Posted in Short Stories

Stuart Dybek: Death of a Right Fielder (Deal Me In 2018 – Week 8)

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baseball short stories

Finally we saw him; from a distance he resembled the towel we sometimes threw down for second base.

For Week 8 of Deal Me In 2018, I drew the Queen of Spades and read Stuart Dybek’s 1990 story “Death of a Right Fielder”.  Week 8 is probably a little too far away from opening day to make this a great coincidence but baseball season IS right around the corner. It also blows my mind that out of the eight stories I’ve read so far this year, I think six of them could easily make my top ten at the end of the year. I include Dybek’s story in those six.

Starting with the title, I initially thought this story would be about the death of someone famous (even fictionally famous) – a major league player or at least a minor league one. It was the quotation above only a few sentences in that let me know this was taking a different turn. This was about kids. And this is only the first of several perfect twists and turns, some comical, some sad, some tragic.

Whether its lost innocence or lost dreams or if there really is even a difference between the two, this story packs it all in with just a few short pages.

This story is included in my copy of Baseball’s Best Short Stories edited by Paul D. Staudohar. My Deal Me In List can be seen here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.