Guide to Baseball Short Stories: K
- Kalfus, Ken. "The Joy and Melancholy Baseball Trivia Quiz." Sonora Review. In Thirst (Minneapolis: Milkweed, 1998). Surreal take-off on the old-fashioned genre of the gee-whiz trivia quiz.
Clever blend of metafiction and meta-sportswriting. The last vignette – a tale of a 62-pitch at-bat – is perhaps the best.
- Kamsoke, Brian. "Fireball." Aethlon 33.1 (Fall 2015 / Winter 2016): 109-17. A young pitching prospect is literally too hot to handle, in this magical-realist yarn.
- Keillor, Garrison. "Three New Twins Join Club in Spring." The New Yorker (1988). In We Are Still Married (New York: Viking, 1989). Repr. Staudohar. Send-up of the usual human-interest stories about off-season player deals; here, imaginary players are signed by the Twins after their 1987 World Series victory.
An occasional piece which is occasionally funny.
- Keillor, Garrison. "What Did We Do Wrong?" The New Yorker (1985). In We Are Still Married (New York: Viking, 1989). Repr. Staudohar. Farrago about an imaginary first woman big-leaguer, played for uneasy antifeminist laughs.
- Kelly, Leslie. "Sliding Home." See Boys of Summer.
- Kerouac, Jack. "Ronnie on the Mound." (1948). Repr. Bowering, Wilber. A rookie pitcher's first big-league inning.
- Kessel, John. "The Franchise." Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (1993). Repr. Kinsella, Wilber. Twists of alternative history bring George H.W. Bush to bat against Fidel Castro in the 1959 World Series.
Castro has pitched in several other fictions (see Shepard) but this is his sole appearance against another world leader so far.
- Kessel, John. "Judgment Call." The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (1987). Repr. Kinsella. A minor-leaguer spends the last night before his call-up with an eldritch woman.
- King, Gary. "The Last Ice Cream Truck of Summer." Aethlon 16.1 (Fall 1998): 31-36. A middle-aged man recalls a key at-bat in a youth-league game long ago, and the girl who watched him go up to bat.
- King, Owen. "Wonders." Book Magazine May-June 2000. Repr. McNally. Busher in the minors, on his blundering way upwards, contributes to the sorrows of a teammate and a girlfriend.
Vivid, relentlessly ugly story.
- King, Stephen. "Blockade Billy." In Blockade Billy. New York: Scribner, 2010. 3-80. Busher arrives in majors with minimal provenance, maximal talent, and maleficent habits.
Deliberate pastiche of old pulp conventions, with R-rated profanity and violence to let us know we're not in the Saturday Evening Post anymore. Read more about "Blockade Billy" at lection.
- King, Stephen, and Stewart O'Nan. "A Face in the Crowd." Scribner eBook, 2012. Repr. Wilber. Retired widower with much to regret starts seeing long-passed associates in the stands on TV baseball broadcasts.
As usual, Stephen King wouldn't know subtle if it hit him with a brick, but this is a well-crafted classic ghost story reminiscent of The Twilight Zone.
- Kinsella, W. P. has his own page in the Guide.
- Kissane, James. "Frankie's Home Run." Minneapolis Review of Baseball 7.4 (1988): 46-54. Repr. Bjarkman. A fictional memoir of the narrator's "summer of '42" playing Legion ball.
- Klein, Kurt. "The Catcher." Aethlon 12.2 (Spring 1995): 123-139. A white man recalls the 1930s, when he caught a black friend who was not allowed to play for the town team despite his wonderful curveball.
Straightforward story, mostly taken up with exposition.
- Klinkowitz, Jerry. Short Season and Other Stories. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988. Repr. New York: Collier, 1989. A set of 28 linked short stories that follow a single season of A-class professional baseball in Iowa.
Based loosely on Klinkowitz's own experience as a minor-league executive. This is an unusual and very appealing format for baseball fiction and works very well as an organic unit. Individual stories most notable on their own include: "Bus Trip"; "Release," a study of organizational politics; and "Road Work," a fine inside-baseball story of strategy and tactics. A fascinating essay on the origins of this collection, called "Structuring Short Season," appears in Klinkowitz's Owning a Piece of the Minors (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999).
- Koplowitz, Donald Z. "The Promise of Stan the Man." Aethlon 33.1 (Fall 2015 / Winter 2016): 135-44. Grievously wounded in Vietnam, the narrator comes back to life with the help of a good woman – and a famous Cardinal.
- Kotzen, Kip. "Pray for Rain." Open City 2000. Repr. McNally. Character sketch of the narrator's college roommate, a longsuffering Red Sox fan.
Original and sharply drawn.
- Kramer, George. "The Magic Number." Ten Story Sports 6.3 (October 1952): 96-106. Baseball phenom is distracted in the middle of a pennant race: his girl won't give him the time of day till he can break 100 on the golf course.
"A Screwball Novelet," one of a couple of wacky humorous tales that appeared alongside more solemn items in Ten Story Sports.