A Giant Win!

Wow! That was neat. Unless you’re a Detroit Tigers fan. The San Francisco Giants just won the World Series with a really exciting game. It even went into extra innings. Kate was hoping the Tigers would win, but I was rooting for the Giants. Now, Kate has to carry my backpack to school on Monday! We watched all four games with my mom and dad.

(credit: San Francisco Giants)

But maybe the best thing about the Giants winning the World Series is that Kate and I just finished a new book about them. (Well, okay, Mr David A. Kelly actually finished the book–we’re too busy with schoolwork. But Kate and I did go to San Francisco and had some really cool adventures.) The San Francisco Splash won’t come out until next May, but it’s got loads of neat things like a Giants’ World Series ring, cable cars, and a scary prison!

The All-Star Game and The All-Star Joker

You can bet that Kate and I will be watching tonight’s All-Star Game in Kansas City, since Ballpark Mysteries book 5 (The All-Star Joker) takes place there!

We had an amazing time visiting Kansas City. I loved the BBQ! But see if you can find the miniature golf course at the Royals’ stadium during the game. You could see it last night when they showed an aerial view of the stadium. I just wish Kate and I could go back so I could challenge her to another game of miniature golf. I just know that this time I’d win!

Ballpark Mysteries Books

Usually Kate and I are busy with school and baseball (okay, well, Kate is usually reading, too). That’s why we take all the cool trips, and let Mr. Kelly actually write the books. But he sent along some cool links that I wanted to post. The first is an in-depth Q&A about the Ballpark Mysteries (in honor of opening day!). Except, don’t pay attention to the question about what inspired him to write the books. Since he’s a professional writer, he has to pretend the books were his idea. But they were really Kate’s idea. It was my idea to hire a writer like Mr. Kelly to actually spend the time writing the books. I also thought readers might be interested in a recent review of The Astro Outlaw. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, you should! It’s a great story, with an astronaut and even a moon rock!

The Astro Outlaw

Wow. It’s hard to believe that Kate and I have been on four cool ballpark adventures so far. Last year we shared our trips to Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles with you. But we’ve got something really, really neat. Our fourth book is out today!

The Astro Outlaw
The Astro Outlaw – Ballpark Mystery #4

It’s called THE ASTRO OUTLAW! Last year, when Kate and I went to Houston, Texas, we got to see NASA’s mission control and meet a real astronaut! Which was great, until he disappeared! That’s when Kate and I set out to find him. It was kinda weird, but the final clue to solving the astronaut mystery came from the Houston Astro’s baseball game!

The Miami Marlins – All New for 2012!

When I was eating my breakfast cereal this morning, the TV caught my eye. My mom was watching a sports show and they were talking about news all around the MLB. I guess they were thinking about warm weather, because they spent a lot of time on the  the Florida Marlins. Or should I say, the Miami Marlins?

After a pretty bad 2011 season, the Marlins decided to change their name. And they didn’t stop there! They also are making completely different uniforms, a new ballpark, and they got new great players! The Marlins traded for closer Heath Bell and Jose Reyes! The Marlins are going to be a great team, and hopefully, I’ll get to visit the new ballpark soon. I’ll have to text Kate and ask her if her mother’s planning on going to Florida this year. Maybe we could tag along.

(logo: Miami Marlins)

Bobby Cox

I was walking home from the barbershop with Kate. As usual, she was rattling off some baseball statistics. I was more focused on bouncing my tennis ball, than on her facts. That was, until she mentioned Bobby Cox.

Bobby Cox was a manager for the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Braves for almost 40 years! The coolest thing about Bobby Cox is that he was ejected (that means thrown out) from a record of 161 total games! He was well known for yelling, screaming, and even kicking dirt on the umpires. One time, he had to be held back so he didn’t punch the umpire.

