FanPost

Bucco Book Club - Calico Joe

Well, the Bucs got swept by the Padres, the offense would have trouble hitting its way out of a wet paper sack, we're now out of the 2nd wild card spot, and to hear some, baseball life as we know it is over for the season. So take a break from the negativity, walk down to your library or local bookstore, and walk out* with a copy of "Calico Joe" by John Grisham.



Grisham is best known for churning out formulistic legal "thrillers" that bear little reality to real life, but hey, he is making millions at it. He decided to write a short story about baseball - Calico Joe. This is a quick (one afternoon or less), easy going book about an astounding rookie, a bitter journeyman pitcher, and a young kid caught between them (he's the pitcher's son). Although the book exposes Grisham's prejudices and as predictable as a Clint Hurdle bunt call, there is one redeeming value.

Many of the crusty, crabby old-timers here have a hard time explaining to the internet-gen yung'uns what baseball, and following baseball was like in the dark ages, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, TVs only had 11 channels, and WAR meant Vietnam or nuclear. It is really hard to describe how little information we had about the Pirates and how much less info we had about other teams - particularly far-away teams like the California Angels or Kansas City Royals.

Calico Joe captures that era perfectly, through the eyes of an 11-year old who is hooked on baseball and hooked on the heroic performance of Calico Joe, a rookie for the Cubs. When he wants to know how Calico Joe did in a game, he can't read a 750-comment thread on Bleed Cubbie Blue. And his only hope of seeing his hero play is if Game-of-the-Week on Saturday carries the Cubs or if he goes to see the Cubs when they come to New York and Calico Joe faces off against his dad, the aging journeyman pitcher. The book does capture what it was like to be a kid in the 70s following baseball, and captures it well. And its worth the quick afternoon read just for that reason.

* Must pay first if walking out from a bookstore....

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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