No one knew better than Shoeless Joe Jackson what was needed to become the best baseball player ever: a good bat. And no one knew more about bats than Ol' Charlie Ferguson of South Carolina, a good friend of Joe's. With love, nurture, and a lot of hard work, the two friends created Black Betsy -- the finest bat in all the land. And with a bat the likes of her by his side, you can bet Joe went all the way to the major leagues!
Phil Bildner is a former New York City public school teacher who lives in Newburgh, New York. He spends much of his year visiting schools and libraries around the country and world. He is the author of over twenty books including the middle grade novel A Whole New Ballgame and picture books Marvelous Cornelius, The Soccer Fence, The Hallelujah Flight, and Twenty-One Elephants. Along with Loren Long, he is the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Sluggers series. Visit him online at PhilBildner.com.
C. F. Payne has illustrated more than a dozen picture books, including the New York Times bestselling Mousetronaut by astronaut Mark Kelly; the Texas Bluebonnet winner Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy,written by Phil Bildner; and the New York Times bestsellers The Remarkable Farkle McBride and Micawber, both by John Lithgow. He teaches at the Columbus College of Design, where he is the chair of the Illustration Department. Payne lives with his wife and children in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visit him online at CFPayne.com.