Authors: Michael Chabon
Copyright © 2002 by Michael Chabon
All rights reserved. Published by Disney • Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. For information address Disney • Hyperion Books, 114 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10011-5690.
Map and interior illustrations by Brandon Oldenburg
Lyrics from "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" by Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer,
Paul Leka © 1969 (Renewed) Unichappell Music, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by
permission. Warner Bros. Publications U.S. Inc., Miami, FL 33014
To Sophie, Zeke, and Ida-Rose
, "I hate baseball."
He said it as he followed his father out of the house, in his uniform and spikes. His jersey read
in curvy red script. On the back it said
RUTH'S FLUFF 'N' FOLD
"I hate it," he said again, knowing it was cruel. His father was a great lover of baseball.
But Mr. Feld didn't say anything in reply. He just locked the door, tried the knob, and then put his arm around Ethan's shoulders. They walked down the muddy path to the driveway and got into Mr. Feld's Saab station wagon. The car's name was Skidbladnir, but usually they just called her Skid. She was oranger than anything else within a five-hundred-mile radius of Clam Island, including traffic cones, U-Haul trailers, and a fair number of actual oranges. She was so old that, as she went along, she made squeaking and rattling noises that sounded more like the sounds of a horse buggy than of an automobile. Her gauges and knobs were all labeled in Swedish, which was not a language that either Mr. Feld or Ethan, or for that matter anyone in Ethan's family going back twenty generations on both sides, could speak. They rolled, squeaking and rattling, down from the little pink house where they lived, atop a small barren hill at the center of the island, and headed west, toward Summerland.
errors in the last game," Ethan reminded his father, as they drove to pick up Jennifer T. Rideout, the Roosters' first baseman, who had called to say that she needed a ride. Ethan figured that his father was probably
going to let him out of playing in today's game against the Shopway Angels; but you never knew. Ethan felt that he could make a pretty good case for his staying home, and Mr. Feld was always willing to listen to a good argument, backed up with sound evidence. "Danny Desjardins said that I directly caused four runs to score."
"Plenty of good ballplayers have made three errors in a game," Mr. Feld said, turning onto the Clam Island Highway, which ran from one end of the island to the other, and was not, as far as Ethan was concerned, a highway at all. It was an ordinary two-lane road, lumpy and devoid of cars like every other road on the lumpy, empty little island. "It happens all the time."