Some excellent YA sports books

I’ve always been a fan of well-written sports books, particularly for kids. Here are three I’ve enjoyed recently:

The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter
Desperately trying to save their legendary ballpark, Tom, the thinker, Cruz, the mysterious cyber-vato, and the brash all-star, María, spur the rest of the Dillontown Nine plus a crazy ex-pro, Dante Del Gato, to face the challenge of a lifetime. What’s at stake? Only the very future of the town, the team, and the holy game of baseball. It reminded me a little bit of Field of Dreams, mainly for the mystical elements, including a 100-year-old prophesy that may or may not be coming true.

Travel Team by Mike Lupica
I’m a sucker for books about underdog teams coming together to take on more talented, better funded opponents. It probably has something to do with being a Cubs fan. This is a particularly fine example of the genre. The characters are well-drawn and the relationship between Danny and his father is interesting.

Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein
I read this right after the 2005 NCAA tournament. The behind-the-scenes details were excellent and the mystery was compelling. I also liked the sports journalism angle.


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