Cody Parker may be overweight (he prefers the word burly), but he plays third base like a dream. Too bad no one knows it yet, because he’s new to Baltimore, where he’s a target—okay, a big target—for brutal teasing. Even worse, he’s competing for the starting job on the Orioles of the Dulaney Babe Ruth League against budding hoodlum.

Dante Rizzo, who vows to squeeze Cody’s head like a grape if Cody beats him out. Life gets even more complicated when York Middle School is beset by a rash of mysterious thefts, a crime wave that threatens to sideline Cody—and ruin a golden season for the Orioles. Will Cody ever succeed in getting people to see him for who he really is?
 
“Ripkin and Cowherd have created a definite winner for anyone with the slightest interest in baseball, sports in general, those adjusting to a new city or school, being overweight in middle school, or just wanting to be entertained by a good story.”—School Library Journal, starred review
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