Louis isn’t very good at playing baseball, but he knows and loves the game more than anybody. He loves the purity of the sport, the sound of the crack of a bat, and the smell of freshly cut grass in the stadium. And more than anything, he loves the New York Yankees. So when he becomes a bat boy for the team during the summer of 1961, it is a dream come true. Lucky gives readers baseline box seats to one of the most memorable seasons in sports history, and as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris compete in their legendary home-run race, Louis learns that the heroes he looks up to can teach him life lessons that will change him forever.
Louis May's father has remarried, so the 12-year-old is facing his first summer living with his disapproving stepmother and resentful stepbrother in White Plains, N.Y. His fortunes change when he catches a foul ball at a Yankees game, depriving the opposing fielder of making an out. His game-saving play earns him a meeting with the batter he helped: Roger Maris. Louis's exhaustive knowledge of player statistics Mickey Mantle dubs him the walking baseball card improbably earns him a chance to be the team's batboy. Thus Louis has a dugout seat for one of baseball's greatest dramas Mantle and Maris chasing Babe Ruth's single-season home run record in 1961. A subplot about Louis's mother, who left his father to live among beatnik poets, isn't fully fleshed out. The pleasures in Tooke's debut are voyeuristic, as kids get to go behind the scenes to learn about two legends through Louis, who realizes collecting cards is no match for knowing the men behind the pinstripes. Says Louis: It was like the difference between someone who collected stamps from foreign countries and someone who actually traveled the world. Ages 8 up. \n