Untitled #24

I’ve been working on another fictional piece; it takes place in my Hope Station universe, but it’s about baseball. It does not yet have a title, and I have much much more than this typed up, but I wanted to toss this around here for some feedback.

The public address system called for applause as the defense took the field. She watched Kimiko throw a few more warm-up pitches to Mariposa before the Cubs’ leadoff hitter approached the plate. Tessa perched on her stool she brought in, placed by the mesh fence protecting the dugout and watched the game start. In the dugout, her batting and pitching coaches made use of the displays and sensor equipment available to them, and if she were so inclined, she could sit inside the dugout and do the same. However, when she tried to manage using the technology, she believed herself to be too disconnected from the pulse of the game, having to rely on fatigue warnings, defensive projections, and other computer-generated outputs. No, she wanted to smell the grass, the dirt, and watch her players play the game.

Tessa did, however, use the radio system during defense. Every player on the field had a small communications device in their ear, with the exception of the pitcher; Kimiko preferred to pitch using the old signs from the catcher, and Mariposa was happy to oblige her. She had said that it ruined her concentration to listen to the chatter over the radio.

Crouched in the catcher’s position, Mariposa gave her a sign, and Kimiko went into her wind-up by twisting her body back to the left and lifting her right leg up before throwing the ball in a submariner style. As soon as the pitch left her hand, Tessa knew it would be straight heat. When the pitch slapped into Mariposa’s mitt loudly and the umpire called strike one, Tessa’s head snapped around to read the speed display in the dugout. It read 168kmh (105mph). Tessa blinked for a brief moment before hearing the crowd’s reaction to the pitch’s speed.

The Cubs hitter’s look of astonishment was brief, but visible. Quickly, he returned to his stance, ready to time the next pitch in an attempt to make contact. He narrowed his eyes and stared at Kimiko with all the ferocity he could muster.

Kimiko came set, lifted her leg again, and fired off her second pitch of the game. The Cubs hitter smirked and swung, keeping his arc down to try and hit the ball on the ground. He swung through and the umpire called strike two.

The display read: 172kmh (107mph).

Tessa tried to keep her expression as calm as possible, but could not help smiling.

The Cubs’ hitter was visibly angry, now. Tessa knew him to be a more experienced hitter, but he had never faced Kimiko before. This was a brand new team, with more than half of its players coming in and trying out off the street. Very little game data had been produced, but Tessa knew that if Kimiko kept throwing like this, there would be scouts following the Giants everywhere to get a look at her.

On the third pitch, Kimiko’s hand moved slightly in a twisting direction. The ball moved significantly slower and danced around in the air before landing down and in.

The Cubs hitter was frozen in place.

The umpire screamed, “Strike three!” He gestured in the bow-and-arrow fashion to signal the out, and the crowd went wild.

Tessa beamed. She looked over at her pitching coach and smiled at him. She remarked, “Perfect weather for a ballgame, isn’t it?”

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1 comment

    • anki on August 22, 2004 at 14:58

    Not that I know anything about the subject, but not too bad at all. I like it more than your Trek stuff.

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