Guide to Baseball Short Stories: W

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I liked this story, which features a cheerfully old-fashioned game between good and evil with the souls of the good at stake. New for 2010 is the child heroine, a sullen, constantly-texting misfit who breaks out of her funk when our superhero reveals the grave danger menacing her grandpa.

Durham Bulls baseball is the backdrop to this closely observed relationship.

More a character sketch than a narrative, this is a sharp observation of a certain combination of talent and apathy, told in a confident vernacular syntax.

Readable and funny vignette.

Brisk baseball fantasy with some clever writing.

Richly detailed story that tries to stay astringent but ends up getting a little sentimental.

Meandering sketch of an existence measured out in baseball action, real or imaginary.

An engagingly headlong exercise in unreliable narration.

This fiction is well-crafted, mostly on standard themes: fathers, sons, sudden deaths, male bonding. Several stories have an occult or fantastic twist and originally appeared in SF magazines; one, "The Babe, the Iron Horse, and Mr. McGillicuddy," is co-authored by SF writer Ben Bova.

There are several laughs in this mostly pointless absurdist sketch, interesting as a document of how baseball fiction sooner or later assimilates anything conceivable to the game. "Gandhi at the Bat" was filmed in 2006. For similar examples, see Parsons, Shepard.

Cleverness and paternalism are the themes of this fantasia on organizational manipulation.

Profane populism is a winning theme in this story from the nether regions of pulp, where the blocking-character owner is "Flavian Bates, the mattress king" and knows nothing about baseball or true manhood.

Typical Wodehouse, delivering laughs and surprisingly hip to baseball language and situations.

A deft short fiction about language and writing -- and what better place to observe them than in the context of baseball?