the chip hilton series
by Clair Bee

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William "Chip" Hilton is the hero of a series of sports novels for boys written by ex-college basketball coach Clair Bee and issued between 1948 and 1965 by New York publisher Grosset & Dunlap.

Chip is a football, baseball and basketball star. His pals are Biggie, Soapy and Fireball. Chip's sort of girlfriend is Mitzi, the head cashier at his employer's drug store.

The series progresses in chronological sequence. Chip and his pals age one season at a time during the series. Eventually they graduate from Valley Falls High School and go to State College.

The books, which have sold over 2 million copies, are always about football (7 stories), basketball (8) or baseball (9).

Bee's last manuscript, "Fiery Fullback", was published in picture cover (PC) and paperback format in 2002 by the B&H Publishing Group, who also revised and reissued the first 23 volumes in paperback format starting in 1998. These are no longer in print.

As advertised: "Each book in the series has been updated to recapture young minds and hearts as it directs boys toward developing high moral character based on biblical values."
While the originals set a high moral tone, emphasizing fair play and good sportsmanship, I find the revisions to be a bit preachy and sanctimonious and below the quality of the original series, both in prose and in the fun factor.

In the revised editions, some details are changed, mostly due to political correctness, but not the plot or basic characters. Social themes and sports strategies are updated. Chip now has a cat, watches ESPN, reads Sports Illustrated, and uses a computer to do his homework. In addition to the introduction of Asian and Hispanic characters, Chip's best friend is African American. The publishers wanted religious content, so Chip attends church regularly and prays.

Grosset & Dunlap publishing information.
Style 1 - (1948-1950) dust jacket in a bright red textured composition binding (vols. 1-6)
Style 2 - (1951-1961) dust jacket in light red tweed binding (vols. 1-19)
Style 3 - (1962-1965) orange spine picture cover (PC) format (vols. 1-23)

B&H Publishing Group publishing information.
Style 1 - (1998-2002) paperback (vols. 1-24)
Style 2 - (2002) picture cover (PC) (vol. 24)

TITLES
Available from Amazon.com by clicking
Chip Hilton Cover Art
01: Touchdown Pass - 1948 For Sale

It's his junior year, and although he's still dealing with the loss of his father, Chip enthusiastically joins the varsity football team. Recognizing his natural talent, Coach Rockwell turns the young boy into his star quarterback. But when Chip is injured in a near fatal car crash, he must find inner strength to rally the team on to the state championship!

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
02: Championship Ball - 1948 For Sale

Chip Hilton had big dreams for a sports career, until his ankle was fractured. So does a season on the bench mean the star center's goals are forever crushed? In this fast-paced story in the Chip Hilton Sports Series, Valley Falls' shining athlete must swallow his pride and courageously support the team...as their manager. Only then will he discover his true self-confidence and lead his friends to the state championship!

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
03: Strike Three - 1949 For Sale

When Chip Hilton learns the reason for the animosity shown him by two other members of the baseball team, he finds a way to overcome the problem.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
04: Clutch Hitter - 1949 For Sale

While playing baseball for the steel company where he works during the summer, high school star athlete Chip Hilton comes up against professionals participating illegally in amateur sport.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
05: Hoop Crazy - 1950 For Sale

A smooth-talking man who claims to have played basketball with Chip's father creates dissension on the Valley Falls high school team and plans to use Big Chip's pottery formula in his latest scam.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
06: Pitchers' Duel - 1950 For Sale

During his senior year at Valley Falls High School, Chip pitches in the state championship baseball tournament, runs for student mayor, and fights a drive to force Coach Rockwell to retire.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
07: A Pass and a Prayer - 1951 For Sale

The final season of team captain Chip's football career at Valley Falls High finds him fighting a new coach, who threatens to destroy the fair play, sportsmanship, and good citizenship that have made his team great.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
08: Dugout Jinx - 1952 For Sale

After graduating from high school, Chip is invited to join the Parkville Bears as a summer intern and he manages to save the Bears' season--and his own baseball future--from being spoiled by the schemes of an unscrupulous man.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
09: Freshman Quarterback- 1952 For Sale

As a member of the freshman football team at State University, Chip Hilton encounters cliques, rivalries, and a conspiracy by the Booster Association to favor some players over others.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
10: Backboard Fever - 1953 For Sale

When an injury prevents him from joining the college basketball team, Chip keeps busy serving as an emergency replacement coach for the high school and participating in an important basket shooting tournament.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
11: Fence Busters - 1953 For Sale

As the freshman baseball team at State University tries to live up to its nickname, "Fence Busters," Chip must endure an injury and friction with a jealous teammate.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
12: Ten Seconds To Play! - 1955 For Sale

Chip takes a job at a summer camp and meets a talented athlete who may be joining him on the football team at State University, and whose arrogance hides a secret problem.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
13: Fourth Down Showdown - 1956 For Sale

Chip Hilton and his fellow sophomore stars of State's football team are riding high after their opening victory. State's hopes are suddenly shattered when Chip and his sophomore pals are all suspended for breaking curfew. There's a very good reason why Chip breaks curfew. Chip and his friends decide making the neighborhood a decent place is more important even than playing in State's big game.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
14: Tournament Crisis - 1957 For Sale

Rivals for a starting assignment on State University's varsity basketball team, Chip Hilton and Jimmy Chung wage a fierce contest for the honor. When Jimmy's father becomes ill, Jimmy must leave State to run the family's restaurant. Chip masterminds a solution that benefits the Chung family, Jimmy, and the State U basketball team.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
15: Hardcourt Upset - 1957 For Sale

After winning the Holiday Invitational Tournament, State University's basketball team had looked forward to a season of smashing conquests. But when Chip Hilton is benched because of a knee injury and the champs are beaten by their hometown rival, things take a turn for the worse.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
16: Pay-off Pitch - 1958 For Sale

It's baseball season again, and Chip and his sophomore friends hope to build on their freshman success with the varsity team. But cliques within the team and rumors of a NCAA rules violation endanger the team's championship chances. The situation comes to a crisis when Coach Rockwell receives an anonymous tip naming five players as suspects-among them is his number-one pitcher, Chip Hilton!

