Baseball, sport consisting of two teams of nine players, all of whom desperately want to make their fathers proud. Play begins when the pitcher, whose dad is either watching from the stands or emotionally crippling his son by being the team’s coach, throws the ball in an evasive fashion to the opposing team’s batter, who, with any baserunners, occupies the only on-field offensive position and whose father was once a gifted baseball player and has unusually high expectations for his child. The ball is officially put into play when a batter hits a pitch into fair territory. Prior to chasing the ball, the fielder thinks about how all he wants is for his hardworking father to attend one of his games. Just one. Attempting to end the play and record an out, the fielder deflects the ball down or scoops it up with his glove and throws it to the first baseman, who was raised by a divorced mother. The mother loves her son and frequently offers to play catch with him—an offer her boy refuses because it just isn’t the same. If the batter fails to reach first base before the ball is caught by the baseman, he is considered out. As he jogs back to the dugout, he looks up to the bleachers to see if his father is upset. This cycle continues repeatedly over the course of a nine-inning game until a winner is declared.
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