Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blockade Billy” as Want to Read:
Blockade Billy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blockade Billy

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  19,397 ratings  ·  1,709 reviews
Even the most die-hard baseball fans don't know the true story of William “Blockade Billy” Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first--and only--player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history.

Hardcover, 112 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by Cemetery Dance Publications (first published 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,397 ratings  ·  1,709 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Blockade Billy
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blockade Billy by Stephen King is King's novella which first appeared in Bazaar of Bad Dreams. It is King's story of Blockade Billy Blakely who played a month for the fictional Newark Titans in 1957. While I am a baseball fanatic, I am not usually a fan of King's psychological thrillers due to my runaway imagination. Yet, even I could not resist this novella numbering less than one hundred pages in length.

The story is told in reminiscing by third base coach George "Granny" Grantham to King in a
Blockade Billy - 5 Stars

Huge baseball fan + Huge Stephen King fan = A killer of a baseball catcher and a horror of a story. Loved it!

Morality - 3 Stars

What would you do for $200,000 tax free? Check out what happens when Nora and Chad decide to fulfill an old man's evil last wish that turns their world upside down. Ok Bonus Story with an ending that left me unfulfilled.

(my 5 Star rating for the main event....Blockade Billy!)

May 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
I have many pleasures in life, but two that really make me smile are Stephen King and baseball. Now I’m not going to write this review in hopes of changing your mind about Stephen King—he is what he is. You may like him. You may not. For my own two cents, I think he is a wonderful storyteller. Sure, one could peruse his body of work and find numerous examples where he stunk up the place; but, and I am saying this not only as a King fan but also as a fan of literature, one could also find numerou ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I’ll concede that most readers may not like this as much as I did – I think you have to be a baseball fan AND a Stephen King fan – of which I am both. More than that really, one of the many reasons I like King is that I know that he is also a baseball fan.

Baseball has a rich history of good writing. Guys like George Will, Roger Kahn, Roger Angell, and Michael L. Lewis to name a few have contributed to building the game’s mythos. King also has contributed to baseball literature, especially his co
Baseball. This is a baseball novella, so it helps to enjoy baseball to enjoy this story. There are a lot of baseball terms in here and I'm not familiar with them. I'm not even a baseball fan. I think baseball is just a little more exciting than golf. It would be much more fun if the pitcher tried to throw it to give the batters a hit and see what the outfielders could do. Anyway.

Despite not being fond of the subject, this is a Stephen King story and I found the telling of the old baseball team i
Wayne Barrett
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I can understand the reason for the mixed reviews of this King novella. There is definitely a huge amount of baseball jargon associated with this story, so I can understand that if you are not a baseball fan, this may not be entertaining to you.

There is not the usual horror element we usually find in King's work, at least not in the supernatural sense. But we do have our blood, don't we?

I actually thought the story was superb. It was a quick, fun read, told from the perspective of a retired coa
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
So the "Master of Horror" does one of his occasional detours into regular dramatic fiction, offering this double-barreled novella which is relatively tame on the graphic terror aspect. The book has two short stories -- the baseball-themed title offering and a 'bonus' tale, which could've been called 'The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil' (though that lacks a certain grace) with little loss of accuracy.

Blockade Billy -- a perpetually second-rate New Jersey pro-baseball team in the late 50's
Jon Nakapalau
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, favorites, horror
Wow! Fantastic novella by the master of horror. Blockade Billy 'pitches' a baseball story so skillfully that you often find yourself questioning where reality stops and fiction starts. The short story Morality reminded me of the Kierkegaardian concept of The Knights of Infinite Resignation taken to the most extreme ends. ...more
I'm a softball fan more than a baseball fan, I wanted to get that out there first. I liked this book. I really liked the Granny character. Such a hoot!! A different kind of King book for sure. ...more
Sumit RK
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Too much of Baseball..Too little of mystery. Read it only if you are a 50's baseball fan. ...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephen-king
It's no secret that I'm a Stephen King fan. After all, I have a copy of every book he's ever written--more than one format for some--and absolutely love the way he spins a tale. But I've fallen behind on my challenge to read 6 King Books this year. lol.

