You may have heard that Tony La Russa will be signing Friday, November 30 at 5:00. Here’s a sneak peak from his book One Last Strike. This passage is from the Foreward written by John Grisham:

“. . . Tony graciously invited me to come to St. Louis, watch a game, hang out with the team, and have a late dinner. I collected my dad, Big John, and away we went. It was a memorable visit, the highlight being Big John and Stan the Man sitting together for two hours watching the Cardinals and reminiscing. Leaving St. Louis the following day, my dad informed me that he had now reached the pinnacle, his life was complete, and he was ready for the hereafter. Thankfully, he’s still around and doesn’t need a Cardinal game on television.”

“In late spring of 2011, I called Tony and told him I finally had an idea for a baseball novel. The central plot involved a beanball and baseball’s unwritten code for dealing with it. Talk about a hot-button topic. Nothing torments Tony like a hit batter. Was it intentional? Do we retaliate? If so, when? And who do we hit? In his dugout, he makes the call, and by doing so takes the pressure of his players. Other managers refuse to touch the issue, instead allowing their players to handle things. More than once I’ve heard Tony describe how a perfectly civilized baseball game can change in an instant by a fastball up and in . . .”

And there you have the beginnings of Calico Joe.

One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season by Tony La Russa with Rick Hummel, William Morrow Press, 2012. Signed First Edition, $27.99.

Calico Joe: A Novel by John Grisham, Doubleday, April 2012. Signed First Edition, $24.95.