Joe Buck: Welcome back to 60-game baseball! The league has taken every precaution, and America’s pastime is back. As you can see, I’m a one man show in this time of crisis. Top of the first, two on, with hitter and centerfielder for the Cleveland First People, Jock Itchiru.

Here’s the pitch. Swung on, deep right field, Cardinals fielder Flame Thrower dives but the ball falls in front of him. The runners held up, but now they’re running. The throw to third—oh, third baseman Flick Friend falls to the ground. He’s retching!

The shortstop, Willie Wonthe won’t pick up the ball because of the vomit, two runs score, Jock Itchiru slides into third. He is… oh my god, third base umpire Vag Groper falls backward. He… can’t smell, and he…oh he’s.

The throw home—now Jock Itchiru is caught in a run-down. Catcher Miller Highlife chases—but he stumbles and falls, sweating profusely and coughing. Scratch slides. Safe! The Cardinals trainer is checking Highlife…he’s okay, oh, my bad, he’s dead.

Nobody out, and nobody left on the Cardinals roster to play right field or third base. Next up, Cleveland First People first baseman Dick Tiny. Here’s the pitch. It’s a spitter—no, the pitcher is spitting up, the ball rolls to the plate… Tiny bunts down the third base line, nobody there to field it, the ball rolls toward left field, Dick ends up at second base. Mel Carnage, the pitcher, is rolling on the mound and speaking in tongues… He gone!

So, nobody out, Dick on second, and up comes switch hitter Elvis Pressedme. With the new rules, there are no substitute players, so since there’s no pitcher, Pressedme has to toss the ball into the air and hit it. He tosses, swings, and it’s a pop foul. First baseman Yankme Quick chases, plate umpire Speck Trometer follows… oh my god, Trometer falls dead. Yankme makes the catch, but there’s nobody to call the out.

Dick scores, and Pressedmeat heads for second. Second baseman Algor Doubting-Thomas makes the tag—wait, he falls dead, and second base umpire Julie Cesar is hit with a seizure! And now first base umpire Arch Fallen falls fleetly onto his ventilator—he was sick before the game started, and oh, dear lord, he’s dead.

Pressedmeat on first. And now the Cardinals are in a predicament. No pitcher, second baseman, right fielder, catcher, and Jay Eyre the center fielder is playing deep while lying on a hospital bed, all the umpires are dead. And wait—down goes manager Pat Metheny, farting all the way.

Coming to the plate, league homerun hitter Fatten Meup. He tosses the ball and swings. Line drive up the gap! The orderlies wheel the center fielder Jay Eyre toward the wall. He reaches. He makes the catch! A female fan reaches for the ball…and falls onto the field. Usher Charlie Baird jumps onto the field and is assisting the fan. I’m told by our producer that the fan is Sheila Segraves. We’re glad you’re okay, Sheila!

There is a commotion in the right field box seats. I’m being told that a hotdog vendor has died, and fans are swarming his body to get free dogs. Wow—this is old fashioned baseball, folks.

Next up, designated hitter Showme State. State tosses the ball and swings. And drops dead! A soft grounder to the pitcher’s mound, but there is no pitcher and no runner. Does a hit with no runner make a sound if no one is pitching?

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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