If you haven’t checked out David Kelly’s Ballpark Mysteries you are really missing out. Following a couple of kids try to solve mysteries at ballparks is something that my third graders totally dig. This is a series that I would have LOVED reading as a young whippersnapper.
I’ve never had an author answer my 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 questions a second time, but Mr. Kelly informed me that he had a whole bunch of books that he’d like to give away to teachers and librarians, so I made an exception. I created some questions specifically for David for this time around.
Please tell me about what you remember from your first trip to a major league baseball game. (4)
The first professional baseball game I went to was a New York Mets game with my mother and father. I remember taking the subway there and being jammed in tight. We sat way up high in Shea Stadium (my father wasn’t a big baseball fan). While I do remember eating too much, I don’t remember who won. (I wasn’t a big Mets fan, anyway—I liked the Orioles!)
What are some of the coolest things you’ve learned while researching stadiums for your Ballpark Mystery books? (5)
The first thing I learned is that all the stadiums are so different from each other, so they make great settings for my series as well as terrific places for people to visit. I loved that the Houston Astros have an actual, life-sized train that runs back-and-forth along the edge of their stadium. I also learned that the Miami Marlins had their best pitchers (and some batting practice machines) hurl fastballs at the really neat tropical fish tanks in their stadium to make sure they wouldn’t break during a game! I also learned that the Philadelphia Phillies’ mascot, the Phillie Phanatic has the coolest hot dog launcher that I’ve ever seen—it can loft wrapped hot dogs into the stadium’s upper decks! And, when I stayed at the hotel that’s inside the Toronto Blue Jays’ stadium (yup, that’s inside—the hotel is behind the Blue Jays’ outfield wall, with windows that open directly into the stadium), I looked out my hotel room window and learned that the inside of a baseball stadium is really, really dark in the middle of the night—and a bit spooky!
If you could visit any baseball stadium which one would you visit? (3)
For current stadiums, I’d pick either the Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field or the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field, because I haven’t been to either and love both cities. If we’re picking of all time, I’d have to say the Polo Grounds in New York City. The Polo Grounds (long gone) had a very weird, bathtub-shape field and was home to the Yankees, Mets, and Giants at different points, as well as the host for some All-Star Games.
What are some of your favorite “sports books” for kids? (1)
It’s hard to go wrong with Honus and Me by Dan Gutman, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson (love, love, love the illustrations), or Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger for older kids.
Bonus Question: Do you think Pete Rose should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame? (2)
Probably. When you dig into backgrounds and foibles of some of the people who’ve been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, it’s not unreasonable to reconsider Pete Rose’s eligibility.
Now it’s time to giveaway some books!
Mr. Kelly is giving away an assortment of signed, library bound (ie: hardcover) editions of the Ballpark Mysteries books. Winners will receive at least one (and possibly more) books. He will also be giving away signed Ballpark Mysteries artwork-the covers of the two most recent books (#10/#11), printed in archival format and signed by both the illustrator and David.
If you are interested in entering the giveaway just fill out the form below. We’ll use Random.org to select winners.
Giveaway closes 11:59 ET on May 31, and you must be at least 13 to enter.