The story, however, is why I hesitate rating this book higher. Many of the characters were fun and memorable - Ethan, Jennifer T., Cutbelly - but the "bad guys" were rather one-dimensional. Many of his minions, too, were much too black-and-white for my taste. The progression of the story chiefly annoyed me. The characters often seemed to advance more thanks to a series of fortunate circumstances than through any action of their own (Thor just happens to be a shadowtail, Pettipaw conveniently shows up at the right moment, the stick Ethan finds happens to be magical). It seemed heavy-handed.
All in all, I'd say that this book is probably pure magic to a baseball fan, but in terms of fantasy, it's nothing to write home about.