Archive for the ‘Baseball Microstories’ category

Striking Out on Front Street: A Baseball Microstory

April 5, 2020

“Honestly, I’m not a huge baseball fan,” she told him. “I just go for the experience.”

He tried to respond, but his mind was blank. A bountiful vocabulary evaporated. This was a symptom of his awkwardness. Instead, he looked ahead, praying his silence won’t deny a second date.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

The pressure to say something, ANYTHING, intensified.

“I go because art and science come together on the field,” he blurted out. “It’s better than sex!”

The regret on her face was painfully obvious. He struck out before the first pitch. There wasn’t going to be a second date.

ER

Sorrow on Front Street: A Baseball Microstory

February 27, 2020

“I’ve been looking forward to this game all week,” Luke said excitedly. “Thanks for getting the tickets, Mum.”

Shelia smiled back. She loved how her son – a grown adult – had the same enthusiasm for a Jays game as he did as a child. Countless times, they bonded over wins, losses and overpriced hot dogs.

“You’re welcome, hunny,” she said. “I’m really glad we could do this.”

As they moved closer to the stadium, Shelia felt sorrow. The tumour was inoperable and she knew she’d have to tell him eventually.

Tonight, at least, they could enjoy one last baseball game together

ER

Friday Night on Front Street: A Baseball Microstory

January 16, 2020

He’s made the pilgrimage for nearly 30 years. Probably could walk the path backwards and blindfolded:

Exit Union Station, walk along Front Street, turn left at John Street, up the stairs and over the bridge. Hello Skydome! Enjoy the game.

The weather is a warm tonic. It’s providing something he badly needs: A chance to take a breath.

The city was busy and his life was no exception. Anxiety and painful memories were far too prevalent. He needed a break. Baseball was that break.

So he walks, inhales the metropolitan air and begins to observe the people and their stories.

ER

Optioned to AAA: A Baseball Microstory

July 22, 2019

A bitter professional baseball player boarded the final Greyhound shuttle just after midnight. He was going back to the minors; optioned to AAA.

“We know you’re working hard,” his manager told him. “But things are getting tight and we just can’t wait it out.”

The manager wasn’t wrong. His struggles were well-documented.

But he had nothing to prove in the minors and hated giving up the sweet nectar of major league luxury.

So with the emergency exit within reach, he considered instant retirement.

The worst kind of anger is when you’re furious with the person you see in a mirror.

ER

Silent Siblings: A Baseball Microstory

January 28, 2019

Dinner was painfully awkward.

Such was the case with the Johnson brothers. They had nothing in common except for baseball.

Roger was the league’s best manager. Steve was a long-time umpire.

They reluctantly met, ordered and sat silently.

A young sports reporter out with his colleagues noticed the Johnsons and asked why they weren’t speaking.

“Wait for it,” answered one of the veteran scribes.

Eventually, Roger broke the silence.

“Can’t believe you threw me out,” said Roger. “That third strike was way outside!”

“It caught the corner and you deserved what you got,” replied Steve.

The young reporter instantly understood.

ER

The Surprise Visitor: A Baseball Microstory

November 5, 2018

The first stop after a ballgame: The washroom.

It was packed as usual. Young fraternity brothers resting their near-empty cans of beer on top of urinals.

I did what I needed to do, washed and dried my hands and prepared to exit.

Then she walked in.

“Miss,” I said, shocked and concerned. “You’re in the wrong spot.”

She just smirked, pulled her hat down and calmly walked into the only available stall. In unison, all the men stopped talking and watched in disbelief as she locked the door.

She knew exactly what she was doing and didn’t give a damn.

ER

Dilemma On The Mound: A Baseball Microstory

September 10, 2018

Joe was at a career crossroads.

He was facing a superstar and plagued with a dilemma.

The superstar had an irritating demeanor and wreaked havoc on Joe’s team.

Joe had two choices: Intentionally hit the superstar or try to get him out.

Hitting the superstar had consequences, but he’d gain the respect of his teammates and coaches. Pitching to the superstar – even if successful – would demote him to AAA.

“Beaning” was the old way, but being a team player was a hard temptation.

Taking a deep breath, he decided uncomfortable busses and dirty motels were better than a toxic camaraderie.

ER

Father and Son: A Baseball Microstory

June 11, 2018

“So this is what retirement feels like?” I asked.

“This is it,” my father replied. “What do you think?”

I gave the question some thought.

“Honestly,” I said. “I still have the urge to put on the uniform and grab my glove and bat. The feelings I had out there haven’t gone away yet.”

“Good,” my father said smiling. “It’s normal to feel that way. That urge will always exist. My advice: Don’t try to disconnect from it. It’ll drive you crazy. Just embrace it.”

Such wise words that guided me out from darkness.

I was going to be alright.

ER

No Confidence: A Baseball Microstory

May 10, 2018

Those fucking nerves tear my stomach apart.

What did Dr. Garcia say? Take several breaths? Remember, it’s just baseball; not life-or-death?

I’ve solicited advice. Yet every time….every damn time the manager calls on me, I want to disappear.

Use to be the best closer in baseball. Simply unstoppable. Then I made a fatal mistake: Threw one bad pitch and fucked up the World Series. Since then, my confidence has been estranged.

It is life-or-death. The stadium is full of demons and they’re all watching me.

Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll have a heart attack before I reach the mound.

ER

Real Pain: A Baseball Microstory

April 16, 2018

The room was spacious, but he felt trapped.

Such was the case when one attends a baseball game, attempts to catch a foul ball, misses, falls onto unforgiving concrete and is taken to a nearby hospital.

Stitches were needed and there were likely a few dental surgeries in his future. Calling himself a mess was generous. Worst of all, he missed the rest of the game.

And as he stared at the ceiling, contemplating his painful predicament, the doctor walked in and announced the final score.

Despite the cuts, bruises and broken teeth, news of his team’s defeat hurt more.

ER


%d bloggers like this: