Guide to Baseball Short Stories: D

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Fortunately this only takes four pages.


Interesting here is how the narrator reflects on the creation of "Al Guard," television personality, out of Asa Weingarten, nearsighted Jewish kid.



I would not recommend this course of marital therapy.



Sharp details and well-assembled small-town ambiance.



Competent enough variation on the theme, but oddly static, filled with set-dressing details. Expanded into book-length form as Casey on the Loose. See also Coover, "McDuff on the Mound."




Compelling hyperrealist fiction, later incorporated in DeLillo's novel Underworld (1997) and still later (2001) published on its own.

Criticism: Duvall



Overpacked short story that may well be a scenario for a novel.



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.


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.










Daffily pursued SF idea that works on several levels. In 2002, Dozois imagined a World Series between the Yankees and Phillies in a new Philadelphia stadium – fortunately, the actual 2009 Series led to no such rifts in the time-space continuum.


Satisfyingly witty yarn.



Well-done, spare anecdote with a notably well-realized narrator.




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.


A very effective fiction, crystallizing the thematic and symbolic connections between sport and death.

Criticism: Febles