I am Hobart-ing it up this month with stories in both the web and print versions of the magazine. The story in Hobart Web, “The Nine Innings of Morrie Rath,” is part of their annual baseball issue to kick off the start of the season.
Morrie Rath was the Reds’ player that was hit with the first pitch of the 1919 world series to signal that the fix was in and the White Sox were taking a dive. I picked Morrie as my hero because I wanted to try approaching this famous historical episode from a new perspective. The more I learned about Morrie Rath, the more fascinated I became by him. Of course, I couldn’t fit his whole life into a piece of flash, but (if you’re inclined) you can learn a bit more on his wikipedia page (where I began my research). I really think someone needs to write an actual biography of Morrie Rath (I necessarily did some fictionalizing here and there). The more searching I did about him, the more interesting stuff I found.
“The Nine Innings of Morrie Rath” is part of my series of counterfactual biographies (where you at, chapbook publishers?). You can read others stories from the series here and here. Here’s an excerpt:
Inning 3: He doesn’t learn until weeks later, when everyone else does, that hitting him with the ball meant the fix was in. His team hadn’t really won the 1919 World Series. It had been handed to them. What to do with this news, Morrie doesn’t know. He’s already felt the heady rush of victory. Already been hoisted up high by the Reds when he threw out Shoeless Joe to end the series. He cannot unfeel these feelings.