So, when hubby suggested I try this book, I shrugged and got started. I read the first 30 pages in one sitting, and was totally intrigued. Then, I found out there was another story included as well, which made me happier.

Stefan Yates
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Blockade Billy is a very solid and entertaining novella that fans of baseball and non-fans alike should enjoy. There is simply not much good baseball fiction available and this offering from King manages to fill a void that I simply didn't realize was there until I read it. Overall, the story gave me feelings of some of my favorite baseball movies such as Bull Durham and The Natural.

For those who aren't baseball fans though, this book still contains enough of King's wonderful characters and dial
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every single person who is capable of recognizing damn good storytelling

I have finally found a kind of baseball I can get into!

I seriously did NOT think I was going to like this story on baseball--let alone give it a justly deserved 5*. I mean baseball bores the heck out of me.

I basically picked it up because the cover on this adorable tiny little hardcover is so perfectly retro and nostalgic. It's beyond cute enough to leave out on my beloved made-to-order coffee table; a place screaming for a book just like this, next to a plate of chocola
Sadie Hartmann
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: king
I'm glad I listened to this book instead of reading it for myself because I think the narrator's voice did an excellent job bringing me into this book. I was totally engaged, as if I was sitting at a bar listening to some old timer tell a story from his glory days. The story itself isn't my favorite subject, in fact, I have managed to avoid most books about sports up to this point! But being that this is King and I want to "read them all", I gave this one my ears. I'm glad I did!
Jessica Westwood
Apr 28, 2020 rated it liked it
A Good little horror short story, maybe if I understood baseball I would of appreciated it a little more. I liked the style of how it was written and it really did feel like a close one on one deep conversation of a past, dark tale gone by. I felt I kept getting confused a little between the characters and who did what's, but that could just be me, I have a track record for easily getting confused. Either way, it roped me in and kept me held. ...more
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
So, if you read the back of this book, you get a pretty good sense of what you’re getting into. This is a collection of two long short stories, one the story of Blockade Billy, a catcher for a baseball team that has been OMG ERASED FROM HISTORY because he did an OMG HORRIBLE THING, which was so bad that even he was OMG ERASED FROM HISTORY. Not literally, so much as the history books just didn’t mention him, but dang if you don’t get this sense of dread reading the story, waiting to see what this ...more
I like baseball. Watching it. I don't follow or understand stats or anything, and I'm not "down with the lingo". I understand the basic concept of the game and am pretty good with the rules, but that's about the extent of it: I enjoy watching baseball games.

I know now that I do not like reading about baseball. I am familiar with the game, but even I had a hard time following all of the lingo and action. To Stephen King's credit, the parts I did understand were vivid and easy to see, as usual, b
David (דוד)
A baseball story, probably meant for baseball fans. I did not understand more than half of it, but still got a slight basic premise of what was happening. Although by the end of it, I felt I had wasted my time on this. But, since it was an SK story, I had to read it at least once! Having not understood much of it, due to my lack of knowledge in baseball, I do not think my rating would be justified correctly. But yet if I have to, in my present condition I will give it 2-stars.

