Baltimore Insider

Cal Ripken will help your kid fight bullies

Cal Ripken Jr.will not come to your kid's school and help him polish off a bully.

What exactly do you want for $16.99?


But with his latest children's book, the Hall of Famer hopes he can arm your kids, informationally, with what they need to handle bullies and some of the other down sides of growing up.

"Bullying is huge," Ripken told The Sun Monday evening. "Parents think it's just a phase, or life, or part of toughening up, but I want kids to know, 'You have options and the options are caring adults.'"


Released Tuesday, "Super-sized Slugger,” written with The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd, is the Hall of Famer’s second children’s novel.

The book is about a husky third-baseman named Cody Parker. Cody is new to Baltimore and because of his weight, becomes a target for teasing. Worse yet, he must compete for the job of team starter against one of the biggest bullies.

The second in a series that follows the various players of the Dulaney Babe Ruth League as they struggle on the field and off. The books, with their life lessons, call to mind Judy Blume’s coming-of-age tales — except less menstruation and girl fights, more spitting and boy fights.

Though it's not officially released until Tuesday, on Monday "Super-sized Slugger” was already Amazon's No. 8 selling children's book about baseball and one of the site's top-selling kids books about bullies.

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(It would probably be the site's No. 1 book about baseball AND bullying, if Amazon tracked that.)

Ripken’s seven books include the memoir, "The Only Way I Know," and a number of coaching and baseball books, such as "Coaching Youth Baseball the Ripken Way."

As for himself, Ripken said his own favorite book from childhood something called "Relief Pitcher." Assuming we're talking about the same book, "Relief Pitcher" came out in 1972, published by Scholastic -- a little tale of a boy and a ball.

While Ripken leaves the bulk of the writing to Cowherd, he said it was critical to him that the baseball parts read true. And he wanted the book's advice to come across the way his own father's used to, "the way dad used to talk baseball and life to us at the dining room table."


Their third collaboration is already mostly done, Ripken said.

Tuesday Ripken will sign books at the Bel Air Barnes & Noble at 5 p.m. Thursday he jets off to Houston, then it’s St. Louis before he’s back in this area for a signing at 3:30 p.m. Monday at Washington’s Politics & Prose.