The World Series Curse


An excerpt  from Trick AND Treat, Chapter 13 of The World Series Curse: Ding-dong!

Illustration © Mark Myers
Illustration © Mark Myers

Kate’s doorbell in Cooperstown, New York, was ringing. It was Saturday night, and she and Mike were hosting a Halloween party at her house near the National Baseball Hall of Fame. They had invited all their friends from school. Mike and Kate had picked a special theme. It was a World Series Halloween party! Everyone could come as anything they wanted to, like a ghost, a zombie, a ballerina, a dog, or a TV star, as long as they had something baseball-related on them!

Kate opened the door. A rush of chilly fall air swirled inside. Outside was a surprising sight: a long, tall hot dog in a bun, with mustard, ketchup, bright green relish, and a Chicago Cubs World Series baseball hat!

“Trick or treat!” said a voice. “The Halloween hot dog is here!”

Kate giggled. “Mike, that’s GREAT!” she said. “I knew you’d come up with something for your costume! Come on in!”

Kate stepped aside and let Mike in. Mike’s hot dog costume went from his shoulders down to his feet. He wore white sneakers and big white cartoon gloves.

“What do you think?” Mike asked.

“You look like the best hot dog ever, Mike!” Kate said. “Especially if you’re a Chicago Cubs fan! How’s my costume?”

Kate was dressed as the Green Monster. She had taken a big cardboard box and cut out a hole for her head on the top, and holes for her arms out the sides. But the front and back of it were painted dark green to match Fenway Park’s giant left field wall. And she had painted her face green and made scary eyes and wore a funny green wig.

“Second-best costume ever!” Mike said. “Sorry it’s not as hot as mine! Get it? I’m a hot dog!”

Kate groaned. “Okay, okay,” she said. “Quick, let’s finish setting up!”

Mike and Kate had spent the past few days getting ready for the party. They cut out and colored huge figures and taped them to the walls of Kate’s house. There were vampire umpires, zombie baseball players, and even ghost pitchers!

Mike and Kate helped Kate’s mom put out snacks and set up some spooky games. Mike put on some haunted house music.


A scream filled Kate’s house. Kate’s mom dropped a bowl of potato chips and it flew all over the floor!

“Ha-ha! Got you!” Mike said.

Kate’s mom shook her head. “No fair, Mike,” she said. “You didn’t tell me you were going to turn on the haunted house music.”

“Haunted house music?” Kate asked. “I thought that was Red Remy’s scream when he learned that he was going to have to give up his TV show and go to jail for messing up the Chicago Cubs.”

Mike scratched his head and looked at the speaker. “It did sound a little like him, didn’t it?” he asked.

Kate’s mom bent over and started to sweep the potato chips into a pile. “Well, if it was him, I wish he’d help pick up all these chips,” she said.

Mike and Kate laughed and walked over to help. Mike’s music continued in the background with groans, creaking doors, and howls of wind. Another scream split the night just as they finished picking up the mess.

“Now that sounds like the Red Sox fans!” Mike said. He elbowed Kate. “Too bad the Cubs won it this year!”

Kate smiled. “I’m not worried,” she said. “There’s always next year!”

Before long, the house was crowded with all types of baseball ghosts, goblins, and scary creatures. The evening started off with a doughnut-eating contest. But instead of just eating doughnuts, the kids had to try to eat doughnuts hanging from strings from the ceiling without using their hands! Next up, they tried bobbing for apples in a big bucket of water and playing pin the broom on the witch. And Mike walked around with a covered bowl filled with peeled grapes and asked everyone to feel the eyeballs he had collected!

About halfway through the party, there was a loud knock on the door. Mike and Kate raced to open it.

The night was pitch-black, without a moon. Some leaves rustled along the side of Kate’s house.

“I don’t see anyone,” Mike said. “Maybe it was a ghost!”

Kate peered into the darkness. “That’s weird,” she said.

Mike stepped back inside. Kate had started to shut the door when two figures bounded out of the bushes on either side of the front door!

“BOO!” they yelled.

Mike and Kate both jumped straight up!

Two large figures stood in front of them. One was dressed as a New York Yankee. The other was dressed as a St. Louis Cardinal. Both had big black umpire masks on.



By David A. Kelly Illustrated by Mark Meyers Publisher: Random House Children’s Books ISBN-13: 9780385378840 Age Range: 6 – 9 Years

It’s the BIGGEST baseball mystery yet—at the WORLD SERIES!

Red Sox versus Cubs. Game five. It looks like Mike and Kate are about to watch the Cubs win it all. But then someone starts messing with the team—ruining equipment, getting Cubs players in trouble, and even stirring up an old baseball curse. Now the Red Sox are coming back! Who will win the ultimate baseball trophy? And can Mike and Kate make sure it’s won fair and square?

Ballpark Mysteries are the all-star matchup of fun sleuthing and baseball action, perfect for readers of Ron Roy’s A to Z Mysteries and Matt Christopher’s sports books, and younger siblings of Mike Lupica fans. Each Ballpark Mystery also features Dugout Notes, with amazing baseball facts.

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David A. Kelly is a former Little League right fielder. These days he can often be found watching his sons play baseball at local ball fields or enjoying a game at a major-league park. David’s first kid’s book was a true story called Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse. He lives near Boston’s Fenway Park with his wife, Alice, his two sons, and his dog, Samantha.