Heroes A2Z
Real Heroes Read!

“Impossible!” Zoë grumbled, tossing up her arms in frustration. Strike ninety-nine! Who had ever heard of such a thing?

On the pitcher’s mound, Abigail frowned. “It’s not that bad,” she said. “Remember, practice makes perfect.”

Zoë scowled. Ninety-nine pitches had resulted in ninety-nine strikes. Not one hit. Just whiff, whiff, whiff! She was done practicing for the day.

To prove it, she raised her baseball bat in both hands and snapped it in half over her knee.

Crack!

“Whoa!” Andrew exclaimed. “Hit the brakes, Zoë. Don’t get so wound up.”

“Yeah,” Abigail agreed. “You’re still a superhero. No other baby can lift the Mackinac Bridge or pull Santa’s sleigh.”

They were right, of course, but Zoë didn’t want cheering up. She wanted to feel sorry for herself.

“Inconsolable,” she muttered, turning her back. She couldn’t use the Mackinac Bridge as a baseball bat. She had never hit a homerun on Christmas Eve.

“All aboard!” A sudden call from Manager Mom cut across the ball field. It was time to get on the bus. Andrew and Abigail celebrated by throwing their gloves into the air. “Comerica Park, here we come!”

The heroes were going to Detroit. Tomorrow they would play in the Little League championship game. The game would take place at Comerica Park, where the Detroit Tigers played. Their team, the Traverse City Salmon, would play against the Garden City Sprouts.

Make that two teams plus nine innings plus hundreds of fans. The sum? One winner and one loser.

Still, when Andrew saw the bus, he forgot all about baseball. The oversized wheels won his attention.

“I’ll drive!” he shouted, dashing up the bus’s steps.

Driver Dad stopped him at the top. “I’ll handle it,” he told his son. “Why don’t you sit in back with your teammates?”

He wanted Andrew to focus on the upcoming game. But mostly he wanted to keep the bus on the ground. Andrew had a habit of treating wheels like wings whenever he drove.

Andrew shrugged. No big deal. He was all about wheels. He knew he would get another chance to drive soon.

“Who wants to sing campfire songs?” he asked. Teammates high-fived him as he strolled to a seat in the back of the bus. Good thinking!

So for the new few hours, Andrew and his teammates sang songs. The ride from Traverse City to Detroit gave them plenty of time to sing all their favorites.

“Itsy!” Zoë suggested first. She loved the one about the spider that climbed up the water spout.

Next came Bingo, Old McDonald, and Do Your Ears Hang Low? But everyone’s ultimate favorite was Take Me Out to the Ballgame, a baseball classic.

The team sang until Driver Dad pulled into the hotel parking lot in Detroit. Then everyone got quiet. The big game wasn’t until tomorrow, but it seemed very close and real now.

“Hey, there’s J.J.!” Andrew shouted, breaking the silence. He pointed excitedly out the window.

Outside the hotel’s front door stood a boy. His name was Jacob, but most everyone called him J.J. He was the heroes’ cousin, and, like them, he was a superhero.

End of the preview.
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