Kristy and the Walking Disaster is the 20th book in the original The Baby-Sitters Club series. This is the final book that Brenda Bowen edited. Starting with #21, Bethany Buck took over editing duties.
When Kristy sees how much her little brothers and sister want to play on a softball team, she starts a rag-tag team of her own. Maybe Kristy's Krushers aren't world champions (how could they be, with Jackie Rodowsky, walking disaster, playing for them?), but nobody beats them when it comes to team spirit.
Now Bart's Bashers have challenged the Krushers to a real live game. It's bad enough that the Bashers truly ARE lean and mean- but what's worse is that Kristy has a crush on the Basher's coach. A crush with a capital C!
Kristy is baby-sitting for her own brothers and sister and find they want to play baseball. They try very hard but they lack the skills or the age to play Little League ball. Upon seeing how much Karen, David Michael, and Andrew (and other BSC charges) really want to play, she decides to form a team. Jackie Rodowsky, a lovable charge with a penchant for disaster (dropping lemonade, knocking over a refreshment table, breaking a window at the elementary school, etc.) comes up with the name of Kristy's Krushers. Karen insists that the team name is spelled wrong and so irons the spelling of "Crushers" onto her team shirt. The team gets permission to practice twice a week at the Stoneybrook Elementary School playground. Watson becomes a valuable source to Kristy in terms of advice and help in coaching her team.
Kristy soon discovers that hers is not the only non-little league team in the area when she meets Bart Taylor, a thirteen year old boy who lives around the corner from her. Bart coaches Bart's Bashers, a team of older kids who don't play Little League. During one practice, Bart brings some of his players out to watch the Krushers practice. The Basher players keep distracting Bart so they can make fun of and insult many of the Krusher players. Bart challenges Kristy to a game, which she accepts. Nicky Pike was asked to pitch during the game but came down with a fever the morning of the game, leaving David Michael and Jake Kuhn to pitch for the Krushers. During the game, Jackie Rodowsky knocks over the refreshment table and the Pike triplets show up in their Little League uniforms to cheer on the Krushers. Although the Bashers won the seven inning game 16-11, Kristy realizes how much her teams loves to play and how much team spirit they have, even if they know they aren't the best players.
Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter
Jackie Rodowsky made his first appearance in book #10, Logan Likes Mary Anne. I had so much fun writing about him that I wanted to write a book featuring him. It was also time for Kristy to have another one of her great ideas, and so she organized Kristy’s Krushers, her very own softball team.
Book #20 marked an important change for me. It was the last BSC book that Brenda Bowen edited. I had worked with Brenda since the beginning of the series. Now it was time for her to move on to other things. So a new editor took over. Her name is Bethany Buck (why do all the BSC editors have the initials BB?!), and she’s worked on the series ever since. I should have called book #20 Good-bye, Brenda! Hello, Bethany!