Guide to Juvenile Baseball Books: R
- Rallison, Janette. Playing the Field. New York: Walker, 2002. Best-friend infielders set their caps for girls who can help them with algebra.
Mild preteen romance with a baseball setting.
- Regli, Adolph. "One for the Team." (1950). Repr. Thomas. Moony outfielder muffs big play while thinking about horses, but recovers to pitch his team to a big victory in the next game.
- Regli, Adolph. "Southpaw Switch." (1950). Repr. Thomas. College pitcher injures throwing arm in an accident, but tells his coach "I've still got another arm."
- Renick, Marion. The Heart for Baseball. Illustrated by Paul Galdone. New York: Scribner's, 1953. Sons of factory hands form a team to knock off the sons of the toffs.
In a proto-eo-feminist subplot, the best pitcher for our heroes is a girl; banned by league rules, she at least becomes a sportswriter.
- Rey, Margret, and Alan J. Shalleck. Curious George Plays Baseball. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. Left alone in the stands by the ever-negligent Man in the Yellow Hat, the naughty little monkey interrupts a ball game, but then heroically uses his climbing and catching skills to save fans from perilous foul line drives.
- Rice, David. "Tomboy Forgiveness." In Mercado. Adult-league softball rivals, best friends forever, face a possible falling out when one of them becomes involved with the other's ex-husband.
Told from the perspective of one of the player's daughters, this story skirts sentimentality but does an interesting job portraying children who are trying to come to terms with their elders' humanity.
- Ritter, John H. "Baseball Crazy." In Mercado. The narrator remembers a youth-league teammate whose trickster personality impressed his friends both on and off the field.
Concludes with a game story where the trickster turns the tables neatly on a somewhat dishonest rival coach.
- Ritter, John H. The Boy Who Saved Baseball. New York: Philomel, 2003. In rural eastern San Diego County, a storied small-town ballfield will be sacrificed to developers unless a town team can beat the invaders in a Big Game.
Crisp local-color details and a weird cyber-sidebar join some stock elements (the contest for the soul of the community, various mysterious-stranger motifs). Another distinctive novel from a developing master of YA baseball fiction.
- Ritter, John H. Choosing Up Sides. New York: Philomel, 1998. A preacher's kid in 1920s Ohio faces his father's wrath when he starts pitching baseball – and with his Satanic left hand at that!
Sharp portrayal here of emotional dynamics within a family.
- Ritter, John H. Over the Wall. New York: Philomel, 2000. A youth-league ballplayer copes with a dysfunctional family, his tendency to lose his temper on the ballfield, and the legacy of the Vietnam War.
Few Young Adult novels work with the larger symbolic resonances of conflict, memory, and patriotism that are suggested by baseball. Fewer still make their protagonist a conceptual artist with a flair for the political. This is a genuinely original novel.
- Roberts, Kristi. My 13th Season. New York: Holt, 2005. Fran Culler, new in town, feuds with the members of the all-male baseball team she's landed on.
An attempt at transcending the usual gender conventions of the Young Adult sport story, but the baseball details are weak.
- Robinson, Sharon. Safe at Home. New York: Scholastic, 2006. Basketball player from the suburbs learns baseball and teamwork on the playing fields of Harlem.
Standard juvenile theme, associated here with the Harlem RBI program.
- Rodriguez, Alex. Out of the Ballpark. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. Shortstop doesn't always come through, but his team focusses on his goals and he eventually becomes the hero of the Big Game.
Picture book that reads like a wish-fulfillment scenario for the New York Yankees of the mid-2000s.