Books On Deck: Bartolo Colon, Mets Fan Favorite, Opens Up In New Book

Wayne Randazzo
June 30, 2020 - 4:31 pm
Big Sexy cover

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“Books on Deck” is using the time during a delayed start to the baseball season to showcase many of the great baseball books that are being released in the spring and summer of 2020.

Next up is New York City-based writer, Michael Stahl, who teamed up with former Mets pitcher and franchise fan favorite, Bartolo Colon, to pen the book, “Big Sexy: Bartolo Colon in His Own Words."

What can be said about Bartolo Colon that hasn’t been said already? Well a lot, apparently. The huggable, affable, fun-loving, oversized major league pitcher that worked two-plus decades in the big leagues including a handful of years for the Mets has an autobiography out that peels away some of the layers of a somewhat mysterious figure.

Colon was born in the Dominican Republic and still lives there, but he went from a poor kid who helped his dad as a farmer to one of the most well-known athletes in the country that now runs the Bartolo Colon Baseball Academy. Colon has touched many lives, both directly and indirectly, in his home country.

“He has so many friends that he has known his whole life in the Dominican Republic,” Stahl said. “He’s from a small town. As I’m asking about that at the field where he pitched his first game, this random older woman comes up to him and gives him a hug, says hello and starts having a conversation with him. While this was happening, the interpreter pulled me aside and told me that when this woman’s house needed repairs, Bartolo just had a brand new one built for her. You would never know that because he would never talk about something like that.”

Bartolo Colon
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Of course, Colon’s play on the field is the main subject in the book, including some of his favorite career moments happening while he was with the Mets. The first came in the 2015 World Series when he struck out Sal Perez in a huge spot in game four before a frenzied crowd at Citi Field and the other, of course, was the home run he hit off James Shields in San Diego. Evidently though, there’s a more of a showman in Bartolo than we even knew.

“The first time his helmet flew off his head while batting, he noticed the reaction it got,” Stahl said. “So he had the Mets equipment manager (Kevin Kierst) give him a helmet that was one size bigger than he needed so it would fly off all the time.”

Look for “Books on Deck” every week on wcbs880.com’s Sounds from Seaver Way. Next week, we will talk to lifelong Mets fan, Ralph Carhart, about his book, “The Hall Ball."