Richard Riley Moncrief, a seventh-grader at St. Colmcille's, cares only about one thing in his life: baseball. From the hot summer days to the freezing Boston winters, Richard lives baseball, whether daydreaming in school or freezing his fingers off in February hitting frozen ice balls. Life is simple for Richard in his small, working-class neighborhood, and more importantly, he wants to keep it simple, but the racial tensions of 1974 Boston keep seeping in. While segregated schools were ruled unconstitutional decades earlier, in Boston the racial makeup of schools often did not change with the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. In the fall of 1974, Boston began busing students out of their own neighborhood schools and into schools across the city, trying to achieve a racially diverse student body. Some parents objected, instead sending their children to private schools, like St. Colmcille's.
Despite the turmoil of the 1974-75 school year, all Richard concentrates on is baseball and the arrival of rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice to the Boston Red Sox for the 1975 season. That is, however, until the arrival of Napoleon Charlie Ellis. A student from Dominica, Napoleon joins St. Colmcille's mid-year and, searching for a friend, strikes up a conversation with Richard. Thinking that he can turn Napoleon into a baseball fiend like himself, Richard takes up Napoleon's hesitant overtures at friendship, not knowing that this new acquaintance will force him...
(The entire section is 245 words.)
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