Guide to Baseball Short Stories: C

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Relentlessly straightforward.

Very high ratio of exposition to plot, but a nicely-observed slice of life.

The stilted narration recalls that of Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener": like "Bartleby," this is the story of a professional life gone stale, but there is more redemption offered in Canin's story--oddly enough, since the redemption comes through a petty theft.

Loneliness set in counterpoint with Boston fandom; the story is affecting but maybe strays just a degree or two in the direction of the maudlin.

Vampires have appeared before in baseball fiction (at this point, what hasn't?), but these are matter-of-fact vampires, whose bloodthirstiness is just another element of the team's diversity, much as if the young narrator were learning to live with gay teammates.

Intriguing magical-realist idea. See Carlson's Young Adult fiction.

An original idea – not so much the killing of fans with line drives, which happens in several previous baseball fictions, but the inadvertent quality of the experience, evocative of the surreal plight of the hero.

Routine bitter-ballplayer story, curiously old-fashioned, as if it is a period piece in the style of a period piece.

Generational and class conflict in Taiwan, played out in a baseball setting.

Completely bizarre.

Moderately amusing parody of oral histories of the sport.

But do you really think he will?

Finely detailed and restrained narrative.

Entertaining fantasia.

Downer of a crime story that mixes postmodern twistiness with father-son nostalgia.

Interesting early fiction with clever illustrations; the tone is preciously arch.

Ordinary reworking of a classic. See also Deford, "Casey at the Bat."

Grittier than the pulp stories in Sport Story Magazine, even using mild profanity, this story exemplifies a harder-boiled sector of the sport-fiction world.

"Baseball in those days was a game for hard and husky men. Specially pitchin'. A club didn't carry a squad of a dozen pitchers. It just played through the season with four or five, and depended on those old breadwinners and the battin' order. Now, by bingles, the pay roll carries almost as many pitchers as there used to be players on a ball club." (8)