The Topps League Series
These fun, illustrated early chapter books feature the adventures—and misadventures—of the Pine City Porcupines, a hapless baseball farm team, and their two batboys: Chad, an avid baseball fan with a huge baseball card collection, and Dylan, who doesn’t know a thing about the sport. The fictional series has a unique twist: Chad solves problems by using information from Topps cards of real figures from modern baseball history. Each book includes four collectible cards featuring characters from the series.
Jinxed! (Topps League Book 1)
It’s Chad’s first spring as a batboy, and the Pine City Porcupines are hot—until they come up against the league-leading Heron Lake Humdingers. Now Chad’s got a whole lineup of problems: his favorite player, shortstop Mike Stammer, thinks he’s jinxed; Dylan, the other batboy, doesn’t even like baseball; there’s a goofy new porcupine mascot on the field; plus, Chad has to fill in as batboy for the Herons. It’s a good thing there’s something in the cards—his baseball cards, that is—that can help Chad sort it all out.
Steal That Base! (Topps League Book 2)
Chad’s got the summertime blues: his parents want him to be home by midnight (no extra innings) and eat healthier (no corn dogs). His friend, Abby, has bobblehead issues. And then there’s pinch hitter Sammy Solaris. But Sammy has problems of his own. He has a big swing but is too slow. If he can’t speed up his running and stealing, he’ll be off the team. There’s got to be something Chad can do to save the day . . . with a little help from Dylan, a baseball card, and that porcupine!
Zip It! (Topps League Book 3)
Pine City Porcupines batboy Chad breaks an important unofficial rule of baseball: Don’t talk to the starting pitcher when he’s got a perfect game going, where not a single opponent has reached base. Now, because Chad opened his mouth, the entire Pines dugout is upset, and the team may lose to the second-to-last-place West Valley Varmints. Chad has to consult his baseball card collection to figure out how to help his beloved Pines pull off the perfect game.
The 823rd Hit (Topps League Book 5)
Teddy “Bear” Larrabee, a slugger on the Pine City Porcupines, gets his 823rd base hit on his birthday, August 23—and it’s a home run! The Bear is a big believer in the power of numbers, so he asks Pines batboy Chad to retrieve the ball from the stands. There’s only one problem: the crabby fan in the ballpark who caught it. Chad really wants to keep the Bear happy and slugging, so he’s just got to figure out what the fan would be willing to trade for that 823 ball.
You’re Out! (Topps League Book 5)
Umpire Solomon Johnson is squeezing the strike zone and throws out both the Pine City Porcupines starting pitcher and manager “Grumps” Humphrey for arguing the call. Chad tries to make peace by giving Solomon a rarely issued “umpire card”—but the ump blows his top. He thinks Chad is making fun of his weight. It’s going to be a long nine innings!
Batter Up! (Topps League Book 6)
Diego Prado has spent most of his time on the Pines’ bench. But when Danny O’Brien goes on the disabled list, Diego gets a chance to play—and he’s on a winning streak! Danny wants one of Chad’s “magic” baseball cards to get back in the game. Diego wants to keep playing. What’s a batboy to do?