The story is told t
Samantha Zee
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I could see why people wouldn't like this story, since it's not traditional King...there's a murder, yes, but no supernatural twist and the tone of the story, though suspenseful, is more entertaining if you enjoy baseball. In fact, minus the fact that our title character is a bit off, I forgot I was reading this to find out what Billy's deal was, and instead found myself being invested in the team and their season. ...more
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not much of a baseball fan, however I am a huge fan of Stephen King, with that being said this was still a great short read! Blockade Billy was well told, and Morality was a hard hitting look into how one decision can drastically alter our lives. ...more
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Blockade Billy:
Ok, now I hate being hard on Stephen King books, but this book confused me a bit. I am not a baseball person at all (any kind of sport really) and throughout alot of the story he is describing games. So much of that was over my head. I did love the conversational tone, as if Granny was telling the story to Uncle Stevie, and that did help a bit. Well, that's my only complaint there. Thought I was gonna trash it didn't ya? lol. I was pretty surprised by the twist and very much enjoy
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This audiobook contained two stories. The first story, Blockade Billy was boring until the end... it got good at the end. The second story, Morality, was awful. I couldn't even pay attention. You might accept this book as a gift but I wouldn't spend money on it. ...more
Two great little stories, fun quick read, highly enjoyable.
Ruth Turner
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: stephen-king

(Collected in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)

The finer points of American Baseball may have eluded me, but this is a damn good story nonetheless.
Deacon Tom F
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I thought that “Blockade Billy” by Steven King was a Home Run of a story. It is a short baseball novel that really shows how King loves baseball.

The plot is a combo of suspense and just plain fun. A break from best-selling author's horror novels,

It's the story of William Blakeley, aka Blockade Billy, who had a short career in major league baseball. It really is historical fiction at it's best.

Country boy William Blakeley quickly establishes himself as the real deal—hitting well above average and
This was a nice treat. Two stories in one small volume that's easy to tote around. Not that you need to tote much, as it won't take long at all to finish it. But King almost always delivers, and he does so here once more.

"Blockade Billy" is a delightful little tale about baseball, told to Mr. King by an old baseball manager in a retirement home. It's about one player at least, and the events surrounding his playing career. King hits a home run here. There is a lot of baseball talk and game descr
Sam Quixote
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Baseball fans or no, the best of the two short stories in this slim volume (a rarity with Stephen King) is without question "Morality". A young married couple is given the moral choice of going through with a nefarious deed for $200k by an elderly Priest. It smacks of Richard Matheson's story "Button, Button" (recently filmed as "The Box"), and is one of King's best stories in a while. It shows how a deed can change a person and how a secret can tear apart a marriage - moreover his characterisat ...more
Dave Boorn
I feel kinda bad giving this two stars because I don't know fuck all about baseball and this hasn't piqued my interest in the subject. To be fair though, even if it didn't read like my cars technical manual with a flimsy plot attached, the actual main story (or in other words anything that doesn't read like the Wikipedia page for notable games of Major League Baseball) is just a bit pointless and wank.
An additional star is given for the second story, "Morality" but even that isn't particularly
A fun little horror novella which doesn't get horrific until the end. You have to have at least a passing interest in baseball to enjoy this book. It's all about baseball players who love playing and talking about baseball. I'm not a big baseball fan, but I like going to games and I like this history of it. Pretty good. ...more

There were two stories in this edition: Blockade Billy and Morality.

Blockade Billy was my least favourite of the two. However, it was the better written story.

Morality was my favourite. It was, however, rushed at the end. It had a great lead up to an explosive ending, then King rushed it, chopped it into bits, and left it flat.

Oh well, fun lil break from novels.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Page count correction 3 14 Sep 16, 2018 12:51PM  
Stephen King Fans: Blockade Billy 109 315 May 26, 2018 04:38AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Throttle
  • Blaze
  • Roadwork
  • Rage
  • Thinner
  • The Regulators
  • Gwendy's Magic Feather (The Button Box, #2)
  • The Breathing Method
  • Branch Rickey
  • The Running Man
  • The Body
  • Charlie the Choo-Choo
  • Misery
  • Road Rage
  • Wolverton Station
  • The Long Walk
  • The Bachman Books
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: A Pop-up Book
See similar books…
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

Related Articles

When Kristin Hannah, the bestselling author of The Nightingale, began her new historical epic centered on the Dust Bowl and the Great...
171 likes · 47 comments
“Baseball is a good thing. Always was, always will be.” 3 likes
“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.”
More quotes…