Picking up on her Varsity Letters presentation, here’s Emma’s debut article for Baseball Prospectus:
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the maxim that if you can imagine it, there’s porn about it on the Internet. That’s no joke. It was only a few years ago that I first learned of fan fiction, when a friend explained that one of his coworkers not only contributed to, but ran, an extensive website entirely dedicated to fan-written stories about the characters from the animated series Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. The stories that turned sexual—yes, stories about cartoon chipmunks that turn sexual—were called slash fiction, named for the typographic symbol in the “Kirk/Spock” liaisons that launched the genre in the 1970s.
Naturally, this prompted my friends and I to go online and see if there was any kind of subject, anything at all, and that did not have something pornographic written about it and posted on the Internet. The answer: not really, no. We couldn’t find anything pairing Jay Leno with bandleader Kevin Eubanks, but that was about it.
What we did discover was a trove of imagined romance and sex between baseball players, on multiple websites. I thought that over the years I’d seen most of the dark corners of sports fandom, but as it turns out, I still was not fully prepared for baseball fan fiction. If you’ve thought about it at all, you might expect to find quite a few tales of Jeter and A-Rod, and those are certainly there. But I was less braced for just how prominently players like, for example, Doug Mirabelli feature. You just do not ever expect to encounter the phrase, to quote one story, “Doug Mirabelli’s huge, unlubed…”
Well—Doug Mirabelli’s huge, unlubed anything, really. Let’s leave it at that.