fanatic in an elementary school library that was 20 years out of date in the 1990’s, I grew up devouring the Matt Christopher series. I actually started with some of the football titles (Crackerjack Halfback), and then found the baseball books.

    My personal favorite was Little Lefty – even though I was right-handed, I was a small kid who wanted to pitch. It’s true that we get drawn into the stories that we want our own lives to emulate.

  4. Dr. Sem says:

    This is amazing.

    I was a little kid who went to the library and had no idea how to pick a book out or what I even wanted to read… or even how to find a book.

    The librarian asked me, “What do you like?’ I replied, “Baseball.” She brought me over to the Matt Christopher books and I picked up “The Kid Who Only Hit Homers.”

    I devoured the book and Matt Christopher became my first favorite author.

    The book also left such an impact that in our neighborhood Wiffle Ball league where we had imaginary players who we batted like and kept stats for, my right fielder was a certain Sylvester Codmeyer (I coped the spelling incorrectly, I guess…). Ol’ Sylvester batted fourth and man did I hit a lot of homers pretending to be him.

    Codmeyer was the leagues all-time Home Run Champion.

    All because of a book… and a smart librarian.

  5. Randy Monk says:

    Being a baseball nut from the time I was starting to read, I read everything I could about the game, and I loved all the Matt Christopher books. Some 54 years later, I’m still a bit steamed that my teacher gave me just a B+ on my oral book report on THE KID THAT BATTED 1,000 by Bob Allison (not the Minn Twin), because at age 11, I refused to call the book THE KID THAT BATTED ONE, which my teacher a Math devotee said was the correct way. I told her,no, in baseball, the batting average is called a thousand. Still makes me mad.

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