Nolan Ryan’s Baseball


It’s Christmas today, and no one sane is reading about SNES games. This means I have completely free reign to celebrate Santa’s birthday however I want, so in that spirit, I present:


(DISCLAIMER: “Nolan Ryan” refers to an alternate dimension Nolan Ryan who is absolutely not this dimension’s Nolan Ryan. Any similarities, as unlikely as it seems, are total coincidence caused by trans-dimensional flotsam interfering with some kind of spectrum that I’ll make up later.)

A young Nolan Ryan dreamed only of becoming a professional baseball player. He lulled himself to sleep every night by imitating the sound a baseball made as it thudded into a catcher’s mitt. “Kraka-szzztplatpthumf!” he’d cry, completely hopeless at making sound effects—one of the many reasons he wanted to be a professional baseball player instead of that guy from the Police Academy movies (he’s a different guy in this dimension since it’s not our dimension (but is very similar to our dimension which is a fortuitous circumstance for the purposes of this story)).

It was hard for young Nolan Ryan, born seven years prior in the year of 1947 in a tiny town in Texas called Oigufer, to lull himself to sleep this night. This night was Christmas Eve, and visions of baseball paraphernalia danced in Nolan’s head. “Soon,” he thought, “soon I will have a baseball glove and a baseball and perhaps a baseball hat and oh but I will throw a baseball so hard another boy might die or at least be somewhat maimed.” It was 1954 and kids talked like this. Ask your parents or grandparents.

Eventually borne off to the gentle and restful Sea of Sleep by a ship constructed of dreams about maiming children with a baseball, time vanished for Nolan. He awoke to the sound of his father cursing in frustration as a buzzer indicated his failure in a game of Surgical Procedure (this is like the game Operation from our dimension, but different since this story takes place in an alternate dimension (and this is a different Nolan Ryan)).

Nolan Ryan’s father played Surgical Procedure every morning for 2 and half hours in the hope of one day being able to remove the notoriously evasive Spotted Dick—possibly the least offensive of the body part-themed puns. Christmas morning was no exception to his practice schedule: the only difference was the presence of a Sigg bottle full of eggnog.

Nolan catapulted himself from betwixt his baseball-themed sheets and ran down the narrow stairs into the alarmingly sparse living room. He dodged around his father, who was still cursing at the cartoon depiction of Orifice Orville, the much-ailed patient of Surgical Procedure. He jumped over the stack of firewood and as he landed, slid on his pajama-clad knees and nearly crashed into the sad, wilted Christmas tree. Two gifts bore his name. One was a tightly wrapped sphere that appeared like it was designed to be gripped in the palm of the hand, and the other was an unwrapped box that had a picture of a pitcher’s mitt and said PROFESSIONAL PITCHER’S MITT in large letters in a font similar to that one back there.

Little Nolan Ryan picked up the sphere and tossed it high into the air before catching it deftly and quickly unwrapping it. His eager eyes were greeted with the sight of a transparent ball of glass with what looked like sticks and bits of white flecking on the inside. “What is it?” he asked his father, barely choking back tears. “It’s an irregular snow globe missing its base. Got it cheap due to the internal damage.”

It was a crushing disappointment, but there was still that glorious box awaiting him. Nolan rolled the snow globe to the side and crawled over to the box, holding his breath. Slowly, his hands shaking like frightened dogs who know they’re in trouble for chewing up my socks, he opened the lid of the box. Inside: absolutely nothing. The box was totally empty.

“It’s a metaphor for the disappointments of life or something,” said his father. “We just had a big war so all my money was killed by Germans.”

Nolan’s eyes narrowed as he remained perched on his knees. His fists shot into the air and his face aimed skyward. “Someday!” he cried. “Someday I will take my revenge on this world by making a game that simulates baseball so poorly that no child will ever find joy! This baseball game will be like this box: empty, boring, and totally disappointing! MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU BASTARDS! YOU BASTARDS!”

Nolan’s father smirked and stuck a tiny pair of sharp metal tweezers into a cartoon man’s eye socket.


(Though very abused, no parentheses were killed in the writing of this story.)