My son plays little league. He was a rookie last season. Like Ricky, he was the one who came to the plate with two on and two out in the biggest game of the year. And, like Ricky, he struck out. It was heartbreaking. I’ve never seen a child so dejected. I think your opening scene needs some of that emotion.
“Ricky strolled towards home plate. Two outs, bases loaded and his team was losing by just one run.”
When you use the word strolled, it makes it sound like Ricky doesn’t have a care in the world. You could try something like this.
Ricky’s hands trembled as he picked up his bat and moved towards home plate. His team was down by just one run. Three straight hits had loaded the bases. Then, two of Ricky’s teammates had struck out. It was all up to him now. He had longed for this moment. He had also dreaded it.
I’m sure you can do better than that. I’m just rying to give you an idea of the kind of emotion I’m talking about. Get in Ricky’s head. What is he thinking? What is he feeling?
I think things pick up somewhat when Grandpa starts telling his story. Just remember, it’s a children’s book and a work of fiction. I’d go easy on the player stats and the history of the Yankees. Then again, I don’t like the Yankees so maybe that’s why that was a bit of a turn-off. Good luck