Doubleday, May 2002, 23.95, 260 pp.
Thanks to the owner investing everything on one superstar, the Des Moines Majestyks are heading for the cellar because the rest of the team stinks. However, that changes when recent high school grad and future MIT student, skinny Marvin Kowalski joins the team. Marvin does not even know the basic rules of baseball, but he has eyesight at the plate keener than Ted Williams and has an uncanny ability to foul off strikes. Besides drawing walks, Marvin tires out opposing pitchers who throw a lot of pitches when he bats.
Kowalski joins the losers and soon a miracle occurs as he turns the mousy Majestyks into the might Majestyks. Each win is one game closer to making the World Series even though Kowalski prepares to jump ship for MIT.
THE KID WHO BATTED 1.000 is a fun to read baseball story that never takes itself seriously as it combines a typical sports tale with real anecdotes from the game. Because the game is the prime character, the players including Kowalski never fully develop as much as baseball seems to take a life of its own in a Ken Burns way. Kowalski giving up his salary to attend college would have seemed like a fictional stretch until football safety Pat Tillman recently left his NFL career to join the US Army. Troon McCallister provides an amusing book perhaps not for the die-hard fantasy baseball player, but for those casual fans who enjoy the seventh inning stretch.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner