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The Desperado Who Stole Baseball (Cruz de la Cruz #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  206 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Dillontown was built upon a gold mine. Yet for the villagers, life is about something even more valuable: baseball. Home to the Dillontown Nine, they would give anything to join the ranks of professional ballplayers?even their gold. Yet to make it, they will need to defeat the world champion Chicago White Stockings?and their crooked owner, willing to wager anything for the
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 5th 2009 by Philomel (first published 2009)
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Brody Ferko
Sep 02, 2016 Brody Ferko rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bobby Maddamma
Oct 02, 2014 Bobby Maddamma rated it it was amazing
The Desperado Who Stole Baseball is a fictional old west/sports novel written by John H. Ritter.
Summary: Twelve year old Jack Dillon, the self-proclaimed "world's greatest baseballist in the entire nation," befriends Billy the Kid on the trail to California. Ritter depicts the famous outlaw as a lightning-reflexed, misunderstood loner looking to retire in Dillontown, while Jack intends to join his uncle’s famous amateur baseball team. "The Dillontown Nine have challenged the mighty Chicago Whi
Eshan Patel
Nov 13, 2012 Eshan Patel rated it liked it
The desperado who stole baseball is a not as good of a book as I thought it was but I still decided to read it through and do a book report. I don't really recommend it and gets boring at times where the author loses me sometimes.

Moving on, The Desperado Who Stole Baseball was about where a band of Wild West rough and tumble fist fighters try to challenge the Chicago White Stockings (the best baseball team of all time) to a game. The author introduces the main character as a boy named Jack Dillo
Kay Mcgriff
Aug 04, 2012 Kay Mcgriff rated it really liked it
First there was The Boy Who Saved Baseball, where the future of an entire town depended on the outcome of a single baseball game. Now there is the history of that town, where a baseball game determined not only the future of the town, but the future of baseball itself in The Desperado Who Saved Baseball (Puffin Books 2009). John H. Ritter tells a story that is part tall tale, part historical fiction, and all baseball.

Two unlikely characters meet up in the desert heading to the Wild West gold-min
Karen Ball
Jun 05, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it
"In the very big inning...
The gruff and tumble founders of Dillontown, California, were a scrappy bunch. From fistfighting misfits and cattle rustlers to gold-digging drunkards and cardsharp hustlers. And that's just the women. The men were all that, plus they smelled bad."

It's 1881, and Jack Dillon, age 12 is determined to play baseball for his uncle, Long John Dillon and the Dillontown Nine... the best baseball team in the West. Long John has challenged the owner of the Chicago White Stocking
Melissa McCauley
Sep 07, 2016 Melissa McCauley rated it it was amazing
While Jack Dillon is traveling to Dillontown to play baseball, and to meet his long lost uncle who's the manager of Dillontown's famous team, he meets up with Bill Henry. As they're traveling they run into a bit of trouble but make it to Dillontown. In accidents they lose two star players on their team so they have to do tryouts. Jack meets his uncle and persuades he and Bill make the team not being expected. In a game with the World Champions, the Dillontown Nine could lose their town or win i ...more
Conner Stiles
Sep 22, 2014 Conner Stiles rated it it was ok
The book The desperado who stole Baseball By John H. Ritter,1881 Dillon town California was built on a gold mine there town is not a normal town their tradition is baseball. Everybody would do anything to play even give up their gold like Jack Dillon said to a player " if I was playing you would be dead" just because he took his spot.
but yet they have never won the championship. this book brings back the old west to life again.

Historical fiction with baseball, guns, outlaws, racial prejudice, gold mines, humor, and even a little romance. Who could ask for more than that?

Jack is an orphan on his way to CA to find his uncle who has struck it rich in the gold mines and has founded a baseball team. On his way through the desert, Jack meets up with none other than Billy the Kid. They finish the trip together in time for a big baseball tournament with huge stakes just about to start.

A little bit too much with the baseball f
Victor B.
Nov 12, 2014 Victor B. rated it liked it
Oh! This book taught me some baseball, while giving a great plot to the story. I don't know that much about baseball, but this book does. I didn't like baseball that much, but now it’s one of my favorite sports. The writing was very effective to the readers emotions. Some of the strengths of this book are it has a wonderful plot. The weaknesses are it doesn't get your attention until the end of the book. I would recommend this book to a classmate because they will want to read some of the author ...more
Kristin R
Feb 24, 2010 Kristin R rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv, fiction, baseball, audio
This book is different from any other baseball book that I've read. It is where baseball meets the Wild West. It was a bit slow to start, but very enjoyable for a true baseball lover. Billy the Kid is one of the main characters and takes in a young orphanded boy, Jack Dillon, who has hopes of playing in the big leagues in Dillontown, CA in 1881 for his uncle John Dillon. The ending is fit for a wild west showdown. This is the prequel to The Boy Who Saved Baseball. I listened to the audio version ...more
Dec 29, 2009 Camzcam rated it really liked it
Another book on the middle school reading list. Ritter is known for young adult sports novels. This is a perfect fit for my sports-obsessed 12-year-old. It's the story of a young boy who gets caught up with an outlaw on his way to an old West baseball showdown between a misfit team of miners and the World Champion White Stockings. The story is packed with real baseball history and humor. It's a homerun.
Jun 12, 2010 Katy rated it liked it
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I would have read it in one sitting. While the dialogue gave the characters a lot of flavor, I was frequently confused about who was talking and its implication. (I read this aloud with my family) The author gave my wee little brain more credit than I could muster. Overall not a bad book.
Feb 04, 2013 Matthew rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to realize why the title was called its name. Then, on the last page of the book, it says "To steal the game of baseball from a multitude of ballplayers. The ban on African Americans in Major League Baseball denied millions of men, women, and children the joy of baseball at its finest." I also like how it has several Spanish words.
Ben Cacka
Apr 29, 2013 Ben Cacka rated it really liked it
So billy the kid lives this double life so he rides down to dillontown to join the local baseball team. And the winner gets money and gold so he wants to get on the team so he can get money. But he has to evade the police but during the big game the police arrest billy the kid and the team has to defend him so they don't have to forfeit.
Sep 10, 2010 Marti rated it liked it
Ok, I must admit that I only got through one disc of this book on cd and didn't care for it. It's set in the wild west w/ Billy the Kid and a random 12 yr old baseball playing orphan and there are some guys who are up to no good and want to fix a baseball game...? Maybe a kid who is interested in baseball and/or the old west would be interested in this book but it just confused me. :p
Sara Drazkowski
interesting story that mixes the "wild west" with baseball. Popular figures, such as Billy the Kid, are used, as well as real baseball terms/things, such as the Chicago White Stockings. This story would appeal more to boys, and a knowledge of baseball would help the reader.
Jun 07, 2010 Owennlsn rated it it was amazing
Some people might not believe this, but when I was in fifth grade, my teacher was John H. Ritter's wife. He was writing this book while I was in fifth grade and he brought in pieces of it and we helped edit a bit.
Jan 26, 2013 Ann marked it as to-read
Top Ten Westerns for Youth (Boolist)
Tony Nieland
Nov 30, 2015 Tony Nieland rated it it was amazing
it was a good sports book and John H. Ritter writes good sports books
jack Dillon, unbeknowst to him, meets up with Billy the Kid on his way to Dillontown. His uncle has built the town's baseball team and is seeking national recognition for it.
Nov 02, 2010 Sheryl rated it it was amazing
Amazing read aloud for my baseball-loving son. Used several parts to showcase different writing crafts.
Kent Hemphill
Jun 03, 2015 Kent Hemphill rated it liked it
Baseball and the West, what's not to like.
Dec 27, 2008 Holly marked it as new-2009
Mar 5,2009
Kevin  Hemphill
Apr 12, 2013 Kevin Hemphill rated it liked it
It was a cute book!
Erik Johnson
Erik Johnson rated it liked it
Aug 27, 2013
Ramtheman rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2010
Luckyvalya rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2014
Joy rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2012
Robert Andrade
Robert Andrade rated it really liked it
May 17, 2011
Lolobull rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2016
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Novelist John H. Ritter (born October 31, 1951, in San Pedro, California) grew up in the summer-dry hills east of San Diego. "I grew up in a baseball family," says John. "But we were also a family of musicians and mathematicians, house painters and poets. My dad was a sports writer in Ashtabula, Ohio, who moved the family out west, just before I was born, to become Sports Editor for The San Diego ...more
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