Center Field

Center Field

by Robert Lipsyte


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Mike has his junior year well under control. He's got a solid group of friends. He's dating Lori, one of the hottest girls in school. And Coach Cody has all but given him the starting spot as the Ridgedale Rangers' varsity center fielder. And then Oscar Ramirez shows up. Oscar is an amazing ballplayer, as talented at the plate as he is in center field, and it's not long before Mike loses control. He's on the bench, he's getting into fights, and he finds himself in weekend detention with Katherine Herold, the most mysterious, abrasive, alluring girl in school. Mike is lost, confused, and looking to Coach Cody to help him get back on track. But the coach has his own set of rules for Mike to play by, and the decisions Mike makes are going to impact more than just the starting lineup.

Robert Lipsyte, one of the most celebrated writers in young adult literature, has crafted a subtly intense tale of adolescent struggle, a sports story about much more than sports—one that shows us how the moves one makes off the field matter even more than the moves one has on it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060557041
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/23/2010
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 778,139
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Robert Lipsyte was an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times and the Emmy-winning host of the nightly public affairs show The Eleventh Hour. He is the author of twelve acclaimed novels for young adults and is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his lifetime contribution in that genre. He lives in Manhattan and on Shelter Island, New York, with his wife, Lois, and his dog, Milo.

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Center Field 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Justin0015 More than 1 year ago
I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars. When reading the story some parts were slow, but as the book went on the book picked up the pace and was very enjoyable. In the middle of the book some parts didn't make sense to me, but after getting past this the book kept my interest and I could not put it down. The plot of this story is about a boy that plays on the high school and Mike thinks that the coach is trying to sabotage him. A new ball player, Osacar Ramirez, is showing up Mike on the field and Mike is questioning himself the whole baseball season. Mike believes Oscar is to old to be playing for the high school baseball. I would recommend this book to anyone who is into mysteries or sports books. This book could interest anybody and will keep them interested the whole time throughout.
mckall08 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A high school baseball player is torn by hero worship of a Yankee star, a scheming coach, a possibly illegal alien teammate, good pals, bad pals, along with working parents and a girl from the "nerds" he likes.The plot twists are predictable and the ending is a little to happy for my sense of reality. The strength of the novel is how well it shows competing and interlating that affect all teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book for ages 12 to 15
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Mike Semak's dream is to play center field. His idol is Yankee centerfielder Billy Budd. He lives and breathes any advice he can find from the great Billy Budd. Mike's focus is directed at playing his best, which means clearing his mind of anything that is not baseball. He tries to steer clear of too-serious relationships with girls. He avoids involvement in his parents' latest project - opening a new floor covering store - and he pushes the problems of his sister, a single young mother living in New York, and his older brother, a championship cello player, to the back of his mind. Unfortunately, Mike comes up against several distractions that may threaten the intense focus on his goal. One obstacle standing in his way is a new player named Oscar. He is a new kid from the Dominican Republic who shows up and looks to be a challenge for the center field position. Coach Cody lets them both know they will have to prove themselves to earn the position. All the pressure Mike is feeling about baseball comes to a head in a silly incident with a notorious school geek named Zack. In a moment of lost control, Mike shoves Zack and ends up regretting it when, as punishment, he finds himself helping the Cyber Club provide Saturday computer instruction at the local senior center. Having the little computer nerd boss him around is almost more than he can take. The only highlight about the community service becomes another distraction for Mike's center field dreams - Katherine Herold. Kat is a track athlete with an interest in photography and filming. Her membership in the Cyber Club surprises Mike, but he's glad to have a chance to get to know her. As people notice them together, word gets back to his cheerleader girlfriend, but Mike never thought of their relationship as particularly exclusive and his fascination with Kat seems worth the price he might pay with Lori. Complicating matters even further is Coach Cody. Mike has always looked up to Coach, so when the man approaches Mike with a request, it is natural that Mike wants to help. Cody wants Mike to infiltrate the Cyber Club in an effort to bust them for hacking into the school computer system. Problems arise when Mike begins to suspect that Coach is using him in exchange for the center field position. Even more suspicious is the fact that as Mike begins to become friends with Zack, he learns that Coach Cody might not be exactly who he says he is. Robert Lipsyte has filled CENTER FIELD with more than just baseball action. Mike's performance on the field is illustrated in excellent play-by-play narrative, but there is much more to this novel. There is intrigue as Coach Cody uses Mike to investigate the possible computer hackers, and additional suspense comes from new member of the team, Oscar, as well as the not-so-perfect Kat and her intoxicating power over Mike. CENTER FIELD has a little something for everyone. Readers who are not sports enthusiasts should not shy away from the title or cover art. It is definitely an entertaining read.