The Story behind the Story
and Parent Resources
Cruz de la Cruz Saga
The Desperado Who Stole Baseball
- A 2009 Junior Library Guild Selection for school and public librarians.
- A 2010 Booklist "Top 10 Sports Books for Youth" selection.
- "Fans of John H. Ritter's The Boy Who Saved Baseball have been waiting for this one… The field is set, the teams are aligned, but nothing is really as it seems… Ritter's use of vibrant imagery and musical phrases places this adventure right square in the annals of the oral Western tall tale—you'll want to read this one aloud, more than once." —Children's Literature Review
- "No one writes baseball books better than John H. Ritter… Part tall tale, part historical fiction and completely enjoyable—think Mark Twain describing a showdown on a baseball diamond in a Wild West town—The Desperado Who Stole Baseball is a fast-paced story starring young Jack Dillon and his new companion, Billy the Kid. Yes, that Billy the Kid, 'wanted, dead or alive.' …enormously satisfying." —Debbie Duncan, Palo Alto Weekly
- "[A] wildly entertaining yarn... The story lopes along on the strength of its delightful and articulately brusque dialogue and Jack's far-fetched innovations (his 'convolutionary secrets' include the hit-and-run and suicide squeeze plays)… A good child's-eye introduction to baseball's segregated past." —Booklist
- "The Desperado Who Stole Baseball has it all—rich baseball lore, a rollicking Western adventure, and storytelling gold. A terrific book." —Mike Lupica, author of Heat and The Big Field
- "Ritter writes in an idiom-laden, mock-epic style full of bombast and bravado. When he earns a chance to play on his uncle's team, Jack exults in 'standing amongst the tobacco-chewing, whisker-chin-drooling, cuss-word-spewing brigade.' Reminiscent of the works of Sid Fleischman, this tall-tale page-turner stands alone..." —School Library Journal
- "Fans of baseball will chortle all the way through every impossible moment." —Kirkus Reviews
- "This has all the charm of a well-spun tall tale laced with plenty of Twainian malarkey…" —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books