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
17: No-Hitter - 1959 For Sale

Chip Hilton's planned pleasant summer at home in Valley Falls is interrupted when State is selected to represent the United States in a college baseball series with two of Japan's finest teams. Chip and his teammates are thrilled by the opportunity. A trip filled with excitement and adventure, Chip experiences one of the greatest rewards of his young life when he undertakes to help a Japanese college student improve his pitching skill. Tamio Saito's greatest desire is to pitch for his alma mater's baseball team. How Chip wins the championship for his team with an almost unbelievable no-hitter pitching performance will thrill every baseball fan.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
18: Triple-Threat Trouble - 1960 For Sale

Trouble starts at State's training camp when two obnoxious sophomores, nicknamed the Touchdown Twins, become more interested in personal glory than in team play. This leads to a showdown with Chip. The antagonism grows and eventually engulfs the entire squad to such an extent that an important game is lost. It appears that State's defense of the conference title is hopeless. But Chip, playing in every game despite an injured shoulder, inspires the team to keep fighting. Through it all, Chip finds time to help a confused high school football star, Skip Miller, make the biggest decision of his life and struggles to convince the Touchdown Twins that you can't win without team play and a tough, hard-hitting spirit.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
19: Backcourt Ace - 1961 For Sale

The State University's basketball team is determined to give Coach Corrigan a proper victory send-off as he prepares to take a sabbatical leave following the Holiday Invitational. However, the State team, even with the nation's top-scorer Chip Hilton, has trouble, and it could mean defeat in the tournament. They have no one tall enough to go up against their opponent's giant pivot men, and they have begun the season with three straight losses. The solution seems to present itself when Chip finds seven-foot Branch Phillips, a State junior who has transferred from another college. However, Branch is supporting his mother and three sisters and has no time for basketball. But Chip and his friends overcome by pitting ingenuity and teamwork against all obstacles.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
20: Buzzer Basket - 1962 For Sale

State University's basketball team is in jeopardy. At mid-season, a new coach, with an entirely different system of play, takes over. And Chip, who had been working too hard at his job at State Drug, his studies, and basketball practice, is temporarily put on the inactive list. The result is almost disastrous for the team. Chip Hilton is faced with one of his most severe challenges. Will he be able to pull the team together again? Can he convince Coach Mike Stone to adopt the type of play that has made the team champions? The inspiring answers await you in Buzzer Basket.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
21: Comeback Cagers - 1963 For Sale

After a hard-luck season and a stunning upset victory over Northern State, the State University basketball team finds out a selection committee has arbitrarily excluded State from National Tournament competition. Chip and Soapy, his best pal, don't give up as they battle to sustain the morale of their teammates and to change the committee's ruling.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
22: Home Run Feud - 1964 For Sale

Chip sees the morale of his baseball team threatened by the arrogant behavior of first baseman and heavy hitter Ben Green.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
23: Hungry Hurler - 1965 For Sale

Home for the summer, college athlete Chip Hilton hopes to occupy the restless and destructive young people of the town by involving them in a sports program, with an emphasis on baseball.

Chip Hilton Cover Art
Chip Hilton Cover Art
24: Fiery Fullback - 2002 For Sale

This final installment finds Chip, now a senior at State, hoping to quarterback the football team all the way to the Rose Bowl-and using his wholesome values to enlist the full support of a troublesome new player.

Chip Hilton Cover Art

Hoop Crazy: The Lives of Clair Bee and Chip Hilton For Sale
by Dennis Gildea

Hoop Crazy: The Lives of Clair Bee and Chip Hilton Cover ArtClair Bee (1896-1983) was a hugely successful basketball coach at Rider College and Long Island University with a 412 and 87 record before his career was derailed in 1951 by a point-shaving scandal.

In the trial that sent his star player, Sherman White, to prison, the judge excoriated Bee for creating a morally lax culture that contributed to his players' involvement with gambling.

To a certain extent, Bee agreed with the judge's scolding, concluding that coaches, himself included, had become so driven to succeed on the court that they had lost sight of the educational role sports should play.

His coaching career effectively over, Bee launched an effort to reform the ills he saw in college sports, and he did so in the pages of the Chip Hilton novels for young readers. He began the series in 1948, but it was the post-scandal books that he used as teaching tools.

The books mirrored some of the events of the gambling scandal and were Bee's attempt to reform the problems plaguing college sports. He used his fiction to posit a better sports world that he hoped his young readers would construct and inhabit.

The Chip Hilton books were extremely popular and have become a classic series, with over two million copies sold to date. Hoop Crazy is the fascinating story of Clair Bee and his star character Chip Hilton and the ways in which their lives, real and fictional, were intertwined.