| 1. Introduction|
Calico Joe is John Grisham's first baseball novel. It was released on April 10, 2012.
2. Plot Summary
Author Grisham once dreamed of a career as a professional baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals. This, his first baseball novel, is about a beanball that ends the career of a promising player . The novel is inspired by the real-life story of Ray Chapman, the only professional baseball player killed by a pitch. Grisham's novel involves a nearly fatal pitch thrown in August 24, 1973 and its implications 30 years later on both the batter, "Calico Joe" Castle, and the pitcher as narrated by Paul Tracey, the 11-year-old son of New York Mets pitcher Warren Tracey.
Castle starts his career with home runs in his first three Major League Baseball at bats as well as hits in his first 15 plate appearances and is able to keep his batting average over .500 for the first six weeks of his season. In a late-summer visit to Shea Stadium, Castle hits a home run in his first at-bat against Warren. Paul Tracey is a huge fan of Castle's.Castle's career is ended later in the game when Warren intentionally hits him with a pitch. The Traceys become estranged and Paul does not watch another baseball game for 30 years. When Warren Tracey is on his death bed, Paul Tracey arranges a meeting with Castle.