Guide to Baseball Short Stories: S

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Kernels of poignance show here and there in a story that could use more character development.

The kind of story where the characters speak in such elaborate expository detail that you can't imagine they hadn't sorted out these details long ago.

A lot goes on here in 14 pages: an entire career in retrospect, and its backstory as well.

Well-handled magical tale that avoids maudlin possibilities.

This magical-realist story invokes Jorge Luis Borges, but its nearer inspiration is W.P. Kinsella. An original idea, strongly handled.

One of an odd group of stories involving animals entering the major leagues; see also McIlroy and Smith's Rhubarb, and a juvenile by Higdon. Schramm's story, by contrast to the others, is more deliberately a coded satire of controversies over integration of the majors.

If you ever had a highly-strung summer friendship as a teenager, you'll see yourself in this one.

Enigmatic tale that could be played for laughs but goes in a more somber direction.

Prose adaptation of Serling's script for the TV episode of the same title.

Shannon writes notably good stories about texts about baseball, including "Cubs Win! Cubs Win!" where a man falls in love with the marginalia a woman has written in a baseball book, and "The Charlie Pepper Letters," in which an old-time sportswriter answers letters from a younger writer; soon it becomes clear that the younger man is mainly interested in scandal surrounding the 1940 suicide of Reds' catcher Willard Hershberger.

Sharp language, weaker sense of baseball, and comic-opera Cuban revolution stuff blend uneasily here. For other stories of world leaders playing the game, see Parsons, Williamson. To see Castro pitching in other game situations, see Apple, Kessel, and Wendel.

Don't worry; it turns out all right.

Whimsy and magic surround the likeable central characters.

Absurd and contrived but well-written despite it all, this story has an odd archetypal quality that has made it memorable to many readers. The bunter Ziggy is described throughout as a midget (though his height is given as 4'10"), enhancing the quality of David-vs.-Goliath that surrounds his final confrontation with an enemy pitcher.

Well-turned sketch of youthful athletic dreams persisting as men age.

Deft and satisfying interweaving of baseball and private histories.

One of the more Kafkaesque of baseball stories. The introduction to the volume gives the author's name as Rachel Solar, and indeed it's much in the mode of Solar's stories for the first two Fenway Fiction collections.

Nicely done vignette.

Loaded with telling verisimilar detail.

The multifariousness of the human spirit as refracted through baseball.

The first-person narrator (the pinch-hitter himself) is deliberately, self-consciously pedantic, for effect; but the story is still over-told, even if it doesn't overstay its welcome.

Wolfe is called at first in not to solve the murder, but to figure out who has fixed the Series by slipping phenobarbital into the Giants' favorite soft drink, "Beebright."

Interesting less as humor – it's not particularly funny – than as a reference source of baseballisms.