Blockade Billy by Stephen King

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The story of Blockade Billy by Stephen King is told by fictional character George "Granny" Grantham  as he is tell Stephen King in an interview about the 1957 Major League Baseball season, when he was the third base coach for a now-defunct team, the New Jersey Titans and when fictional character William "Blockade Billy" Blakely briefly played for the New Jersey Titans.

The team loses both of their catchers’ days before the start of the season, so they bring on a minor league player as a last-minute replacement. The replacement, Billy Blakely, seems to be slow witted but turns out to be a great player.

Billy’s skill helps him become accepted by the team and a star pitcher, Danny Dusen, sees Billy as his good luck charm to what he believes will be his best yet and a record season.

In what turns out to be the last game of the season umpire Hi Wenders, who the team had never liked  makes a bad call and Granny, who is coaching this game, is thrown out and when he argues against it the crowd starts yelling  "Kill the ump!". Things don’t turn out for the team, Danny, or Billy.

Stephen King said of the book, “I love old-school baseball, and I also love the way people who've spent a lifetime in the game talk about the game. I tried to combine those things in a story of suspense. People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story. Ask no more; this is it. “

The book took King two weeks to write. It is 112 pages long and I finished it in a few hours. I wanted to find an example of King’s writing that was different from his normal genre to see if it was still as good and it was indeed. 

See more on Stephen King at BJ’s Favorite Authors (click here)

Quotes

“Baseball is a good thing. Always was, always will be.”

“I prefer the Yankees,' one of the blueshirts chimes in.”

'If I want your opinion, I'll rattle the bars in your cage,' Lombardazzi said. 'Until then, shut up and die right.”

“Baseball is also a game of balance.”

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Blockade Billy
By Stephen King