Bobby Cox Getting Ejected (credit: flickr/therubberduckie)

When I got home, I called up some of my friends and we went down to the ballpark to play a game. When there was a close play, I ran onto the field and did my best Bobby Cox interpretation! We weren’t able to finish the game because all of my friends kept pretending to get ejected. It was fun pretending to get into arguments, but it’s probably not that fun when you’re in a real game, having a real argument.I think I’d rather just be a really good player.

Getting into arguments and getting ejected probably isn’t the best way to have fun when playing baseball. On the way home, I realized I’m just glad I never had to be an umpire when Bobby Cox’s team was playing!

Mike’s Pine Tar Experiment

Yesterday when I came home from school, there was a baseball game on TV. I sat down and watched for awhile. (I didn’t want to do my math homework.) Anyway, they zoomed in on this guy’s bat before he went up to the plate. Guess what I saw?

There was this black, sticky looking material covering his bat handle. The black, sticky stuff is called pine tar. Pine tar is a material that hitters use so they don’t let go of their bat when they swing (That would be very bad!)I called up Kate and asked her to go to the ball park. I wanted to see if pine tar really worked. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any pine tar. Instead, I decided to use maple syrup!


I poured the whole bottle over my hands. I picked up my bat and got ready to hit. After hitting a few, I tried to let go of the bat. But it wouldn’t come off. It was TOO sticky! I think I’ll just use batting gloves!

Switch Hitting Hall of Famers

Yesterday, I was reading a book about baseball. It had cool stories, and awesome pictures. One story was about Mickey Mantle, one of the best hitters in baseball history. The coolest part about him is that he could hit from both sides of the plate! Can you believe that? I have enough trouble hitting from just ONE side of the plate!

When batters can hit from either side of the plate, it’s called switch hitting. TEN players have been able to reach the Hall of Fame switch hitting. The book I was reading even said that as long as there aren’t two strikes, you can switch sides in the middle of an at-bat! That would be really weird. It would be fun to try it in a game. Take a couple of pitches as a righty, and then walk around the plate and take the rest as a lefty!

I decided to try swinging lefty with a plastic bat in my living room. I swung as hard as I could from a lefty stance, imagining myself crushing a homerun. WHOOPS! I slipped on the rug, the bat went flying and hit the ceiling fan!

I think I’ll stay to just swinging righty!

The Hit

Yesterday I was in English class and we were writing stories. My teacher told me to write about my favorite memory, and I knew just what to write about!

It was a sunny day at the local ballpark near my house. My friends and I were playing a game of baseball. I came up to bat an hit a ball that sailed over the fence! I thought my story was perfect, but my teacher disagreed. She said it was boring!

So I made a list of creative ways to say hit. I came up with doink, cream, pummel, drill, spank, dribble, pound, tear, spray, sizzle, and cork. I erased hit and wrote spank because it sounded really cool! I handed it in, but my teacher still said it was boring! (She was mad because I kept bouncing my tennis ball off the wall!)  I think we all can agree that baseball is WAY better than English class!

The Houston Astros Take Off

Hey guys it’s Mike, with big news. The Houston Astros are moving from the National League (central) to the American League (west). This is the first league change since 1998 when the Milwaukee Brewers moved into the National League. This is so exciting because the I love watching the Astros play. Now they will battle teams like the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, and Oakland Athletics.

The train on top the left field wall at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. You can also see the gas pump, and the hill in center field, if you look closely!

Just recently, Kate and I visited the Astros’ stadium. It was a blast (get it–the Astros were a blast? Like a rocket!)! The Astros ballpark, Minute Maid park, has a huge train on top of the left field wall. It was so cool! But more on that in February. That’s when the next Ballpark Mystery, The Astro Outlaw, comes out. As usual, Mr. David A. Kelly actually wrote the book, but Kate and I got to have all the fun visiting Houston, seeing the train, and even meeting an astronaut!

I’ve gotta go, see ya later! (My mom says I have to go clean my room, even though I’ve told her I’m working on my writing!)