on all batting cages!
on all batting cages!
Baseball fans know Cal Ripken Jr. as one of the greatest ball players of all time. But the Iron Man is more than just an MLB legend; he is a man of many talents, including writing for audiences for all ages. By now, the newest generation of baseball players are familiar with Cal Jr’s latest project: a series of young adult fiction books centered around a Baltimore Babe Ruth Baseball team. The latest installment, Squeeze Play, was released in early March.
Ripken’s books for kids are about more than just baseball. His stories deal with common issues and obstacles that kids face while growing up, making them enjoyable and relatable to all children. Squeeze Play is the fourth book in Cal Jr’s young adult series, with at least two more in the works.
Hothead, the first of what Ripken plans to be a six-book series, features a Babe Ruth Baseball player with a fiery temper. Connor Sullivan, the main character of the story, struggles with finding a balance between having fun on the diamond and taking the game too seriously. Managing on field emotions can be a real challenge for players of all ages, and Ripken’s book strives to help kids learn to handle their temper.
Super Slugger and Wild Pitch, books two and three of the series, both feature characters who are forced to deal with teasing and ridicule from their peers. Kids today struggle to fit in both in school and in the dugout, and Ripken relates expertly to that aspect of adolescence in both of these books, addressing the complicated issue of bullying head on. The struggles of his main characters teach valuable lessons about being true to oneself in the face of adversity.
Squeeze Play, the most recent addition to the Ripken book series, is sure to relate to athletes and parents alike. The main character loves playing on his Baltimore Babe Ruth team, except for one thing: his dad has an embarrassing habit of making heated outbursts during every game, belittling the other team. It’s hard to pull out of a slump when your dad is screaming from the bleachers, a reminder that many well-meaning parents might need.
As a all-around supporter of baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. is a dedicated advocate of youth programs and sports. His books are targeted for kids 8-12 years old, and the messages they present about growing up provide valuable lessons for boys and girls of all ages!