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One Throw

Bronx Banter is proud to present “One Throw,” a classic piece of short baseball fiction by the great W.C. Heinz.

All thanks to Heinz’s daughter, Gayl, for making it happen. In a recent e-mail, Gayl wrote:

“One Throw” was first printed in a July 15, 1950 issue of Collier’s magazine. In 1959 Summer Time Scholastic magazine picked it up. I don’t know if it was printed anywhere in between, but it has been reprinted many times since in English textbooks as an instructional piece on how to build a plot, use dialogue, and so on. The most recent contract for a textbook reprint was this past summer. “One Throw” also appears in “The Third Fireside Book of Baseball,” 1968, edited by Charles Einstein….and who knows where else?! I know Dad was always pleased with its timelessness and longevity.

Here it is. Hope you enjoy.

“One Throw”

By W.C. Heinz

I checked into a hotel called the Olympia, which is right on the main street and the only hotel in the town. After lunch I was hanging around the lobby, and I got to talking to the guy at the desk. I asked him if this wasn’t the town where that kid named Maneri played ball.

“That’s right,” the guy said. “He’s a pretty good ballplayer.”

“He should be,” I said. “I read that he was the new Phil Rizzuto.”

“That’s what they said,” the guy said.

“What’s the matter with him?” I said. “I mean if he’s such a good ballplayer what’s he doing in this league?”

“I don’t know,” the guy said. “I guess the Yankees know what they’re doing.”

“What kind of kid is he?”

“He’s a nice kid,” the guy said. “He plays good ball, but I feel sorry for him. He thought he’d be playing for the Yankees soon, and here he is in this town. You can see it’s got him down.”

“He lives here in this hotel?”

“That’s right,” the guy said. “Most of the older ballplayers stay in rooming houses, but Pete and a couple other kids live here.”

He was leaning on the desk, talking to me and looking across the hotel lobby. He nodded his head. “This is a funny thing,” he said. “Here he comes now.”


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