The below flash piece, ‘Future Fall-of-Famer’, was originally published in Daily Flash 2011: 365 Days of Flash Fiction in October 2010. But I figured since baseball season is now in full swing, I’d provide it to you here for free. Hope you enjoy.
Adam Evans knew his time was coming. His manager, Dean, would get the call first, hail him into his cramped minor league office, and tell him that he had just been called up to the big leagues. It would be a glorious day.
Adam dug his cleats into the soft dirt in the batters’ box, took a few practice swings and then lifted his bat above his right ear. He narrowed his eyes and stared back at the one pitcher that ever really gave him trouble – Sonny Erb. Erb had a goatee, a mean stare and a cannon of an arm. The truth of the matter was there weren’t many people that Erb had trouble with. Though, maybe he just enjoyed toying with Evans a bit more than the average bear.
The first pitch was a screamer. It took only a split-second for the ball to go from Erb’s hand to buzzing Evans’ ear. He spun backwards and tripped. A plume of dust came up from where he hit the dirt. Evans stood up and glared back at Erb. The smug pitcher just smiled back.
You sonofabitch, Evans said to himself, dusting himself off and climbing back into the batters’ box. That’s the last time you make a fool out of me, Erb. The last time.
Evans did his ritual and readied himself for the next pitch.
Outside. Ball two.
Trying to make me reach there, aren’t ya?
The count got up to 3-2.
Here it comes.
Right over the plate.
Just where Evans knew it would be.
A deep fly ball to center field.
Evans took off out of the box like a rocket. It was well-known around the league that he was a complete player – he could run, throw, catch and hit.
He rounded second and headed to third.
Evans looked over and noticed a visibly stunned Erb.
Evans glanced over his right shoulder and saw the players fielding the ball.
In the Park, baby! Evans thought to himself, really pouring on the speed.
His right foot came down on the bag as his left foot started towards home.
Evans felt his ankle give and then heard a loud POP!
He cried out and crumbled to the ground.
Through his tears, Evans saw his manager and two trainers come running from the dugout.
And then there was Erb standing over him, smiling.
Just like the smug son-of-a-bitch that he was.
In his hand he had the ball that Evans had just crushed to the centerfield fence.
Erb bent down and tapped Evans’ chest with the ball.
The future slugger turned his head to one side and wept as the trainers started to work on his shattered ankle.
The worse part about it was; Evans was not only beat once again by Erb, but knew from the blistering pain radiating up his leg from his ankle, that his season was over.
And his dream of being called up to the show anytime soon.