Disney Book Group announced today its plans for a middle-grade baseball series written by Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. and Kevin Cowherd of The Baltimore Sun. The series will feature characters from a Babe Ruth League team named the Orioles, Disney said in a news release.
"Hothead," the first book in the series, is scheduled for an early 2011 release. It features tempermental third baseman Connor Sullivan, who was inspired by Cal's experience as a young player, Disney said. Additional books will follow every year.
Ripken said in the release, "Connor is a character that I was able to help develop with Kevin based on my experiences as a kid who struggled with his emotions. I hope that the kids reading it find it to be fun and take away a few lessons from it."
Here's how the book is described on its Amazon page: Connor Sullivan is an All-Star third baseman on his Babe Ruth League team, the Orioles. He can hit and field with the best of them, but he's got one big problem: his temper. When he strikes out or makes an error, he's a walking Mt. Vesuvius, slamming batting helmets and throwing gloves. His teammates are starting to avoid him, even his best friend Jason. His coach is ready to kick him off the team.
To make matters worse, things aren't much better at home. His dad is having trouble finding a new job after being laid off. Money is tight. Connor's dream of attending the prestigious Brooks Robinson Baseball Camp this summer seems like just that now - a dream.
When the sports editor of the school paper threatens to do a big story on his tantrums - complete with embarassing photos - Connor realizes he has to clean up his act. But can he do it in time to regain his teammates' trust and help the Orioles win the championship against the best team in the league?