To a growing boy, life without base-ball would be unimaginable, es-pecially in the spring of 1947. History is being made at Ebbets Field. Jackie Robinson is about to break the color line and Brooklyn has a shot at the pennant. In the Bronx, eight-year-old Ben-jamin Peewee Brunig dreams of making the major leagues as the next Dodger shortstop; the heir apparent to Pee Wee Reese. But even as he fan-tasizes about the future, the people around him-his mother, his rabbi father, his grandmother, even the neighborhood Rag Lady-are tor-mented by the present and the past. Only a family crisis could distract Peewee from his baseball passion. When his infant cousin is kidnaped, Peewee summons all the courage befitting a future Dodger shortstop and embarks on a search-and-rescue mission for the stolen baby. What Peewee discovers on the streets of New York is just the begin-ning in a series of shocking revela-tions that come to light about his family. A boy's loss of incence is at the heart of Robert Mayer's richly woven narrative about the secrets and sorrows of a Jewish immigrant family and of a youngster who finds in America's greatest sport the courage and grace with which to face real life.