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10-year-old boy interviews Derrick Barnes

Before -- my ten-year-old baseball fanatic and I had been excited to chat with Newbery and CSK Honor winner (for Crown) Derrick Barnes about his new book Who Got Game?: Baseball: Amazing But True Stories!, illustrated by John John Bajet, at Belmont Books. We had come up with some questions for the author -- which he graciously agreed to answer over email. See also Barnes's "Book That Changed My Life" article "Not-So-Simple Semple" from the May/June 2018 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Making a Difference. --Elissa Gershowitz

Josh: What's the most interesting fact you learned?

Derrick: The thing that fascinated me the most was how many baseball players voluntarily chose to leave behind the sport that they love in order to fight in WWII. 

Josh: Who is your favorite player?

Derrick: My favorite players of all time are Josh Gibson, a power hitter from the Negro Leagues; and a player from my hometown Royals, from the 1985 championship team, second baseman Frank White. Mr. White was a smooth ballplayer, intelligent and a real competitor.

Photo: Victoria Blackshear.

Josh: What is your favorite position?

Derrick: Pitcher is my favorite position by far. Everything begins and ends with the guy up on the mound. Plus...it has traditionally been the highest-paid position in all of sports. Wish I had an arm that could accurately hurl a ball one hundred miles per hour (I'd still be an author though!).

Josh: What is your all-time favorite game or play?

Derrick: My favorite all-time game was Game Five of the 2015 World Series. It was the bottom of the twelfth inning and right-handed pitcher Wade Davis shut out every batter that the NY Mets brought up to the plate. The Royals won the series 4-1 and ended a thirty-year championship drought. 

Josh's Random Bonus Question: Do you like cheese? If so, American, cheddar, or a different kind? 

Derrick: Pepper Jack and Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar.

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