Joey, a Jewish twelve-year-old from Brooklyn, is beaten up nearly every day by Italian boys that live in his neighborhood. He has no father figure because his Dad left at an early age. He thinks there is no one to protect him or go to for advice. His mother is very over protective. Joey decides to write letters to someone he looks up to, the New York Giants third baseman, Charlie Banks. To ensure that Charlie responds to the letters, Joey pretends to have a disease that he’s made up.
All Joey receives are standard letters. Although the letters are impersonal, he continues to write to Charlie. He tells him that his disease has caused him to become blind. He also says things like “hit one out for me,” but still receives standard responses. Joey never gives up, and continues to write him letter after letter. He gets Charlie Banks’ home address and sends yet again another letter. This time, Charlie responds personally. He tells Joey to stop writing him, and is very annoyed by his letters.
Although Charlie wishes Joey to stop writing him, he continues. Charlie begins to care more for Joey with each letter they exchange. Overtime, they develop a friendship. They make each other laugh and swap advice. Even though Joey went into this situation looking for a father figure, he gained someone more like an older brother that he really can look up to.