"Is -- Reginald -- at -- it -- again?" Papa shouts between notes. "Hush up," Mama says, "I just love this one." Papa sometimes comes home in a bad mood because he's the manager of the Dukes -- the worst team in the Negro National League. Reginald loves his violin. His constant practice pays off in floods of beautiful music. But Papa could care less about Reginald's "fiddling." He's more concerned about the Dukes's losing streak, and he needs his son for something other than playing music. When Papa makes Reginald the Dukes's bat boy, Reginald worries that his practice time will suffer, and that he won't be ready for his recital. He takes on every free moment he can find to play, and ends up filling the dugout with Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. Soon the Dukes begin to shake their bad luck. But there's still that big game against the Monarchs, and there's still Papa's heart that needs winning over. In this beautifully told story of family ties and team spirit, Gavin Curtis captures a very special period in history. Award-winning artist E.B. Lewis brings the warmth of this powerful story to life with his lush watercolor paintings.
Reginald is more interested in practicing his violin than in his father's job managing the worst team in the Negro Leagues, but when Papa makes him the bat boy and his music begins to lead the team to victory, Papa realizes the value of his son's passion.