At his first at bat, Castle hit a homerun and ent on to hit 2 more homeruns and a perfect bunt to end the game with a win. Castle’s outstanding first game draws the attention of every American, especially that of Paul Tracey, becoming his new baseball hero. Castle continues to amaze everyone when he hits homerun after homerun, steals base after base, and wins his team game, after game. In Just a few games, Castle breaks more rookie records than any other baseball player. A few of these records include the most consecutive hits at 15 straight hits, the most back-to-back stolen bases, and tying the record for most omeruns in a first game.
By his third or fourth game, everyone in America was tuning into the Cubs game on their radios, watching replays of Joe’s amazing at-bats, and crowding around any store that had a radio or television in its window. Back at the Tracey familys house, all is not well for Paul or the rest of the family. Warren Tracey, Paul’s father and pitcher for the New York Mets, has a declining career as a major league baseball player, losing the Mets game after game and forcing them to sink lower and lower in the National League rankings.
After each game Warren loses, e goes out drinking all night, often not coming home until very early in the morning, too drunk to function. Whenever Warren came home drunk, he would often yell at his wife and beat Paul. On Warren’s off days, he would go to watch Paul’s little league games, only to criticize Paul and yell at everyone for everything they were doing wrong. On most occasions where his tatner attended his games, Paul would leave game crying because his father had yelled at him or hit him after the game.
As “Calico Joe” continued to grow in fame, he caught the eye of Warren Tracey, and Warren had now made a target out of Joe. It would only be a matter of time before the Cubs would meet the Mets for a series game. In August, 1973, the Cubs met the Mets in Shea Stadium, New York for a game that would change the lives of both Warren and Joe. Paul attended the game with his mother off of free tickets that Warren had given them in reconciliation for hitting Paul. Warren was the starting pitcher for the Mets that day and does not hesitate to cause trouble on the mound.
At Joe’s first at-bat against Warren, he swings at two and misses, gets three balls alled for him, and fouls off eight consecutive pitches before hitting an out of the park homerun. Warren Tracey saw this as an attack against him and would be looking for vengeance on his next at-bat. At Joe’s next at-bat, Warren throws two outside pitches, but the third pitch is directly on course for Joe’s head, hitting him in the eye, cracking his skull, and breaking his Jaw. Joe remained unconscious on the field for 30 minutes before the ambulance got there with Warren standing on the mound smiling.
The entire country was shocked and enraged when they heard the news that Calico Joe” had been hit by a career-ending beanball. When people got news of who hit the star rookie player, death threats poured into Paul’s house telephone. For the next two games in the series against the Mets, Cubs players charged the mound, beating up Warren and other players on the Cubs’ team. Warren denied the fact that he had intentionally hit Joe and his career spiraled downward. Warren never pitched the same again and was dropped from the Mets into their AAA team and eventually down to their AA team.
After a month of being in a coma, Joe finally woke up, unable o ever play another game of baseball. Joe had lost eighty percent of his vision in his right eye and sustained some minor brain damage. A few months later, Joe has a stroke that leaves the left side of his body partially paralyzed, forcing him to retire for good. For years after the incident, Joe lives the life of a cripple in his home town of Calico Rock, Arkansas under the protection of his brothers. Thirty years go by and Paul is grown up with a wife and two kids.
Warren Tracey left the family years before and has gone through 4 wives since then, marrying only for money and lust. In another attempt at fame, Warren tries golfing, winning only one tournament in Florida. Tracey is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and his health is deteriorating very quickly. Paul goes to visit him in his Florida home, not because he is concerned with his health, but because he has one last request before his father dies. Paul asks Warren to travel with him to Calico Rock, Arkansas to make amends with Joe and shake hands and apologize.
After several days of yelling, arguing, and threatening blackmail, Warren warms up to the idea and goes with Paul to visit Joe. When they rrive in Calico Rock, they are greeted by Joe’s friend Clarence Rook who takes them to the field Joe looks after. Warren finally has the chance to apologize to Joe, and surprisingly is sincere and means it. Joe ultimately forgives Warren for ending his promising career and they shake hands and take pictures afterwards. A couple years after that, Warren finally succumbs to the pancreatic cancer and dies at the age of 76.
