On October 1, 1932, during Game Three of the Chicago Cubs--New York Yankees World Series, Babe Ruth belted a long home run to straightaway centerfield. According to legend, just before he hit, Babe pointed to the centerfield bleachers and boldly predicted he would slam the next pitch there. Did he call that shot, or didn't he? Witnesses never agreed. Joe Stoshack knows there's one way to solve the mystery--slip back seventy years and see for himself.
As fans of Dan Gutman's acclaimed novels Honus & Me and Jackie & Me know, Joe has the astonishing ability to travel through time-with baseball cards! Now he's bound for Chicago's Wrigley Field by way of Depression-era New York. Only this time his dad-who doesn't spend a lot of time with Joe in the present, never mind the past-is along for the trip. Joe has waited a long time for his father to take him to a big league game, but he never dreamed it could be this one!On October 1, 1932, during Game Three of the Chicago Cubs-New York Yankees World Series, Babe Ruth belted a long home run to straight-away centerfield.According to legend, just before he hit, Babe pointed to the centerfield bleachers and boldly predicted he would slam the next pitch there. Did he call that shot, or didn't he? Witnesses never agreed. Joe Stoshack knows there's one way to solve the mystery--slip back seventy years and see for himself.On October 1, 1932, during Game Three of the Chicago Cubs-New York Yankees World Series, Babe Ruth belted a long home run to straight-away centerfield. According to legend, just before he hit, Babe pointed to the centerfield bleachers and boldly predicted he would slam the next pitch there. Did he call that shot, or didn't he? Witnesses never agreed. Joe Stoshack knows there's one way to solve the mystery--slip back seventy years and see for himself.
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Dan Gutman is the author of many books for children, including the My Weird School series, the Flashback Four series, and the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series. Dan has received nineteen state book awards and ninety-two nominations. Dan lives in New York with his wife, Nina. You can visit him online at www.dangutman.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
It was about eight years ago--when I was five that I discovered baseball cards were sort of . . . oh, magical to me.
It was past my bedtime, I remember. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my dad. This was before my mom and dad split up, before things got weird around the house. Dad was showing me his collection of baseball cards. He had hundreds, a few of them dating back to the 1920s.
My dad never made a lot of money working as a machine operator here in Louisville, Kentucky. I think he spent all his extra money on his two passions in life-fixing up old cars and buying up old baseball cards. Dad loved his cars and cards. They were two of the things Dad and Mom argued about.
Anyway, we were sitting there at the table and Dad handed me an old card.
"That's a Gil McDougald card. from 1954," Dad said. "He was my hero growing up. What a sweet swing he had."
I examined the card. As I held it in my right hand, I felt a strange tingling sensation in my fingertips. It didn't hurt. It was pleasant. It felt a little bit like when you brush your fingers lightly against a TV screen when it's on.
I felt vibrations. It was a little frightening. I mean, it was only a piece of cardboard, but it felt so powerful.
"Joe," my dad said, waving his hand in front of my face, "are you okay?"
I dropped the card on the table. The tingling sensation stopped immediately.
"Uh, yeah," I said uncertainly as I snapped out of it. "Why?"
I "You looked like you were in a trance or something," Dad explained, "like you weren't all there."
"I felt like I wasn't all there."
"He's overtired," my mom said, a little irritated. "Will you stop fooling with those cards and let Joey go to bed?"
But I wasn't overtired. I didn't know it at the time, but a baseball card-for me-could function like a time machine. That tingling, sensation was the signal that my body was about to leave the present and travel back through time to the year on the card. If I had held the card a few seconds longer, I would have gone back to 1954 and landed somewhere near Gil McDougald.
After that night I touched other baseball cards from time to time. Sometimes I felt the tingling sensation. Other times I felt nothing.
Whenever I felt the tingling sensation I dropped the card. I was afraid. I could tell something strange was going to happen if I held on to the card. I didn't know what would happen, and I wasn't sure I wanted to find out.
Gradually, I discovered that the year of the card determined whether or not it would cause the tingling sensation. Brand-new cards didn't do anything. Cards from the 1960s to the 1990s didn't do much. But I could get a definite buzz from any card from the 1950s. The older the card, I discovered, the more powerful the tingling sensation.
One day, I got hold of a 1909 T-206 Honus Wagner card--the most valuable baseball card in the world. The tingling sensation started the instant I picked up the card. It was more powerful than it had been with any other card. For the first time, I didn't drop the card.
As I held the Wagner card, the tingling sensation moved up my fingers and through my arms, and washed over my entire body. As I thought about the year 1909, the environment around me faded away and was replaced by a different environment. It took about five seconds. In those five seconds, I traveled back through time to the year 1909.
What happened to me in 1909 is a long story, and I almost didn't make it back. After that, I didn't think I would ever travel through time with a baseball card again. But once you discover you've got a special power, it's hard not to use it. For a school project, I borrowed a Jackie Robinson card from a baseball card dealer and sent myself back to the year 1947.
I nearly got killed in 1947, and my mom grounded me. She didn't make me stay in my room or anything like that, but she did make me stay in the present day.
"No more time traveling!" she ordered.
But, like I said, when you've got a special power, you want to use it.
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Book Description Scholastic, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New item. May have light shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # 160827284