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B

Newport Beach, CA, United States

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  • Calico Joe

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (806)
    Performance
    (706)
    Story
    (703)

    Whatever happened to Calico Joe? It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a 21-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz....

    Carolyn Hathaway says: "Baseball fans only"
    "short hit on story, home run on issue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Grisham's prior forrays into the realm of non-legal. "Painted House" and "Playing for Pizza" were delightful, "no-brainer", "me-and-joe" stories. Not so for Calico Joe. It raises an insidious and troublesome issue for all of us who love national sports-- intentionally inflicted injuries. We try to practice and coach our kids on the lessons of "good sportsmanship". Yet, the "reality" is the exact opposite. Not all sports injuries are "accidental." Witneness the New Orleans Saints' coach suspended for paying out a "bounty" for every oppo player carried off the field. Calico illustrates the same problem in baseball. Some would say "its part of the game," or "if you cant take the hit, you shouldn't be playing". On the other hand, Calico brings out the indellible "side effects". Once thrown, you can't take it back, just like you can't "unring" the bell. Once the damage is done, it remains done, for the inflictor and inflictee alike. The lesson is tragic regardless of the ending--admit or continue to deny; to appologize or not; to forgive, or not to forgive. This story is not an abaration. It happens all the time. I usually don't approve of successful authors using their works as a "soapbox"'. But this one is well written in pure simplicity, and surfaces a major problem in major league sports, deliberately covered up for years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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