This page has stories set around baseball. I’ll keep adding more as I find them.
Several stories on this page can be read in the excellent anthology Baseball’s Best Short Stories. This revised edition has 34 selections. As a bonus, if you haven’t read “Casey at the Bat” in a while, it’s in the Amazon preview.
“How I Won the World Series” by Dan Gutman
The narrator claims that he won the 1986 World Series for the New York Mets. What you saw happen in the game isn’t all there is to the story. The Red Sox lost because of him. He explains that it all started in 1920 when Babe Ruth went to the Yankees.
“How I Won the World Series” can be read in the preview of Guys Read: The Sports Pages.
“Batting Against Castro” by Jim Shepard
The narrator and Charlie are the worst batters on their pro team. The fans are used to being disappointed and don’t pay them much attention. Late in the season, they get sent to the minors. The narrator doesn’t think they’re going to make it back to the pros. He suggests they play in a winter league in Cuba.
The beginning of “Batting Against Castro” can be read in the preview of Bottom of the Ninth: Great Contemporary Baseball Short Stories.
“Three New Twins Join Club in Spring” by Garrison Keillor
The narrator’s team, the Minnesota Twins, won the World Series last year. They look even better this year. They stayed in shape during the off-season at their farm. Management also secured three top-notch, under-the-radar players for the upcoming season.
“One Throw” by W. C. Heinz
Mr. Franklin is in town on business. He talks to the hotel clerk about a young baseball prospect, Maneri, playing for the local team. He’s supposed to be the next big thing, but he’s stuck playing in the minors. Mr. Franklin meets Maneri and finds out what’s going on.
“You Could Look it Up” by James Thurber
Squawks Magrew manages the league-leading pro baseball team. They’re on a losing streak, though, and their lead is dwindling. The players are tense and Magrew is upset. After yet another loss, Magrew goes to a bar. He meets a very small man, Pearl du Monville, who starts making fun of the team.
“The Thrill of the Grass” by W. P. Kinsella
Almost a month into the 1981 MLB strike, the pulls into the stadium lot on the way home from work. He loves baseball and misses everything about the game. He walks around the deserted grounds. He spots what looks like a door in the fence. He can’t resist going inside.
“The Slump” by John Updike
A professional baseball player is in a hitting slump. He tries to figure out what his problem is. He considers physical and philosophical reasons, and tries to work through it.
“No Win Phuong” by Alden R. Carter
Ngo Huynh Phuong (pronounced “no win fong”) starts school in central Wisconsin. Bull and Jeff, members of the baseball team, want him to join the team, assuming he’s a great baseball player. He turns out to have a strong fastball but poor control. Phuong doesn’t want to play on the team.
Read “No Win Phuong”
“A Moment in the Sun Field” by William Brohaugh
Bobby, his friend, and his dad play 500—a baseball type game where you get points for catching and fielding the ball.
“Death of a Right Fielder” by Stuart Dybeck
The team checks out the right field position when the balls stop coming back in. They find him lying there. He had the right disposition for an outfielder, so his absence went unnoticed. The team guesses what might have happened to him.