Guide to Baseball Short Stories: R

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Well-realized and convincingly observed.

Politically engaged and lyrical, a superior first-person narrative.

Searing short story full of ironies.

Criticism: Febles

Exquisitely underplayed fiction, catching the rhythm of the game beautifully.

Comic but also bittersweet, a well-rounded short story.

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).

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.

Agreeably off-kilter slice of matter-of-fact outrageousness.

Probably the best short fiction about umpires; exquisitely detailed.

Interesting use of timed softball tournament games as the sport setting.

Over-fraught, but shows conventions that would reappear in more "literary" works like Frank O'Rourke's stories and Michael Shaara's For Love of the Game.

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.

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.

First published in the magazine of Margaret L. Carter's "Vanishing Breed" Vampire Universe.

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."

Agreeable suspense vignette.

Fluidly written story in the tradition of Ring Lardner, though of course Runyon's own prose style is an American original.

Quirky and well-written minor-league burnout vignette.