Book Review: “Calico Joe” by John Grisham

Genre: Cozy/Baseball

Summer 1973

Mets pitcher, Warren Tracey is the number 4 pitcher behind the likes of Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. He is 34 years old and marching toward the end of his so-so career (if you can call being a major league pitcher so-so).

He is a complete dick. Treats his wife (he cheats regularly) and daughter like shit, and physically abuses his son, Paul.

Luckily for the family he leaves them and baseball when……..

The Cubs have openings in the roster due to injuries.

They callup minor league prospect Joe Castle to play first base and hopefully add a decent switch hitting bat in the lineup.

What Joe does is set the world of baseball on fire!

That summer he was virtually unstoppable hitting close to .600 with more home runs in his rookie tenure than anyone has ever hit.

Calico (he is from Calico Rock, Arkansas) Joe is a phenom then…….

“Calico Joe” is a fantastic, very short (227 paperback pages), novel mixing true characters and facts with a healthy dose of fiction. It is enthralling and if you love baseball… is like a step back to your youth, where, for me, I lived and breathed the Yankees of Thurman Munson (and mourned after the crash), Graig Nettles, Roy White, Bobby Murcer, et al.

Now, in 2022….I live and breath the SF Giants… how times change….except that my love of baseball remains.

More John Grisham….


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