If you’re a male who grew up in America, chances are you used to read Matt Christopher books. Most of the books had more or less the same premise: Something unusual or supernatural happens to a kid where he’s suddenly freakishly good at baseball or football, but once he finally gets his team to the big game, his talent disappears and he must look inside his heart to win the championship. Warm fuzzies for all.
More than a hundred of the books were published over the years, but a handful of them never actually made it to bookshelves. JukeLeft’s investigative team was able to obtain some of these lesser-known titles, and we found they weren’t exactly as heartwarming as we expected.
“Hardwood Hero” is about 11-year-old Alfie Moreno, a promising young wheelchair basketball player who can take any player in his school one-on-one, even if they have full use of their legs. This makes the other kids jealous, so they challenge him to a tournament, where they cheat at every possible chance in hopes of putting Alfie in his place. Alfie courageously makes it all the way to the final match of the tournament, but there he faces the one opponent he cannot beat: a staircase. Alfie loses the tournament, and then he gets sent to jail because one of the kids planted drugs in his backpack.
“The Kid Who Would Always Leave Soccer Practice Early So He Could Go Home and Masturbate Before His Mom Got Back from Work”
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Not very rich in subtext.
“Fire on the Base Paths”
“Fire on the Base Paths” tells the story of 8-year-old Kevin Satterlee, who would be an incredible baseball player if only he could run the bases a little better. One day, while standing in the batter’s box, Kevin is suddenly struck by a bolt of lightning. He feels a strange, inexplicable tingling in his legs, and he realizes that somehow the lightning has given him super speed. Truth is, though, that he doesn’t have super speed at all. His legs are just on fire. He just doesn’t realize it because of all the nerve damage.
“Come Sit on Uncle Jerry’s Lap”
This one’s about Jerry Sandusky. We tried to make it past the first page, but we kept throwing up.
“The Kid Who Accidentally Diarrhea’d a Little in His Baseball Pants and Thought that His Teammates Wouldn’t Notice but Ended Up Being Totally Wrong”
He did make a pretty sweet diving catch, though.
This one’s about a shortstop with a harelip. Everyone’s always very respectful to him and he’s actually pretty decent at baseball, but the book’s mostly just a bunch of different descriptions of how his harelip looks under various types of lighting. There’s an audiobook version of this one, too, for some reason.
“Harry Potter but with Sports”
…Matt Christopher got a little lazy on this one.
“The Boy Who Kicked Ass Thanks to PEDs”
This story revolves around 10-year-old George Hemmerling, who decides to pump his body full of lean mass builders and blood boosters in hopes of making it on the travel baseball team. George packs 40 pounds of rippling muscle onto his tiny frame in less than a month and easily makes the travel team, and though his teammates soon catch onto his drug habit, no one tells on him because they’re afraid of how strong he is. Still, George becomes paranoid that his teammates will reveal his secret, so he beats one of them into a coma as an example to the others. When their coach finds out, George beats the coach into a coma, too, just to be safe. At one point, George comes close to learning a lesson, but he’s too busy hitting dingers and tongue-kissing 6th-graders to let it sink in. In the end, George never faces any consequences and he wins the MVP award.
“The Catcher Who Was Made of Bees”
It’s about a 12-year-old catcher. His body is made of bees.