Guide to Baseball Short Stories: R
- Ragland, Scott. "Killing Time." Aethlon 20.2 (Spring 2003): 61-64. Following baseball on TV serves as obbligato to the break-up of a relationship.
Well-realized and convincingly observed.
- Ramírez, Sergio. "Apparition in the Brick Factory." In Cluster. An aging, disabled slugger who has found the Lord reminisces about his life's stock of pleasures and disappointments – and the spectral wisdom of Casey Stengel.
Politically engaged and lyrical, a superior first-person narrative.
- Ramírez, Sergio. "El centerfielder." In Ramírez, ed., Antologia del cuento centroamericano (San José 1982). Repr. Bowering. Translated by Richard V. McGehee as "The Centerfielder," Aethlon Sport Literature Anthology [Aethlon 14.1 (Fall 1996): 163-167]. A political prisoner thinks of his ballplaying days as he is taken for interrogation.
Searing short story full of ironies.
- Ramírez, Sergio. "Juego perfecto." In Clave de sol (Mazatlán: Cal y Arena, 1992): 11-26. Translated by Richard V. McGehee as "Perfect Game," Aethlon 13.2 (Spring 1996): 99-110. A pitcher's father watches his first professional start, which bids to become a historic perfect game.
Exquisitely underplayed fiction, catching the rhythm of the game beautifully.
- Ramírez, Sergio. "Tarde de sol." In Clave de sol (Mazatlán: Cal y Arena, 1992): 97-108. Translated by Richard V. McGehee as "Sunshine in the Afternoon," Aethlon 13.2 (Spring 1996): 111-119. A woman tells a young pitcher the story of his father's greatest pitching triumph – and why his grandfather tried to kill his father immediately afterwards
Comic but also bittersweet, a well-rounded short story.
- Rapaport, Jennifer. "Fallout." In Further Fenway Fiction. The Red Sox' 2004 World Championship would be perfect for a woman journalist if it didn't destroy the rationale for her writer boyfriend's story about the Curse.
Rueful little tale about how much less there seems to be to write about the Sox since '04 (though that doesn't seem to be stopping any real-life writer).
- Rapaport, Jennifer. "Affiliate."In Final Fenway Fiction. Fan obsessed with the Red Sox' player-personnel moves finds that an old college flame has somehow surfaced on the Pawtucket AAA roster.
Smartly-woven fiction where life, fandom and fantasy conspire to create a hall of mirrors; basically a baseball romance, but a very sharp and enjoyable take on the genre.
- Rapaport, Jennifer. "Prospect." In Pachter. A woman's husband is summoned from his college teaching job to join the Red Sox starting rotation.
Agreeably off-kilter slice of matter-of-fact outrageousness.
- Rapp, Wayne. "Chasing Chato." In Moreira. Young ballplayer follows his dream of playing against his boyhood idol.
- Raye, Kimberly. "The Sweet Spot." See Boys of Summer.
- Rheinheimer, Kurt. "Umpire." Quarterly West 1984. Repr. McNally. Ump works difficult low-minors game in front of a hostile crowd that might include his new girlfriend.
Probably the best short fiction about umpires; exquisitely detailed.
- Rice, David. "Tomboy Forgiveness." In Mercado. Repr. Moreira. Best friends and softball rivals maintain respect for each other despite relationships with the same man.
Interesting use of timed softball tournament games as the sport setting.
- Richmond, Roe. "Dusk on the Diamond." Ten Story Sports 6.3 (October 1952): 45-54, 128. Washed-up star slugger meditates on his life and career during a swan-song appearance.
- Rober, Eric. "Moses in the Bull Pen." Sport Story Magazine 55.6 (June 1937): 52-74. Pitcher lacks confidence till his teammates set him up with the supposed girlfriend of the staff ace.
She turns out to be the actual girlfriend of the manager, but the pitcher gains both his nerve and the girl. The title comes from the once-current vernacular phrase "meeker than Moses"; the pitcher's nickname is Meeker.
- Robinson, H.D. "The Pharaoh's Fetish." Sport Story Magazine 11.5 (8 May 1926): 120-123. Superstitious slugger gets a "good-luck charm" – and realizes when he's being ribbed.
- Robinson, Kim Stanley. "Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars." In The Martians. 1999. New York: Bantam, 2000. 248-260. Repr. Wilber. Terran ballplayer teaches a hapless Martian third baseman how to become an unhittable pitcher.
An agreeable hard-SF conception of how baseball might be played given the gravity and atmospheric conditions on Mars, and within Robinson's distinctive imagined SF culture on that planet.
- Rodda, Charles. "Yank Him." Sport Story Magazine 23.3 (8 May 1929): 24-36. Veteran pitcher gets one last start to prove he still has what it takes.
- Rogers, L.K. "Drayton's Ace." The Vampire's Crypt 16 (Fall 1997). Repr. Kinsella. Travelling salesman gets wind of a pitching phenom out in the sticks; the phenom turns out to be a vampire.
First published in the magazine of Margaret L. Carter's "Vanishing Breed" Vampire Universe.
- Romero, Danny. "Summer League." In Gary Soto, ed., Pieces of the Heart. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993. 81-87. Sketch of a summer of ballplaying, complete with the alcoholic coach, the trips for fast-food after games, and the bonds and frustrations of athletes on a losing team, all seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old.
- Roth, Henry H. "The Cinderella Kid." New American Review no.7. New York: New American Library, 1969. 204-215. Repr. Bjarkman. A kid from an orphanage gets a bonus to play major-league baseball but ruins his arm and goes to community college instead.
Roth experiments with the growth of his character's voice over several years. The contributor's note says: "He is not the author of Call It Sleep."
- Rowell, Steve A. "3, 2 & 2." Aethlon 11.1 (Fall 1993): 79-86. A relief pitcher for the White Sox turns out to be a professional killer; one of his fans turns out to be the FBI agent who tracks him down.
Agreeable suspense vignette.
- Runyon, Damon. "Baseball Hattie." (1954). Repr. Bowering, Holtzman, Lewis, Staudohar. This legendary Giant fan saves pitcher Haystack Duggeler from an angry Philadelphia mob, marries him, and prevents him from throwing a game to the Dodgers.
Fluidly written story in the tradition of Ring Lardner, though of course Runyon's own prose style is an American original.
- Russell, Josh. "The World's Foremost Fungo Hitter Watches Bugs Bunny in the Spartanburg, South Carolina Days Inn." Aethlon 13.2 (Spring 1996): 7-11. Repr. McNally. Along with the title activity, the title character calls the cartoon channel and carries on a spirited conversation with the woman on phone duty.
Quirky and well-written minor-league burnout vignette.