A small funeral is held but very few people show up. To Paul’s surprise, in the middle of the minister’s sermon, Joe and his two brothers walk in and sit next to Joe. Attera that Warren nad done to Joe, Joe still goes to his tuneral to pay his respects After the funeral the Castle brothers talk with Paul and want him to publish the story about the truth behind Warren beaning Joe and the story of their reconciliation in Calico Rock, Arkansas. 4. Important Characters Paul Tracey At parts in the story, Paul Tracey is an 11 year old boy and son of Warren Tracey.
Like his father, Paul has a passion for baseball and is a fairly skilled player in his community’s little league. As a boy, Paul is physically abused every time he does omething wrong in any of his games, getting beat the moment they get home. Paul is also verbally abused by his father, sometimes even getting cussed out on the field. At other parts in the story, Paul Tracey is a middle-aged man in his 40’s. With a father dying from pancreatic cancer, Paul feels forced to go visit him; consequently, influencing his father to make amends with the man whose career his father ended.
Warren Tracey At parts in the story, Warren Tracey is a 34 year old Journeyman for the New York Mets. Warren Tracey plays off the old rules of baseball and plays a mean-spirited ame of baseball whenever he does play. As a regular drunk, Warren abuses alcohol, his wife, and his son, Paul Tracey. In one pitch, Warren ends the promising career of a record breaking rookie by hitting him in the head, knocking him into a coma. Soon afterwards, Warren loses his ability to pitch and finds himself out of the game with no Job.
He eventually does reconcile with Joe after being blackmailed by his son and being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Warren dies at the end of the novel at 76 years old. Joe Castle Joe Castle was a rookie baseball player for the Cubs’ AA team before he saw an pportunity to become a star when the Cubs’ first baseman injured his back. Joe became a baseball legend when he broke a record in his first game in the major leagues and went on to break several more. At the height of his rookie career, his career was suddenly ended when he took a pitch to the head.
Joe went into a coma for a month before waking up with partial vision and permanent brain damage. After his stay in the hospital Joe retreated to his hometown of Calico Rock, Arkansas where he was the groundskeeper for the field the town had built and named after him. Joe greed to meet with the man who ended his career and forgave him for everything he had done and even attended the man’s funeral. 5. Hero/Heroine Joe Castle, nicknamed “Calico Joe” is the hero of this novel. Joe Castle wowed the crowd in each of his appearances on the field and won the hearts of most Americans.
In his Journey to fame, Joe never let the fame get to him and although he did get cocky at times, he never seemed overly arrogant or overly proud to anyone but Warren Tracey. When Joe’s career was ended shortly by Warren Tracey’s bean ball to ne did not blame anything on him or call Warren out in any way. Joe was always sincere about everything after the incident and looked at his life with only positive thoughts. When Warren finally comes to apologize, Joe accepts his apology and forgives him without any hesitation.
When Warren dies of pancreatic cancer, Joe treats him as an old friend and travels all the way to Florida to attend the funeral. In the novel, Joe truly is a hero to the American people, Paul, and eventually, Warren Tracey. 6. Main Conflict In Calico Joe, there the main conflict is a man vs. man type of conflict between Paul Tracey and his dad, Warren. In Warren’s eyes, Paul was always a failure and could never do anything right. Warren would scream at him during Paul’s little league games, criticize his every move, and beat him for what he did wrong when they got home.
In Warren’s later years the role reverses and Paul blackmails Warren into doing what he wants and refuses to accept Warren as his father. Paul and Warren did not have a very healthy father-son relationship and during parts of both their lives, they were miserable. 7. Setting Calico Joe takes place in both 1973 during some parts of the novel, and the early 000’s during other parts. It is set in America, bouncing around different parts of the eastern half of the country, including Shea Stadium in New York, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, Calico Rock, Arkansas, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Florida. . Significant Quotes 8. 1 . “Neither my sister nor my mother wanted to be bothered by the news either. The big decision was whether to go to Warren’s funeral, not how quickly we could arrive to his bedside. But I knew I needed to see him again. We still had some unfinished business before he died. ” – Paul Tracey This quote both sets up some foreshadowing o what is going to happen to Warren and it shows how weak the relationship between Warren and the rest of his family truly is. 8. 2. “Warren didn’t come to my college graduation or my wedding.