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My mom is always telling me that you can’t know if your dreams are out of reach until you actually reach for them,Brian. The Batboy

The Batboy

by Mike Lupica
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Brian is living every baseball kid’s dream: he is a batboy for his hometown Major League team. Brian believes this job is the perfect thing to bring him and his big-leaguer dad closer together. And if that wasn’t enough, this is also the season that Hank Bishop, Brian’s baseball hero, returns to the Tigers for the comeback of a lifetime. The summer couldn’t get much better! But then Hank Bishop starts to show his true colors, and Brian learns sometimes life throws you a curveball. 

While The Batboy revolves around the game of baseball, it also hits on the topic of having an absent father. Brian misses his father, who is in Japan coaching pitchers. Even though both Brian and his father love baseball, their love of the game isn’t enough to create a close relationship. Brian longs for his father’s love and attention; however, Brian eventually realizes that his father isn’t capable of being a present father. This painful realization allows the reader to understand why Brian is so determined to cheer for his hero, Hank, despite Hank’s bad temper and poor performance.  

Brian is a unique protagonist because, unlike many baseball players, he doesn’t dream of making it to the big leagues. Brian is realistic about his baseball talent. Even though Brian knows he’s not big-league material, this doesn’t stop him from doing his best on and off the field. Brian’s enthusiasm for baseball shines through in every baseball scene and makes him a compelling narrator. Yet it is Brian’s hard work, determination, and unwavering support of Hank that make him truly likable.  

The Batboy jumps back and forth between the Tiger’s baseball games and Brian’s little league games, giving the book many play-by-play baseball scenes. In addition, Brian’s job as a batboy gives him and the reader an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes in professional baseball. Occasionally Brian’s home life makes an appearance, but baseball dominates the book, which makes it a perfect read for baseball fans. While Brian is a well-developed character readers will connect to, The Batboy is first and foremost a baseball book that will appeal to readers who already have a basic understanding of the game. Readers who love baseball will find The Batboy an entertaining book that leaves them cheering for Brian both on and off the field. 

Sexual Content 

  • None 


  • None 

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • The use of steroids among baseball players and the “steroid era” is occasionally mentioned.  
  • Brian’s hero, Hank Bishop, was suspended from sports for using steroids. “In the minds of baseball fans, Hank Bishop had committed the two worst possible sins: Not only did he use steroids, he’d gotten caught using them.” 
  • One of Brian’s jobs is to make really “high-test coffee” before the game. “Brian knew enough about major league baseball to know the deal, had read up on how players dealt with the long season. Many of them used to use amphetamines before amphetamines became a banned substance in baseball. . . Brian knew high-test coffee was a kind of substitute now. . .” 
  • Willie, a professional baseball player, says he never tried steroids. Willie says, “I had a big brother got his life all messed up on other kinds of drugs, the worst kind, when I was little. Ended up in jail, even though where they should have sent him was to one of those rehab hospitals. Lordy, when I was growing up, my momma made me more afraid of drugs than the devil.”  
  • When Hank is invited to dinner at Brian’s house, he shows up with a bottle of wine. 


  • Hank calls Brian an idiot several times. 
  • After Brian made a mistake, he “felt like a jerk.” 
  • Brian calls his friend a freak.  
  • Heck is used once.


  • None

Spiritual Content 

  • None 
Other books by Mike Lupica
Other books you may enjoy

My mom is always telling me that you can’t know if your dreams are out of reach until you actually reach for them,Brian. The Batboy

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