Aw, this book kind of makes me sad because it's the newest BSC book that I have left to recap, except for maybe one or two of the FF books.
Watson signed him and Kristy up for Dream Camp, a baseball camp hosted by Bill Bain, who is an old school player that he just loves. Kristy is pretty excited because it's spring and she can now play baseball all of the time. Her coach holds try-outs for the new team, and Kristy thinks that she has it in the bag. She shows up to practice, doesn't really make an effort, and acts condescending to those around her.
When the list comes out, she finds that she's now on the junior varsity team. The coach pulls her into her office and explains to her that she didn't show herself well on the field. She acted like a junior varsity player, and that's where she ended up. She says it wasn't fair to the other girls who did make an effort. She mopes around the house and worries about going to camp because she's only a second string player. Sigh.
All Watson wants to do is celebrate going to camp, but Kristy keeps pouting and feeling mopey. She meets this girl Vicky on the first day, who admits that she doesn't really love baseball and only came because her dad wanted her there. Bain makes one appearance before disappearing again. They end up on his team with a former pro player and a former woman's player named Gloria.
Kristy takes over a little bit because Matt, their other coach, doesn't seem to care. She also gives coaching tips to some of the other players, all while moping about her own skills. Bain never comes to any of their practices, but he does show up at dinner. Watson talks to him, and Bain completely ignores him before telling him that he doesn't like to be disrupted during meals. Gloria feels bad, but not as bad as Watson. He suddenly doesn't find baseball that interesting anymore and doesn't make much of an effort.
Bain finally does come to a practice session, and he proceeds to rip apart the other coaches. Kristy goes off on him, reminding him that people came here because of him and that he's basically a horrible person. He turns red in the face and storms off, while everyone else bows down to the great and powerful Kristy. He comes to dinner that night, apologizes for his actions, and promises to do better.
This all leads up to one big game at the end of camp. Kristy hits a home run (of course), and Watson makes it across home plate too, where Bain gives him a high five. Vicky asks Kristy for help talking to her dad. She tells him that she doesn't want to play baseball anymore and that he doesn't need to brag about all of her accomplishments and he agrees.
Bain and Watson chat at dinner that night, and he gives Watson a photo of him and Joe DiMaggio, which the player signed. He signs it and tells him that Kristy is a good player. They give out a bunch of awards, and since this is a BSC book, a member has to get one. They give Kristy a brand new award for Best Coach for all of the help that she gave them. She finally admits to Gloria that she isn't on the varsity team, and the woman basically tells her that it doesn't matter. Kristy also realizes that it's okay to think about her real dad when she thinks about baseball because now she will think about Watson too.
David Michael suddenly has an interest in collecting baseball cards. A bunch of other kids do too, and they hold trade meetings at school on the playground. One of the kids, Barry, just wants the best cards so he keeps doing one-sided trades. David Michael gets a new fancy kit to organize his cards and keep track of them.
Barry suggests that they make a trade: 2 of his cards for one of David Micheal’s cards. He thinks it was a good deal until he gets home and finds that his card was way more valuable. He won't shut the hell up about it, so Abby comes up with a plan. She takes a shoebox of her own cards to the playground and shows them a rare card her dad gave her. Barry suggests and a trade and thinks she won't because the card is worth a lot of money. She explains that it means a lot to her because her dad gave it to her and he was his favorite players. All of the other kids suddenly decide that they want to trade for their favorite players and not because of value.
*How does the whole softball thing work? Is that for this year's team or for next year's team? Kristy already made the team for this year, but this is probably just another one of those crazy errors that you have when you are stuck in the same school year for decades.
*Abby keeps trying to cheer her up, so Kristy asks what she would do if she landed on the junior varsity team. Abby gets all shocked and stops talking. Really, this thought never crossed your mind?
*How big is this freaking school? It never really seemed that big to me, but it apparently has varsity and junior varsity soccer and softball teams for the girls alone. We didn't even have second string teams for most sports in my high school.
*This might sound a little mean, but could Gloria really coach? This book came out in the late 90s and she played during WWII. Maybe it's because my grandparents were less active, but this woman is out on the field, throwing and hitting all day long without any problems.
*Kristy is impressed because of their hotel room and the meals they get. Does she really have no idea how much money Watson paid for something like this?
*If Kristy really is a mediocre player, how could she hit a home run off a pitch thrown by an adult with probably way more experience?
*The BSC members act like it's such a huge and disappointing thing that some of the kids keep track of the value of their cards. Isn't the that the point of collecting? Most kids I knew who collected baseball cards always kept track of what they had and what the cards were worth.
*The whole B-plot seems like something they should have left alone anyway. Let the kids figure it out for themselves! David Michael would probably remember that trade forever and never made a bad one again. Now, who knows what cards he might give away.
*The food at Dream Camp is kind of insane though. Stake, grilled salmon, chocolate cake with raspberry sauce...
*Kristy orders chicken cordon bleu because she doesn't know what it is. I call bull shit! I'm almost sure that they had this on one of the flights to California, and I think they served it in the cafeteria too.
*They get a video that shows the highlights of their time at camp. Naturally, multiple people tell Kristy that they wish it included her telling off Bain.
*I know that the Kristy/Bain thing was important to the plot, but I didn't like it. Watson gives her a short lecture and then pretty much forgets about it. Even if an adult was wrong, my parents would have flipped out if I did this.