Turns Ten. Turns Us In.

The kid set us up, big time. He gets a bat and balls and batting glove, bowling and pizza and chocolate cake, and this is how he repays us? All week long we put little signs around the house noting his tenth birthday. Ten of them to be exact. Or, make that 12 or 13, … Continue reading Turns Ten. Turns Us In.

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Levity with Brevity

My copy of Flash Nonfiction Funny cometh! I hope the wait's as brief as the material---rib-tickling bites of 750 words or less compiled by editors Tom Hazuka and Dinty W. Moore (yes). As the book makes its way to my doorstep, I'm looking at the anthology's 71 contributors (including myself) and the first name to … Continue reading Levity with Brevity

Opening Day

MLB opens today. With the game on my mind, I revisit how a small deformity of mine became an asset in fiction for the narrator---an all star pitcher---of my first published story. My thumb, badly slashed on New Years Eve by the broken neck of a champagne bottle, never healed properly. After surgery to reconnect … Continue reading Opening Day

How We Write

Writing is physical. Writing is athletic. Writing requires the same discipline of a dedicated athlete in pursuit of peak performance. I note this, not to be repetitive, but as a corollary to my series on Little League and the trajectory of sports in life for me. These things are one and the same: the first … Continue reading How We Write

Little League VI: The Wrap

Now spring has brought us out to baseball again. I’m coaching my sons. The last four years, I’ve coached my sons at baseball. Baseball always meant a lot to me, though I was neither the fastest nor the strongest nor the most reliable at the bat. Still, I know enough about the game, and enough … Continue reading Little League VI: The Wrap

Little League V: Ironman

Team sports weren’t for me. I didn’t compete again for a decade. Inspired by my brother, I picked up triathlon. I biked to work through the winter months in New York, swam at Brooklyn College after teaching, ran with the Roadrunners led by an aging postal worker. I competed in my first event in Tampa/St. … Continue reading Little League V: Ironman

Little League IV: ‘Glory’

There was nothing like pole vault. Our equipment was flawed: old fiberglass poles with no give. Coach knew nothing about it and left us to our own devices. Half a dozen guys tried. Sprint hard as we might, the pole didn’t budge. We climbed it like pillaging savages. Between stints climbing the pole---8 feet, 9 … Continue reading Little League IV: ‘Glory’

Little League III: Pole Vault

I tried out for high school ball the following year. I hit longer, straighter flies than I had at tryouts the year before. The coach---who slept on a basement bed in the very apartment where I delivered my middle school coach's newspaper---already knew the story. ‘He’ll hit in tryouts. Goose-egg during the season.’ Rated beneath … Continue reading Little League III: Pole Vault

Little League II: 0 for 12

My father ran bread routes for Wonder most mornings. He delayed the deliveries to throw me curves and fastballs when tryouts came around. He zeroed my hands and eyes, quickened my bat to the rawhide in the pre-dawn twilight. Confident still in the afternoon, I showed for tryouts with a quick bat and hit high, … Continue reading Little League II: 0 for 12

The Little League Coach

The calendar tells us that it's spring. But last Monday, the night before the season's first Little League practice, snow squalls filled the sky. Over the weekend the manager gathered us on a beautiful day for pizza and whiffle ball. Then our second practice got scrubbed for snow, a Nor'easter that eventually dumped half a … Continue reading The Little League Coach