All Part of the Game

The manager slowly walked out to the mound. When he got there he leaned in close to the pitcher and said, “Listen, Luis, the bases are loaded and there are two outs. I think the batter is going to try to catch us off guard by bunting. So I want you to throw him your knuckleball low and outside and then charge the plate right after you pitch the ball just in case he gets some wood on it.”

“I got it, Dave,” the pitcher said. The manager walked back to the dugout and Luis wound up and threw his knuckler. Unfortunately, the batter swung away and the ball zoomed out at full speed, connecting with the charging pitcher’s head almost right between the eyes.

The sound of the crack the ball made when it hit Luis’ skull reverberated throughout the ballpark, destroying the festive mood of the thousands of fans in the stands. The medics came out to attend to the unconscious pitcher and called for the stretcher to carry his limp body off the field. Any sense of optimism about the pitcher just shaking off his injury and being able to resume the game disappeared.

Fortunately, Luis did regain consciousness in the locker room, but after being transported to the hospital for further evaluation, the doctors determined that Luis had suffered from significant nerve damage and agreed that his professional baseball career was likely over.

A year later, Luis returned to baseball, but not as a player. His new job was as the team’s pitching coach. One of the first things he taught his charges was to never rush the plate before the batter swung at the pitch.


Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (bunting), Word of the Day Challenge (charge), MMA Storytime (zoom), Ragtag Daily Prompt (festive), Your Daily Word Prompt (optimism), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (nerve).

20 thoughts on “All Part of the Game

    • Fandango December 16, 2020 / 1:25 pm

      As someone who probably doesn’t follow American baseball, did any of that make sense to you?

      Like

      • Mister Bump UK December 16, 2020 / 1:33 pm

        One of the places I always wanted to go, but never got there, was Yankee Stadium. But I did manage to buy myself a baseball (which I’ve long since lost). But yeah, I got ya.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Marleen December 16, 2020 / 1:15 pm

    Very not cool.

    There was an age group of baseball team when my sons were little where one child was put in the position of pitcher even though there was a pitching machine and, therefore, the boy didn’t actually pitch. I suppose the idea was to indicate there are other things for the person in the pitching position to do. But, one afternoon, a young boy (I’m recalling it may have been first grade) there got hit in the mouth with a baseball delivered off a bat of a fellow player. He had to undergo oral surgery. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t want grandchildren to play baseball or football. No scary soccer memories…

    … well, a coach once insisted that my adolescent son kick a ball hard as he could straight at said coach. My son complied, and the ball smashed the glasses right off the face of the coach. The glasses broke, too. The coach was known to have a short temper, but he stayed very low-key as he realized he had told this kid to do it even when the young man had resisted.

    Let’s see. Basketball was good. Track.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 16, 2020 / 1:27 pm

      The coach got what he asked for, I guess.

      Like

      • Marleen December 17, 2020 / 10:09 am

        He sure did.

        This coach, at some point in the year this son was on his team, ended up with a cast on one leg/foot because he had kicked something in his house (not a ball) in a fit of rage. It’s actually a little bit impressive that he didn’t vent even any verbal abuse at my son.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. bushboy December 16, 2020 / 2:26 pm

    I was the pitcher for one of my High School teams. Never got hurt but did some damage to the batters averages 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lindakempwriter December 16, 2020 / 2:27 pm

    I do not understand baseball, but I get the pain of a ball between your eyes!! Yikes!
    I did see a baseball game, in DC (Nationals? is that right?). Had no freakin’ idea what was going on on the field, but geez, such a fun environment to be in. One of my best experiences when I travelled in the US 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 16, 2020 / 2:48 pm

      Yep, the Nationals. Your comment reminds me of a joke. Queen Elizabeth attended an American baseball game and every time a batter hit the ball, she would shout, “Run quickly, young man.” Then one batter walked (the pitcher threw four pitches that missed the strike zone, such pitches referred to as “balls”), and when he started to walk to first base, she shouted out, “Run quickly, young man!”

      “Oh no your majesty,” her guide said, “that player has four balls.”

      The Queen nodded and shouted out “Walk proudly, young man!”

      Liked by 2 people

  4. lssattitudeofgratitude December 16, 2020 / 8:54 pm

    One of my 6th grade tragedies was getting hit in the head with the bat when I was the catcher. No head gear then. The goose egg I got was not as bad as the needle to drain the bump at the hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Taswegian1957 December 17, 2020 / 12:45 am

    Baseball talk is like a foreign language to me but cricketers can get similar injuries.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Archon's Den December 17, 2020 / 11:50 pm

    I caught a hard-hit softball with the bridge of my nose. Someone stole the rest of recess, and gave me a bloody nose and two shiners to replace it.
    Good story. You took all your knowledge of ’rounders,’ and turned it into American baseball. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango December 18, 2020 / 9:05 am

      Most historians suggest that American baseball was based on Rounders.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bushrakhan January 15, 2021 / 8:48 am

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    Like

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