Author: John Grisham
Published: April 2012 – Doubleday
About: (via the publisher) In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records.
Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…
My take: Fan that he is, John Grisham has always wanted to write a baseball novel. His offering is Calico Joe. At first glance, Calico Joe is a fast paced story of a baseball player’s career that ended way too soon. It’s also the story of a boy who loved the game. But the day his dad threw a beanball was the day young Paul stopped loving the game as well as his dad.
Fast forward thirty years and we find Paul with a family of his own and almost no contact with his father until he gets the call that his father has cancer and not long to live. Paul comes up with an idea that could help make things right between his dad and Joe Castle before it’s too late.
Grisham’s story is heartfelt. I really enjoyed Calico Joe and think it will resonate with other baseball fans as well. It would be a great Fathers Day gift.
Disclosure: See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.