Guide to Baseball Short Stories: D
- Dailey, Jim. "The Rookie." In Herzberg. In the course of a day, a veteran ballplayer: realizes he's getting old; sees the fresh kid who'll take his place; spots the fresh kid's weakness; teaches the kid to adjust; and finds his vocation in coaching.
Fortunately this only takes four pages.
- Damon, Philip. "Al Guard's Night of Nights." The Iowa Review 3.2 (Spring 1972): 55-66. An ex-TV announcer tells the story of how he came to hold a big-league game hostage with a rifle.
Interesting here is how the narrator reflects on the creation of "Al Guard," television personality, out of Asa Weingarten, nearsighted Jewish kid.
- Dawes, James. "The Only Nolan." Slow Trains 7.1 (2007). Fantasia on the baseball career of the uniquely nicknamed Ed Nolan, with much late-19th-century period color.
- Dawson, Fielding. "The Answer." (1985). Repr. Bowering. A baseball player and his wife are torn up by his hitting slumps--until she finds the title element by provoking him to a physical fight.
I would not recommend this course of marital therapy.
- Deaton, W.E. "Relapse of the Sunset." Sport Story Magazine 24.1 (8 July 1929): 87-98. Aging player-manager faces his pitcher son in a crucial at-bat.
- Deaver, Philip F. "Infield." Silent Retreats (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988). Repr. McNally. A middle-aged man meets too many of his teammates from the Pony League.
Sharp details and well-assembled small-town ambiance.
- DeCaire, Mike. "Terry Kennedy." Aethlon 19.1 (Fall 2001): 35-41. Father and son talk -- or don't talk -- at a Twins-Orioles game in the late 1980s.
- Deford, Frank. "Casey at the Bat." Sports Illustrated (18 July 1988): 52-75. Repr. Staudohar. An elaboration of Ernest Thayer's poem of the same title, giving us missing context and complications for the story of Casey's famous strikeout.
- Delehaunty, Tim. "Mantle." Aethlon 17.2 (Spring 2000): 159-164. A man visits with his street-person father, an ex-ballplayer who wants to donate his liver to the dying Mickey Mantle.
- DeLillo, Don. "Pafko at the Wall." Harper's 285 (October 1992). 35-70. Drawn together at the Polo Grounds to watch the final playoff game in 1951, several real and invented characters find their lives intertwined with baseball and with world-historical events.
- Denevi, Tim. "From Baseball in the Afterworld." Aethlon 24.1 (Fall/Winter 2006-07): 1-12. An assortment of shady characters cast out from baseball paradise gamble over dice baseball.
- DePhillips, Michael. "Cubs." Aethlon 12.1 (Fall 1994): 113-115. A man must babysit his nephew--he's reluctant, but his sister and brother-in-law are having marital problems, and he must help them; as the pair watch a Cubs game together, the man warms to the child.
- De Polo, Harold. "Big Indian Bonzo." Sport Story Magazine 31.6 (25 June 1931): 113-125. Big deaf-mute Indian pitcher signs an unusual contract to pitch for the champion Whales: he will pay the club a grand every time he loses, and be paid the same when he wins.
This story wanders all over the place until settling on a plot gimmick: the "Indian" is actually the son of a white umpire who has been feuding with the Whales' manager, and somehow his pitching stunts are meant to mend the rift.
- De Polo, Harold. "For the Greatest Game." Sport Story Magazine 19.5 (8 May 1928): 34-42. Crusty manager is forced by team owner to put a hopeless dub on the roster.
Could the "boob shrimp" be a detective on the trail of fixers? More than seven years after the exposure of the Black Sox, anxieties over the cleanness of the major leagues persisted in stories like this one.
- Desjardins, David. "The Sixth Game." In Further Fenway Fiction. Male Red Sox fan reflects on a brief romance that budded after the awful events of Game Six of the 1986 World Series.
- DiChario, Nick. "Blind Spot." See Wilber.
- Dickinson, Marc. "Still Just a Game." Aethlon 22.1 (Fall 2004): 95-104. A young woman who's washed out of college ball finds new athletic life in a rec league.
- Dickson, Gordon R. "Joy in Mudville." See Anderson.
- Dickson, Margaret. "Can Ball." The Antioch Review 42.1 (Winter 1984): 93-102. A fatherless boy and his neighbor are so poor that they have to play ball with evaporated-milk cans -- till the boy's grandfather brings him the real thing.
- DiPlacido, Susan. "Going Yard." Slow Trains 3.4 (Spring 2004). Minor-league slugger acquires enthusiastic girlfriend.
- DiPlacido, Susan. "Like a Girl." Nuvein 22 (2004). Talented but lackluster third baseman, under the tutelage of her pitcher, learns how to play with energy on and off the softball field.
- Donati, Stefano. "Two Men On, Bases Empty." In Genre Tango, 1999. Repr. Kinsella. A pitcher enjoying a string of good outings begins to wonder if his manager is manipulating destiny by means of a time machine.
- DuBois, Brendan. "A Family Game." (2001) In Penzler. An overbearing youth-league father picks the wrong coach to mess with.
Satisfyingly witty yarn.
- DuBois, Brendan. "No Truer Fan." 108 1.1 (Summer 2006): 35-42. Lifelong Red Sox fan is determined to see the championship flag raised at Fenway on Opening Day 2005, but problems at work throw a hitch into his plans.
- Dubus, Andre. "After the Game." In Selected Stories. Boston: D.R. Godine, 1988. 147-153. Repr. McNally. A pitcher watches his shortstop lapse into a catatonic state; the pitcher starts thinking a lot about himself.
Well-done, spare anecdote with a notably well-realized narrator.
- Dubus, Andre. "The Pitcher." North American Review, Spring 1979. In Finding a Girl in America (Boston: D.R. Godine, 1980). Repr. Bowering, Holtzman. The personal and professional tribulations of a young pitcher whose fierce concentration and introspective turn lead to his wife leaving him.
- Dunkle, Colleen Conn. "Safe at Home." Aethlon 13.2 (Spring 1996): 147-155. A boy tells of his strained relationship with his baseball coach, who is also his mother's no-good boyfriend.
- Dunn, Bruce. "Diploma Player." Street & Smith's Sport Story Magazine 55.2 (2 April 1937): 83-92. Veteran coach chafes at the idea that a rookie third baseman has learned to play at a baseball school.
But the kid turns out OK, so the coach is placated. I have no idea whether baseball academies were a burning issue in the 1930s, but this story makes narrative use of the time-honored conflict between book learning and the school of hard knocks.
- Dybek, Stuart. "Death of a Right Fielder." In The Coast of Chicago (New York: Knopf, 1990; and repr. New York: Picador, 2003). Repr. Staudohar, McNally. Brief, evocative meditation on the sudden death of a ballplayer who is buried hastily by his teammates; rings changes on all the usual dying-athlete themes.
A very effective fiction, crystallizing the thematic and symbolic connections between sport and death.