What did Grayson struggle with other than reading in Maniac Magee?In Chapter 25
In addition to having a difficult time with reading, Grayson struggled to become a successful baseball player.
Grayson's fondest dream was to be a Major League baseball player. He was a pretty fair pitcher, but never did make it to the Majors, spending several years in the Minors instead. Grayson has many stories which he tells Maniac about his experiences in baseball, including one which happened to him on his first day in the Minors, playing in the Appalachian League, Class D, the lowest level that there is. Recognizing him as a rookie, a gas station attendant in Bluefield, the city he is playing for, told him to go to the Blue Star restaurant and order "the biggest steak on the menu...and anything else...because it (would be) all on the house...the Blue Star treats every new rookie to his first meal in town free." Grayson, not knowing any better, did exactly that, only to find that the attendant was playing a trick on him. The Blue Star offered no free meals to rookies, and Grayson missed what would have been his first game because he had to stay and wash dishes at the restaurant to pay for the food he had eaten.
Try as he might, Grayson was never able to break into the Majors. His saddest day playing baseball was when, one day, a scout came to watch him pitch; he was being considered for the Toledo Mud Hens, which, at the AAA level, was one step away from the majors. Grayson, who was not a religious man, spent half the night before his big game praying, but sadly, his prayers were not answered, and he "proceeded to pitch the flat-out awfulest game of his life." Grayson never got another chance to be considered for the Majors, although he continued to play for thirteen more years. When he got too old to pitch at all effectively, he quite baseball, never having achieved his dream of reaching the Major Leagues (Chapter 25).