“Reckoning” by Bruce Golden

July 31, 2010

Is he an angel or a demon? . . . or just another face in the crowd? The life of a washed-up minor league baseball player is about to change, after an encounter with a strange little boy. [15min]

Excerpt:

Two down, sacks loaded, three and one—I knew I had to throw a strike. I figured I could throw one by him. Nothing fancy . . . go with the heat . . . muscle-up and blow it by him.

Ruiz, my catcher, he gives me the sign for a yakker. I’m thinking he’s crazy. No way I’m risking a breaking ball three and one. Anyway, I knew I could throw it by this guy. He was nothing. He was meat on a stick. So I shook off the sign.

He puts down three fingers for the change. I’m thinking screw him, I can blow this guy away. I shake him off again.

Finally he gives me the number-one, my bread and butter. I figure I’ll throw it by him, then three and two and he’s mine.

I windup, put a little extra juice on it, and let fly . . . .

Next thing I know I’m listening to the P.A. guy.

“It’s a graaand slaaam, folks. Rusty Storr’s 13th homer of the season.”

He slammed me. I couldn’t believe it. How’d he catch up with that pitch?

I knew when I saw Maggio pop his ugly head out of the dugout and start my way I was screwed. I was in no mood to listen to his crap, but I knew that wasn’t gonna stop him.

“Reckoning” by Bruce Golden first appeared in Palace of Reason, January, 2002.

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