Inspiring Stories

As a freelance business and technology writer I spent many years writing about the latest software or tech gadget. It was profitable and sometimes interesting work. But it wasn’t inspiring. It was a job. A job I needed to help support my family—my wife Alice and my two sons, Steven and Scott.

Then a funny thing happened. I became inspired by my sons to do something different. To try something new that has led me to completely change my career.

More specifically, I became inspired by my sons’ love of baseball and their desire to read mystery stories. Growing up, I wasn’t a great reader. I lagged behind classmates in learning to read, as did my first son, Steven. As parents, Alice and I tried all types of tricks to interest our kids on reading. But it wasn’t until they started reading Ron Roy’s A-TO-Z MYSTERIES that they both became hooked—and desperate for more mysteries. Fortunately for me, that happened at the same time they became enthralled with baseball: playing baseball, talking about baseball trading baseball cards, watching baseball. If it had anything to do with baseball, they were interested.

Since my sons loved baseball and mysteries, I looked around for children’s books that featured both sports and mysteries. But I didn’t find many that fit the bill. There were sports books and there were mystery books, but there weren’t many sports mysteries. That’s when I realized that there was something missing in the market—mysteries that were set in the dozens of really cool cities and ballparks around North America.

And like that, I had the inspiration for my BALLPARK MYSTERIES series of chapter books from Random House. The BALLPARK MYSTERIES are adventure/mystery books where the main characters (Kate and Mike) visit different major league ballparks to see a game, but end up solving a mystery. So far, they’ve been to fourteen of the thirty major league stadiums. The latest book in the series, CHRISTMAS IN COOPERSTOWN, is a Super Special that takes place at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

The BALLPARK MYSTERIES books are great for boys and girls in second, third, and fourth grades and are well-suited for reluctant readers. Though the books are set in ballparks, readers don’t have to like sports or even know about baseball to enjoy them. Readers learn a little bit about each team, stadium, or city, as well as some of the quirky things that make baseball so popular (like the super-secret rubbing mud that’s used on each major-league baseball).

If you can forgive the pun, I’m having a ball writing sports mystery books for children, and I’m thrilled that my sons inspired me to take a chance to try something completely new.

About the Author: DAVID A. KELLY is a former Little League right fielder. These days, he can often be found enjoying a game at a major-league park. He is also the author of the MVP series and Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse. For adults, he has written about travel and technology for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun Times, and many other publications. He lives near Boston’s Fenway Park with his family. For more information, visit and find him on Twitter at @davidakelly.

The World Series Curse
Christmas in Cooperstown
Author: David A. Kelly
Published September, 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers

The World Series Curse Summary: 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.

Christmas in Cooperstown Summary: Mike and Kate get the BEST Christmas present ever–a mystery at the Baseball Hall of Fame!

After volunteering to wrap presents for charity, Mike and Kate get a special thank-you: a sleepover at the Baseball Hall of Fame! But when they’re sneaking around the museum late at night, their flashlight reveals that one of the famous baseball cards on display is a fake! Can they find the real card, catch the crook, and get the presents to the charity’s Christmas party on time? It’s up to Mike and Kate to turn this Christmas mess into a Christmas miracle!

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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Thank you for sharing how your series came to be! 


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9 Responses to Author Guest Post and Giveaway!: “Inspiring Stories” by David Kelly, Author of Ballpark Mysteries

  1. Lisa Maucione says:

    Being from New England, my students will especially love reading The World Series Curse!

  2. Kristen Picone says:

    My son’s story sounds much like Steven’s. He is a striving reader who recently became obsessed with all things baseball. We are currently reading every baseball book we can find! We would love to add two Ballpark Mysteries to our collection!

  3. Michele says:

    Thanks, kellee! I signed up!

  4. I always have baseball fans each year and I think they would love this!

  5. Anitya says:

    This is an inspiring story by itself 🙂 A perfect example of how having a child can change who you are 🙂

  6. Jana Eschner says:

    I know a lot of baseball fans who will love this book!

  7. Margo Jantzi says:

    We love your ballpark mysteries series at Cub Run Elementary School Library.

  8. April Patch says:

    We love them. We are in Canada ♡

  9. […] CONGRATULATIONS  Margo J. for winning our Baseball Mysteries by David Kelly giveaway!! […]

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