Fred Bowen

Children's sports author and Washington Post/KidsPost sports columnist

*Winner of the
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Scholastic Reading Counts™ title

The Reviews

USA Today:

Fred Bowen blends fact and fiction in his fun-to-read book about one young pitcher's determination to reach his dream. . . .A heartwarming and suspenseful story about the value of friends, family and perseverance, it's a sure hit with both kids and parents.

School Library Journal:

Bowen describes play-by-play action in a style similar to that of Matt Christopher, but by interweaving baseball history into his plots, the author distinguishes this story from typical sports-series fare. Blair Christolon, Prince William County.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Bowen's story is straightforward and realistic and readers will readily identify with his characters. Readers also will enjoy Bowen's ability to weave fact and fiction to create a novel that's based on baseball history. Karen MacPherson

The Five Owls:

This novel has many strong values to impart, including having respect for the wisdom and experience of elders, and that in the face of much skepticism and derision, personal integrity, not image, are what matter. Ages 9-12.

T.J.'s Secret Pitch

The Story

T.J. desperately wants to be a pitcher, but he's small and his pitches don't pack any power. Then he discovers a crazy pitch used by a real-life major leaguer in the 1940s. When he tries it out, his teammates laugh —until they try to hit it! But will T.J. get the chance to use it in a real game?

The History

In the 1940s, Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher Rip Sewell confounded batters with an off-beat lob pitch he called "The Eephus Pitch." Others called it the blooper pitch or La Lob. Over the years, other pitchers have used it. In fact, it was used against home-run slugger Mark McGwire in 1998. McGwire didn't hit that one out of the park.