Guide to Baseball Short Stories: P
- Pachter, Adam Emerson. "Cuttyhunk." In Further Fenway Fiction. Male Red Sox fan reflects on the parallels between a youthful romance and his feelings about Roger Clemens over a decade of fandom.
- Pachter, Adam Emerson. "Domo." In Final Fenway Fiction. Veteran POW's memories are stirred by a Red Sox game featuring Daisuke Matsuzaka.
- Pachter, Adam Emerson. "Green Monster." In Fenway Fiction. A typical Red Sox game provides the backdrop for the narrator's reflections on his father.
- Palana, Jim. "Old-Timers." Spitball. Repr. Shannon. An old-time bartender tells of a legendary showdown in his bar between old ballplayers back in 1938.
My but you see the way this piece is headed well in advance. It's more an elaborated trivia question than a short story.
- Palmieri, Scott. "The Flag Race." Aethlon 31.2 (Spring / Summer 2014): 61-69. Ballpark promotional "race" with coupon prizes is revealed as corrupt.
- Parenti, Jeff. "The Opposite Field." In Pachter. Boston fan's rocky relationship with a girlfriend mirrors the doomed 2003 season.
- Pariseau, Elizabeth. "Heirloom." In Pachter. A woman meditates on the Red Sox moments that connect her to her father and to her daughter.
- Pariseau, Elizabeth. "A Little Business, a Little Ballgame." In Further Fenway Fiction. Nursing-home attendant watches a resident succumb to Alzheimer's while claiming to receive nocturnal visits from Ted Williams.
- Parker, Robert B. "Harlem Nocturne." (2001). In Penzler. Branch Rickey hires a bodyguard for Jackie Robinson.
Germ of the novel Double Play.
- Parsons, Peter. "The Iberian Baseball League." Story (Spring 1998): 57-69. In Spain in the late 1940s, an American tennis instructor becomes commissioner of Franco's baseball league, the Caudillo's plan to wean his nation from its love of bullfighting.
- Patten, Gilbert. "The Rockspur Athletic Club." Sport Story Magazine 11.5 (8 May 1926): 1-49. Inter-class rivalries salt the baseball competition in "Milltown."
Protracted and tedious, particularly by pulp standards: a serious-minded pulp fiction with almost nothing of serious interest to sustain it. There was (at least) one sequel: "The Rockspur Battery" (Sport Story 11.6 (22 May 1926): 3-50.)
- Paul, Ray. "Josh Key, The Voice of " Aethlon 18.1 (Fall 2000): 57-64. A minor-league baseball announcer drifts down the ladder and back up again, by way of marital trouble and alcoholism.
- Pearson, Dana Eric. "Someday." In Final Fenway Fiction. Libations and Red Sox nostalgia during a visit to the cemetery.
Short-short story with a heart-rending twist.
- Penticuff, Angela. "The Baseball." Aethlon 31.1 (Fall 2013 / Winter 2014): 37-43. Overbearing, violent father and intimidated, obsessive-compulsive son bond in a peculiar and frightening manner over a trip to Fenway Park on 19 June 1955.
Well-realized in a quirky, troubling way.
- Perry, Thomas. "The Closer." (2001). In Penzler. Rival owners hire various ringers and hitmen in order to manipulate a pennant race and the betting line thereon.
- Peterson, Scott D. "Hoisted." Vice Versa 1 (October 2005). Red Sox fan enjoys a magical moment at Fenway.
- Peterson, Scott D. "I Wore a Skirt at First." Vice Versa 3 (Spring 2006). Travel secretary for an all-girl team finds his duties more elaborate than he'd bargained for.
- Peterson, Scott D. "Two Away." Aethlon 21.1 (Fall 2003): 69-77. Softball stars die before reaching middle-age: what gives?
- Petracca, Joseph. "The Long-Haired Shortstop." Collier's, 15 September 1951. Repr. Cummings. Italian-American kid ballplayer tries to avoid his father's amateur barbering, but falls into his clutches anyway, leading to various humiliations.
An original story that deftly sidesteps themes of assimilation or father-son bonding, and avoids possible formulaic happy endings.
- Phelan, Kevin, and Bill U'ren. "Free Fruit Salad and an Occasional Pizza." Aethlon 14.1 (Fall 1996): 145-151. [Sport Literature Anthology Issue] An aimless young man falls in with a church-league softball team; his motive is recreation, but his teammates are in terrible earnest.
Well-done story, similar to Kinsella's "Dixon Cornbelt League," but with an original and appealing narrator.
- Phillips, John R. "In the Water Bucket." Sport Story Magazine 24.1 (8 July 1929): 19-32. Rookie struggles with bad batting habit; his skeptical manager winds up accepting that the bad habit is all for the best.
- Phillips, Louis. Hot Corner. Livingston, AL: Livingston Press, 1996. Includes seven short stories among other short pieces.
Notable are "The Day the Walrus Hit .400," about a team of native Alaskans recruited to play in the Carolina League, and "Ted Williams Storms the Gates of Heaven" (repr. Kinsella), an enjoyable fantasia where, in the mind of the narrator, the Splendid Splinter gets mixed up in a 19th-century temperance novel. Several of the stories involve the fictitious "Charlotte Whips" of an equally fictitious 1930s-40s Carolina League.
- Pietrzyk, Leslie. "What We All Want." Columbia 2002. Repr. McNally. Wife of a 30-year-old pitcher, on the downward arc of his career in the Mexican League, tries one last time to get him to the majors.
Well-executed story, with memorable details.
- Pincus, Roger. "Harmon's Start." Jelly Bucket (2009). Repr. Lacuna (2012). 1913: A pitch gets away from a veteran spitballer – or does it?
Atmospheric and unsettling.
- Polansky, Steven. "Leg." New Yorker, 1995. Repr. Staudohar. Thoughtful, clean-cut, devout Christian husband slides dramatically but pointlessly into third base during a church softball game, and is wounded to the quick.
Superior dialogue and a keen sense of the mysteries of human behavior distinguish this exceptional short story.
- Powers, J. F. "Jamesie." In Prince of Darkness and Other Stories (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1947). Orig. publ. as "Baseball Bill" (Collier's 26 April 1947). Repr. Staudohar. A boy reads pulp fiction about baseball heroes, and idolizes the hometown star Lefty – who proves to be a fixer of ballgames.
Full of realistic detail, the story never generates real narrative energy, and its theme of disillusion doesn't help it up off the mat.
- Preston, J. L. "Rain Delay." Aethlon 10.1 (Fall 1992): 101-103. A thirtyish knuckleball pitcher dreams of making the big leagues, expressing through his narration of those dreams just how deep the game has its hooks in him.