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!)

Can You Believe Spitballs Were Legal?

WOW! Did you know that it was once legal to throw spitballs? (and yes, spitballs are what they sound like.) The spit makes the ball spin in all sorts of wacky ways! Before 1934, pitchers were allowed to rub spit on baseballs to make them harder for batters to hit!

Burleigh Arland Grimes (photo: National Baseball Hall of Fame)

I decided to test it out with Kate at our local ballfield. I walked out to the pitching rubber and covered the ball in my saliva. I wound up and threw as hard as I could to Kate. The ball slipped a little and sailed WAY over her head. It nailed the metal backstop. I wasn’t too happy with my pitch. Neither was Kate (she says that she felt something wet drop off the ball when it hit the backstop).

I think everybody is glad they outlawed the spitball! I know that Kate is.

Guess who’s a fan of Ballpark Mysteries? David Ortiz!

Wow! Kate and I went to see the Red Sox play in Ballpark Mysteries book 1, The Fenway Foul-Up. We had a blast. But we had an even bigger blast last week when Mr. Kelly showed us this picture.

A baseball signed by Red Sox slugger and Ballpark Mysteries fan David Ortiz!

It turns out that Mr. Kelly knows someone who knows David Ortiz, so he sent along copies of the Ballpark Mysteries and his other book, Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse (in which Mr. Ortiz plays a really big part!). Turns out that David’s son enjoyed the books, so he send back a signed baseball! How — Cool — Is — That??

(P.S. – The B.P. after his name stands for his nickname “Big Papi!”)

Peter Adam Salomon Interviews David A. Kelly

Wow, now with Ballpark Mysteries book 3 (The L.A. Dodger) out, we’re getting some real press! Here’s a neat interview of Mr. Kelly that Peter Adam Salomon did. Kate and I read it and learned something new about Mr. Kelly. See if you can find out why he was so excited to write the Ballpark Mysteries book #4, The Astro Outlaw.

Interview with David A. Kelly

Mr. Kelly, the author the Ballpark Mysteries, asked if I could post this link to an interview he did with CONVERSATIONS Magazine. I didn’t read it myself because Kate and I are pretty busy this week looking at all the baseball stores in Coopertown, New York (our hometown). The Hall of Fame induction stuff was last weekend, and now there are all types of good bargains on cool sports things because some of the tourists have left. But Mr. Kelly said that anyone who likes the Ballpark Mysteries might like the interview, so I thought it would be good to blog about.

New Book – The L. A. Dodger

Our third Ballpark Mystery is officially on sale today! Yea!

Ballpark Mysteries #3 - The L. A. Dodger

This is such a great book, because me and Kate got  to go California to visit her father. He’s a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. We had a great time. I even beat Kate in bumper cars (you’ll have to take my word for it, she’ll probably make up some story about how she had me boxed into corner, but don’t believe her) at the Santa Monica Pier. We also went to the La Brea Tar Pits. That helped us figure out how to set a sticky trap for the L.A. Dodger. But read the book–you’ll never believe how we finally caught him!

Cooperstown, New York

Man, it was a perfect day for the induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame. Kate and I had a great time. We spent a lot of the day selling water to all those really hot tourists that came to town. We also spent a little time with Mr. Kelly, the writer of the Ballpark Mysteries. Here’s a picture Kate took of him with her new digital camera:

David A. Kelly signing books in Cooperstown, New York

I’ll post some more pictures later. Mr. Kelly borrowed Kate’s camera and took some of us!

 

Ballpark Mysteries on Tour!

Wow, it sure has been hot around here lately. Hard to believe, it was even too hot to play baseball today. So I thought I’d stay inside and catch up on some video games. But my mom had a different idea. She wanted me to catch up on cleaning my room.

It looks like Mr. Kelly isn’t going to have time to clean his room, or play video games. He seems pretty busy with the Ballpark Mysteries events. Today, he was at the Westwind Bookshop in Duxbury, Mass, in between Boston and Cape Cod. He had a crowd for his reading and book signing–see for yourself:

He’s also going on the road with the Ballpark Mysteries. He’s going to New York to give some readings (in New Hartford and Utica), and then he’s come to visit me and Kate!

Well, actually, I think he’s coming to sign books during this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies. He’ll be in Cooperstown on Sunday morning, signing books with other authors on Main Street. (But I think he’s also excited about seeing us again, too! Kate and I are going to the ceremony. It’s really neat to live here during Hall of Fame events because the town gets so busy with people. Sometimes Kate and I set up a stand and sell water to people. Last year we made a lot of money doing that!)

Ballpark Mysteries and Wally, from the Red Sox!

Well, Kate and I haven’t made it to the Red Sox yet, but we’re getting closer. Or at least the Ballpark Mysteries are! The author, Mr. Kelly, is actually doing a reading from Ballpark Mysteries book 1 – The Fenway Foul-Up with Wally, the mascot from the Red Sox!

Wally, The Green Monster (photo: Boston Red Sox)

It’s happening at the Boston Public Library’s Dorchester branch. It’s so big that that Mayor of Boston is even speaking! (Okay, I think he’s there to talk about the library’s Read Your Way to Fenway program, but maybe he’s a fan of the Ballpark Mysteries too!)

Kate and I are still in school, otherwise we’d go. I mean, Wally’s even in the book! I’d love to get his autograph. But I don’t know if he can hold a pen with those big green hands he has.

Review of Cool Babe Ruth Book

One of the reasons that we let Mr. Kelly write the BALLPARK MYSTERIES books is that he wrote this really cool book about Babe Ruth.

Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse

It tells how the Boston Red Sox won 5 of the first 15 World Series and were a great team UNTIL they traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. After that, the Yankees won World Series after World Series, and the Red Sox couldn’t win any! That’s what they call the “Curse of the Bambino.” But–Red Sox fans can cheer here–the book also tells the incredible story of the 2004 Red Sox and how they FINALLY won the world Series.

Anyway, I just came across a great review of BABE RUTH AND THE BASEBALL CURSE, and an interview with Mr. Kelly that includes information on the BALLPARK MYSTERIES!