In Blockade Billy, King is interviewing an elderly baseball coach while he is in a nursing home. The story centers around the New Jersey Titans circa 1957 who lost their catcher when a night of heaving drinking caused him to get behind the wheel, kill a mother out doing her early morning errands, and attempted to flee the scene.
Coach makes a phone call and gets sent a rookie from Iowa to fill the spot until a permanent replacement can be found. William Blakely, a farm town kid, may not be right in the head, but who really cares when he can bat and catch like nobody’s business. Sure, he talks to himself while referring to himself in the third person, but he draws in the crowds who cheer him on from the stands. During one game, Billy stops a runner from making a run who finds his leg cut up during his slide into home. The only logical explanation is he was sliced up by the cleats, right?
For someone who finds baseball incredibly boring and still loved this book is a testament to King’s storytelling ability. He creates a suspenseful twist on a good ole’ baseball story. My only complaint is this wasn’t a full-on novel!