Batter up! Get ready to watch the kids' baseball team from Cooperstown compete in this Super Special edition of the Ballpark Mysteries--fun, accessible early chapter books that cross baseball action with puzzling whodunits!
Catch a baseball mystery with the World Series Kids!
The kids of Cooperstown made it to the World Series! Technically, Mike and Kate are just there to support their friend Colin and his teammates as they play for the championship. But the competition gets tricky when someone starts trying to sabotage Cooperstown's team--they punch holes in the tires of their bus, and the team's equipment goes missing! Can Mike and Kate find the trickster before it's too late? Or will these shenanigans cost Cooperstown the series?
A longer story, plus bonus back matter with amazing baseball facts, make The World Series Kids a truly Super Special addition to the Ballpark Mysteries.
An Excerpt fromBallpark Mysteries Super Special #4: The World Series Kids
“Cowabunga!” Mike Walsh called out.
He ran along the top of a grassy hill holding a long piece of a sturdy cardboard box in front of him. At the edge, Mike jumped chest first onto the cardboard and rode it like a sled all the way to the bottom of the hill!
“Woo-hoo!” Mike’s cousin Kate Hopkins called out. “Watch out below!” Kate jumped on her own piece of cardboard and flew down the hill.
But just as she reached the bottom, a TV reporter wandered into her path.
“Oh no!” Kate yelled. “Get out of the way!”
The TV reporter was too busy talking to the camera to hear Kate’s yell. Kate tried to pull the sled to the left.
“Look out!” Kate cried.
The TV reporter spun around. Kate was only feet away! The reporter jerked his right leg up and lost his balance. Kate shot underneath his raised foot with only inches to spare! The TV reporter tottered sideways and then belly-flopped to the ground.
Kate slid to a halt a few feet away.
“Wow, that was close!” Kate said as she sprang up from the cardboard. “Are you okay?”
The TV reporter rolled over. He picked up his microphone, stood up, and dusted some grass off his pants. “Yes, I am,” he said. He glanced up the hill at the other kids sledding on pieces of cardboard. “I was looking for action shots for our show tomorrow. But that was a little too much action!”
“Don’t worry, Matt, we have it all on video! Your belly flop will make a great opening to tomorrow’s show!” a gruff-looking cameraman said from the sidewalk. “I can see it now: ‘The Agony of Defeat!’”
Mike and Kate were at Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the Little League Baseball World Series. The event was held there each year. It brought the best eight teams from across the United States together with the best eight teams from regions around the world. Players had to be between ten and twelve years old.
The series would start the next day. Mike and Kate had driven down from their home in Cooperstown, New York, that morning with Kate’s mother, Mrs. Hopkins. She was a sports reporter for American Sportz. She was covering that year’s series.
Matt the TV reporter smiled. “I don’t know about using that video,” he said. “I’d never hear the end of it!” He turned to Kate. “I should have been paying more attention. I’m sorry to get in your way.”
Kate shrugged. “It’s okay!” she said. “At least you lifted up your leg so I didn’t hit you!”
“Yeah!” Mike said. “Because if you hadn’t, it really would have been the agony of da-feet! Get it? Da feet? The feet?”
“Well, we’re lucky everyone is okay,” Matt said. “But if you’ll excuse me, we’ve got to get back to work.” He waved to Mike and Kate and headed off.
Mike nudged Kate. “Hey, where’s Colin?” he asked. “It’s after four o’clock—he’s late! If his team doesn’t get here soon, they’ll miss the big parade tonight!”
The night before the series kicked off, all the teams rode on floats in a giant parade in downtown Williamsport. Their friend Colin’s team from Cooperstown had beaten all the other teams in New York State and the MidAtlantic Region to make it to the series. Mike and Kate hadn’t made the team.
Kate glanced around. Lots of kids were sledding down the hill on pieces of cardboard. There was no sign of Colin or the Cooperstown team.
“I don’t see him anywhere,” Kate said. “But look at that!” She pointed to the sidewalk on the far side of the hill. A small dog was racing around in circles while an older woman tried to catch it.
“Let’s go get it!” Mike said.
When Kate and Mike ran over, the dog barked happily and sprang to its left. As Kate reached for it, Mike stepped on the dog’s leash.
“Gotcha!” Mike said.
“You did it!” the woman said. “Thank you for catching my dog, Charlie. He’s too fast for me!”
Mike handed her the leash. “You’re welcome,” he said. “I’m glad we could help.”
The woman fished around in her pocket and pulled her hand out. “Here,” she said. “I’d like you two to have this, since you took the time to help me.”
She dropped a colorful pin into Mike’s outstretched hand. The pin was shaped like an open baseball glove. The word Founder was written across its front in silver script. “Oh cool, it’s a Little League World Series pin,” Mike said. “Thanks.” He tried to hand it back to her. “But you really don’t have to. Kate and I were happy to help catch Charlie!”
The woman waved him off. “Please, take the pin for helping me,” she said. “You can bring it to the pin-trading area tomorrow and swap it for a different pin if you want. It’s a special pin and should be easy to trade. But Charlie and I have to get home for supper now.” The woman tugged on Charlie’s leash, and they walked off the other way.
“Our first Little League pin!” Kate said. “I wonder why it’s special. Maybe we can trade it for two pins tomorrow, one for each of us!”
“Great idea,” Mike said. As he slipped the pin into his pocket, he noticed a group of kids at the top of the hill near the main entrance gate.
“Hey, that looks like Colin’s team!” Mike said.
He and Kate sprinted to the main gate. The team had just stepped off a big yellow school bus. Kate spotted Colin, and she and Mike ran over to him.
“What happened?” Kate asked. “Why were you so late? You were supposed to race us on the sledding hill!”
Colin shook his head. “I know,” he said. “But when we stopped to eat at a rest stop, we were stranded! Someone slit the tires on our bus!”