Calico Joe

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Calico Joe

Chapters 9-16 It was the All -Star Break, and the Cubs were the hottest team in baseball, thanks to the bat of Joe Castle. After a successful career of about 40 games, Joe's career comes to an end, and Paul wants to learn more about it from the Calico Rock newspaper office official, Mr. Clarence Rook. Paul is very interested in asking Clarence about everything "Joe". Clarence is reminiscent about all the stories written about Joe over the years. Returning home, after one of Paul's Little League games in which he pitched poorly, his father wants to teach him a thing or two. Angrily, Warren exclaims to his son that he can never let a batter show up him as a pitcher. As a result of this tensiono-filled relationship, eleven-year old Paul wanted to change his name. Warren himself played the game the way he thought it should be played, and so he did. It was August 24th, 1973, and Warren Tracey is scheduled to pitch against Calico Joe and the Cubs. In Joe's first at-bat, he homers to right field off a full count. This was the last time Joe Castle would ever round the bases. When Joe comes up to the plate in the third inning, Paul knows something is wrong, even at age 11. Warren throws two outside pitches, and then the next pitch travelsstraight at Joe's head. Theball makes contact with his skull, and everyoneknew what Warren had done. 20 years later, the only thing related to baseball Joe does is groundskeep the Calico Rock High School field. Paul Tracey and Mr. Rook watch Joe from the bleachers as he cuts the grass with a noticable limp. Paul exclaims to Clarence that his real reasoning for coming to Calico Rock is to see if Joe will talk to Warren, as Warren's baseball career has spiralled out of control. Now divorced four times and diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Warren doesn't have much time left to live. Although he hasn't spoken with his dad for many years, Paul goes to meet his father at his gated home in Florida to talk about a meeting with Joe. When Paul mentions the meeting, Warren completely rejects the offer.

Chapters 1-8 Paul Tracey has had a very disappointing life, largely due to the longlasting struggle with his non-existent and rather deadbeat father. Warren Tracey, a major league pitcher who is now on the Mets, but who has had brief stints with many teams, is rarely home to spend time with his family and son. In the summer of 1973, Paul is eleven years old, and the country is slowly emerging from the trauma of Vietnam. Paul is the type of kid who loves to play and watch all things baseball. Although Warren Tracey never pays much attention to his son, Paul always loves watching his father pitch, no matter how ugly it got. In the National League that year, the Chicago Cubs were very "thin" at 1st base due to countless injuries. Therefore, they proceeded to call up a youngster from their AA affiliate named Joe Castle. The twenty-one year old kid was tearing up his league in Midland, Texas, and he deserved his shot in the big leagues! In his opening game as a Cub in Philadelphia, Castle hit his first of many homeruns, and from there, he never stopped. In his next two at bats, Joe Castle hit two more homeruns, breaking a rookie record. During his short career, Joe was untouchable. Thirty years later, Paul Tracey, now a reporter with a wife and kids, is visiting the small town of Calico Rock in order to talk about the short career of Joe Castle. Paul has to lie about his name to get into the interview, because the name "Tracey" was well hated, and with good reason.

" The beanball went straight at Joe's helmet, and for a second, for a long, dreadful second that fans and writers would discuss and debate and analyze for decades to come."(Grisham,96)

Home town Of Joe Castle

John Grisham

John Grisham was born on February 9th, 1955, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. As a child, he had dreams of becoming a professsional baseball player. As a writer, Grisham writes exclusively fictional work. Grisham started writing as a lawyer when he heard a testimony that struck him.

Chapters 17-24 Paul gives his father a final offer to meet him the next morning to talk things through one more time. Suprisingly, Warren shows up and agrees to go and see Joe in Calico Rock. When the two men finally meet, Warren confesses to purposefully hitting Joe with his pitch. Warren's lie that the dangerous pitch was unintentional has gone on for 30 years., but Joe has held no grudge toward Warren over the years. Even though the two of them finally meet and speak about that horrid day, Paul is never quite able to forgive his Warren for never being there for him as a father. A short time after the meeting, Warren Tracey dies. At the funeral service, there is a guest who makes a surprise entrance; Joe Castle.

"When I die, they won't say anything about what anything about what a lousy husband and father I was. They won't say much about my mediocre baseball career. No. What they'll write about is that one pitch."(Grisham,174)

"Paul, you're a lot wiser than me because you'll live a life with few regrets. Me, I'll die with a ling list of things I'd like to do diferently."(Grisham,183)

By:John Grisham


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