Character du jour – Joseph (Big Chief) Huff

The Chief forgets his new Buffalo Head tattoos

Absolutely, one of my favorite characters in my new book, Suicide Squeeze, is Joseph (Big Chief) Huff. I think I had more fun creating him than any other character including my main character, Mercury Mercer. The Chief is a pitcher, the ace of the Red Sox’ staff. He’s huge, 6’ 5” and 260 pounds, and 90% covered with tattoos. He claims to be the only Native American in the majors, but he (like a certain Massachusetts senator) likely exaggerates his tribal heritage.

I lifted The Chief’s name from my good friend, Joe Huff of Denver. Joe and his wife, Cheri Kay (a takeoff of Cherokee), are my oldest friends in Denver. In fact, my wife Barbara and I met at their home for a Monday night Bible study some 33 years ago. Cheri Kay does have some Native American blood in her and her father was once head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The Chief and my friend have one thing in common: they are both uncommonly intelligent. The Chief is the smartest guy on the team, and the most irreverent. You’ll get a kick out of him. I plan a future book in the series where Big Chief Huff is a central character. You’d enjoy my friend Joe, too, but for different reasons. Joe is selfless and incredibly wise – a good friend to have in your corner.

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