Buy This Book Buy This Series
Other books by Dan Gutman
Other books you may enjoy

A man can’t solve no problem by runnin’ away from it,” Shoeless Joe. Shoeless Joe & Me

Shoeless Joe & Me

Baseball Card Adventures

by Dan Gutman
AR Test

At A Glance
Interest Level

Reading Level
Number of Pages

When Joe Stoshack (“Stosh”) hears about Shoeless Joe Jackson — and the gambling scandal that destroyed the star player’s career — he knows what he has to do. If he travels back in time with a 1919 baseball card in his hand, he just might be able to prevent the infamous Black Sox Scandal from ever taking place. And if he could do that, Shoeless Joe Jackson would finally take his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

But can Stosh prevent that tempting envelope full of money from making its way to Shoeless Joe’s hotel room before the big game? 

Shoeless Joe & Me describes historical baseball events in an interesting story that baseball fans will love. Readers will not only learn about Shoeless Joe and the Red Sox scandal of 1919, but they will also get a glimpse of Shoeless Joe’s everyday life. Shoeless Joe hated that people believed he was stupid because he couldn’t read or write; however, this didn’t stop Shoeless Joe from living his baseball dream. Even though Shoeless Joe’s dream came to an end when he was banned from baseball because of his part in the scandal, Shoeless Joe & Me presents evidence that proves that Shoeless Joe was not part of the gambling scheme. In addition, the back of the book encourages readers to write letters asking that Shoeless Joe be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

The story is told from Stosh’s point of view. Many readers will relate to Stosh, who loves baseball and travels back in time to help a friend. While in the past, his behavior is not always likable. Stosh is impulsive and doesn’t think about his words or actions. Plus, he’s not always respectful of others. Despite this, Stosh’s motivation for traveling to 1919 is honorable – he’s hoping to save Shoeless Joe from being banned from baseball. 

One negative aspect of the book is that Stosh and some of the adults show unsportsmanlike behavior. Stosh yells at an umpire for making a bad call. In addition, when one of his teammates misses catching a ball, Stosh yells, “C’mon, Barton! What do you think you’ve got a glove for?” After a game, the losing team’s “players and parents were all over Mr. Kane [the umpire], screaming at him, cursing him out, threatening him, and telling him that he was blind as a bat.” 

Scattered throughout the book are historical news clippings and pictures, such as an advertisement that Shoeless Joe posed for. Not all of the pictures are historical, but the back of the book explains which photographs aren’t the actual people described in the book. In addition, the back of the book includes other facts and myths regarding Shoeless Joe. 

Baseball fans and history fans alike will enjoy Shoeless Joe & Me because the story gives a new perspective of the Red Sox scandal. Many people know about the Red Sox scandal but Shoeless Joe & Me focuses on one player’s version of the events which allows readers to understand how the gamblers impacted everyone—players, coaches, and fans. For more engaging baseball stories that will be a hit with readers, check out The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz, Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse by David A. Kelly, and Out Of Left Field by Ellen Klages. 

Sexual Content 

  • When Stosh is stuck in a closet, he unscrews the backing and enters another hotel room. “A woman, about twenty-five, was standing in front of me. She was totally naked.” When she screamed, a man appeared and “waved the bat around menacingly.” The man yells, “Just say the word, Katie, and Ah’ll split his head like a melon!” Stosh ends up befriending the man and woman. 


  • When a group of gamblers discover Stosh spying on them, two men grab him. After they interrogate Stosh, the thugs take him to a hotel and lock him in a closet. 
  • A teammate, Chick Gandil, tries to convince Shoeless Joe to purposely lose the World Series. “Joe took a swing at Chick with Black Betsy [Joe’s bat]. Gandil bailed out like it was a high, inside fastball. The bat missed his head by less than an inch.” Chick throws money on the bed and leaves. 
  • When Eddie Cicotte pitches badly, he is taken out of the game. “The Cincinnati fans hooted and threw fruit at him.”  
  • After losing the first World Series game, Gleason (another player) and Gandil were laughing. “Even though Gandil was about six inches taller and fifty pounds heavier, Gleason suddenly leaped toward the first baseman and wrapped his hands around his throat.” The two are broken apart, but then “Ray Schalk, the catcher, attacked Eddie Cicotte and had to be pulled off him.”  
  • While leaving the World Series, two men grab Stosh. “Another guy grabbed my arms and twisted them behind my back. It hurt, and I was scared.” The men drag Stosh to a billiard parlor where he meets two thugs, Abe and Billy, and their boss, gambler Rothstein. 
  • Stosh is pushed onto a chair by the thugs. Abe and Billy “wrapped the rope around me again and again until I was just about covered to my chest, arms, and legs. Then they pulled tight and knotted it in several places.” Stosh is interrogated. “Billy pulled a revolver out of his belt and started sliding bullets into it.” Stosh jumps back to his current time period before he can be shot. The scene is described over five pages.  

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • When explaining the Red Sox scandal, Stosh’s mom says, “But gambling is like cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. It can be addictive. Some people – like your father — start doing it and they can’t stop.”  
  • Several times, adults smoke cigars and cigarettes.  
  • When Stosh goes back in time, he appears in a basement. When he peeks through a hole in the wall, he sees three men counting cash. Stosh thinks, “I didn’t think these guys were drug dealers. I wasn’t even sure if there were drugs in 1919. They must be crooks. . .” 
  • When Stosh goes to the World Series, “near the ticket booths, six men wearing army uniforms were standing in a group, drinking whiskey. . . Everyone, it seemed, was holding a bottle in their hand. A lot of them looked like they were already drunk.”  
  • Wilber, a thirteen-year-old boy, smokes cigarettes.  
  • After getting sick, Stosh takes Tamiflu. While in the past, he gave Tamiflu to a boy, which saved the boy’s life. 


  • When Stosh dresses in 1919 clothes, he protests because “I’ll look like a doofus.” 
  • Heck is used several times. 


  • Stosh holds a baseball card and thinks about going into the past. “It wasn’t long until I began to feel the tingling sensation in my finger. . . I closed my eyes and thought about Cincinnati in early October 1919. . . The tingling moved from my fingertips to my hands and then up my arms. . . And then, like a movie screen fading into white, I felt my body slipping away.” 
Other books by Dan Gutman
Other books you may enjoy

A man can’t solve no problem by runnin’ away from it,” Shoeless Joe. Shoeless Joe & Me

Latest Reviews