The Wednesday Wars

by Gary Schmidt

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In The Wednesday Wars, how did Holling acquire opening day tickets for Yankee Stadium?

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You'd think that after his somewhat deflating experience with the legendary Mickey Mantle, Holling would be put off baseball for good. But he's as still as much of a Yankees fan as he ever was. Mrs. Baker wants to make it up to Holling for The Mick's contemptuous refusal to...

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sign his ball (though, in fairness to Mickey, it must be noted that Holling was wearing yellow tights at the time). So sets Holling up with tickets for the opening day of the 1968 Major League Baseball season through a surprise encounter with two other Yankee legends, Joe Pepitone and Horace Clarke. Hopefully, this will compensate for the humiliation he suffered when his sporting idol turned out to be so mean-spirited.

Initially, it seems that Holling won't get a chance to go to the game, after his old man fails to pick him up from school. But, thankfully, Mrs. Baker steps into the breach and drives him to Yankee Stadium herself. This incident shows how the relationship between Holling and Mrs. Baker has changed quite dramatically. At first, Holling thought, like everyone else, that Mrs. Baker was "soulless" and hated his guts. But the incident with the tickets shows a completely different side to her—a side that most people never get the chance to see.

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This event occurs in the chapter entitled "December." Mrs. Baker is given some baseballs and mits from her brother-in-law to thank Holling and Danny for what happened after the Extravaganza. Dough and Holling are absolutely staggered to see that Joe Pepitone and Horace Clarke are there in the gym, two of the most famous Yankee players. They play ball for a while, but the tickets are mentioned at the end of this suprise session of baseball:

Afterward, they signed our baseballs and signed our mitts. They gave us each two tickets for Opening Day next April. And they gave Doug and Danny their caps.

Holling manages to gain tickets to the Opening Day at the Yankee stadium thanks to Mrs. Baker, who organises a meeting with two of the most famous players of the Yankee baseball team as a reward for Holling's exploits following the Extravaganza. This is of course the first of many signs that Mrs. Baker is an incredibly warm and empathetic human being, as Holling continues to realise.

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