The life, death, and ghost of a catcher.
Rafael Palmeiro was a surefire Hall of Famer before a positive steroids test derailed everything. He retired a few months later, quietly sent home early by the team that had been planning to celebrate him. Next came depression and a $53 million business deal gone bust.
A profile of a previously unknown rookie pitcher for the Mets who dropped out of Harvard, made a spiritual quest to Tibet, and somewhere along the line figured out how to throw a baseball much, much faster than anyone else on Earth.
On God, childhood, and baseball.
He pauses and glances around him. Just about everyone in the place is aware of him now. When he continues, the voice is still under control, but the eyes have become lasers. “I know that some of the press is out to get me. It’s ’cause I’m more intelligent than they are, I handle myself well, I’m wealthy and I’m black—and there ain’t nothin’ they can do about it.” He flashes his joyless smile
Australian Rocky Perone, age 21, made his minor league baseball debut with a stolen base in 1974. Except he wasn’t Australian, wasn’t named Rocky Perone and most definitely wasn’t 21.
The baseball game that launched a career in fiction.
Daniel Norris lives out of his car. He’s also the #1 pitching prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Eli Saslow on the Longform Podcast
A beaten man tries to come back from purgatory.
“I was in the visiting clubhouse waiting to interview one of the Oakland A’s this year when one of the players called, ‘Here, pussy’—as though he were calling a cat. But of course, he hadn’t lost Fluffy; he’d found a woman in his locker room.”
Human emotions and contact in the far future.
"Ethan begins moonlighting at the touch center on weekday mornings. Off-peak hours. He robo-cabs it there and back alone. Still, working there is a leap from the isolation of his apartment, and it’s the first time he’s felt inspired in years. He knows he’s not handsome by conventional standards, but he can give a mean hug and they never have enough guys to work at places like this anyway."