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Pokemon League Baseball (PG)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by ESPNfanatic35, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. ESPNfanatic35

    ESPNfanatic35 Catcher of Ubers

    Hello, everyone. First off I want to say that you don't have to be a baseball fan to be able to read this. I will not use complex baseball terms or phrases on you. This is a fanfic I have had in mind for a while now. As an ESPN fanatic, I am someone who loves baseball. Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball, so I thought it would be appropriate to introduce this fic today.

    I have the first few chapters done now and I will be putting revisions on those and posting them on later dates. This fic will be about a former Major League star who is coaching a mediocre baseball team in a professional baseball league just for Pokemon. The coach struggles with the team and with inner demons from his past, but his energetic niece and her Pokemon friend come to help him turn the team and his life around. I would appreciate comments and reviews. Please don’t be afraid to criticize (just as long as it’s constructive and not just saying, “This sucks.”) This is rated PG for mild violence and mild language (words like "crap" here and there.) I don't own Pokemon or Major League Baseball.

    Pokemon League Baseball


    The sprinklers showered the fresh-cut grass in the outfield as the sun began to fade behind the scoreboard. New Bark Stadium was occupied by just one person at that moment. Other than the sound this person’s footsteps made as he stepped toward home plate, only the singing of the Kricketune could be heard. The young man got on one knee on top of home plate and looked around the field. The stands were empty. How he longed for them to be filled with rowdy fans repeatedly chanting the name, “Matthew Blake” again. “I’m going to miss it so much,” he thought.

    It wasn’t just the fans that ran through Matt’s mind. It was his family and friends cheering him on as he stepped into the batter’s box. It was the taste of salty sunflower seeds in his mouth. It was the crack of the bat when he made solid contact with the ball and the pop of the mitt when he caught the throws at first base. It was he and his teammates standing at the edge of the dugout and rooting on the batters in the midst of a close game. Matt stood back up and walked off the field. As he did this, only one thought crossed his mind. “I won’t be back here next year.”
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  2. ESPNfanatic35

    ESPNfanatic35 Catcher of Ubers

    Here's Chapter 1. You may recognize a character from the anime, Casey. This is the only canon-based character l am using. I am using aspects of her personality from the anime, but I am not trying to put her exact anime character in this fic (so don't worry, she won't break out singing the Electabuzz fight song.)

    Chapter 1 - Fifteen Years Later

    “C’mon Katie, pitch it faster! I feel like I’m playing softball!” Casey clutched the wooden bat in her hands and watched her friend get set on the pitcher’s mound again.

    “I’m trying, Casey!” Katie complained as she got ready to throw. Katie wound up and chucked the ball toward Casey with all her might. Casey took a ferocious swing and drove the ball deep into the outfield. There wasn’t an outfield fence at New Bark’s Community Field. If there was, however, the ball would have easily gone over. Cubone looked up and saw the ball sail over his head. After it landed, it continued to roll through the grass. Cubone chased it down using his short, stubby legs. His tail bounced up and down as he ran.

    Casey jumped in the air with excitement. “Yes!” she exclaimed in her high-pitched voice. “See, Katie? The faster it’s pitched in, the farther it goes out!”

    Cubone finally returned to the girls with the ball.

    “Wow Cubone, you’re really fast, you know? Thanks!” said Casey as she took the ball from Cubone’s hands.

    Cubone nodded. “You’re welcome,” he said in his soft, tranquil voice.

    “Cubone, you’re so adorable!” Katie said. “When did you two meet?” she asked Casey.

    Casey put her hand on Cubone’s shoulder and turned to Katie. “Cubone and I met just a couple months ago. I saw him tossing rocks up in the air and smacking them with that bone he carries around. I said to him, ‘You like baseball? I like baseball too!’ We hung out for a while and I found out he didn‘t have a home, so my family is bringing him up. We’ve been pals ever since. Right, Cubone?”

    Cubone looked up at Casey. “Yeah,” he responded.

    Katie kneeled down to look at Cubone eye-to-eye. “So why do you wear that skull over your head, Cubone?” she asked.

    Cubone looked to the ground and twiddled its fingers. “Um, I really don’t know,” he said. “Every Cubone I’ve seen does it. I’ve had it on my head my whole life.”

    Casey patted Cubone’s back. “See? He comes with his own bat and batting helmet. He was born for baseball!”

    After a few more minutes of batting, the girls noticed a silver mini-van round the corner and pull up near the field on the gravel road.

    “Aw man, that’s my mom,” Casey said. “We gotta go.”

    The girls and Cubone jumped in the van and it drove away from the field.

    “Everyone have fun?” Casey’s mom asked after a few minutes of driving.

    “We played baseball, mom,” said Casey. “Of course we had fun.”

    “It wasn’t just you hitting and Katie and Cubone chasing everything the whole time, was it?” Mrs. Lewis accused.

    A look of guilt emerged in Casey‘s face. She bit her bottom lip. “Well…sort of. But I let these two hit, also,” she said.

    Katie stepped in. “It’s really no big deal, Mrs. Lewis. I had fun.”

    “Good,” Mrs. Lewis said as she stopped the van in front of Katie’s house. “Tell your parents I said ‘hi!’”

    “Okay!” Katie said as she got out of the van. “Bye everyone!”

    Mrs. Lewis proceeded to drive again after Katie entered her house. “I have everything you two need packed in the trunk,” Mrs. Lewis said. “I’m sure you’ll be fine staying with your uncle for a little while.”

    Casey rolled her eyes. “Mom, I’m almost twelve. Do I really need someone watching me at all times? Cubone and I can take care of ourselves while you’re on your business trip. Plus, I don’t even remember Uncle Matt. I met him maybe twice when I was a baby.”

    “Yes Casey, you do need to be watched! At least give him a chance.”

    “Fine. So when will we get there?”

    “About fifteen minutes.”

    Casey rose her eyebrows. “Fifteen minutes? That’s it? I didn’t know he lived so close! How come we never see him?”

    Mrs. Lewis hesitated as she thought about what to say. “Casey, I’ve tried talking to him and keeping up a good relationship, but he doesn’t seem too interested. He doesn’t seem interested in talking much to anyone. My brother is a good man and I can trust him to watch you. Unfortunately, he’s just not very personable. He’s just the best I could get on such short notice.”

    “That’s just great, I’m spending my next week with some grumpy, old man.”

    Mrs. Lewis sighed. “Casey, that’s enough.”

    “Okay, fine. I’m just glad I got Cubone to play ball with. Right, Cubone?”

    Cubone, who was staring intently out the window, suddenly turned his head and nodded. “Of course, Casey,” he said.

    The van arrived in Matt’s driveway and Casey, Cubone, and Mrs. Lewis stepped out. The house was fairly large, but one of the windows was cracked. The grass looked like it hadn‘t been cut in weeks. They all carried bags to the front door and Mrs. Lewis rang the doorbell. The man who walked out was incredibly tall. He was wearing a wife beater and basketball shorts. His humongous arms were flabby, but they looked like they had a lot of muscle underneath the fat. A baseball cap covered his thinning hairline.

    “Hi Matt, good to see you,” Mrs. Lewis said as she, Casey and Cubone walked in and set their bags down.

    Matt scratched his thick, dark beard, which had hints of gray in it. He had bags under his eyes and he was squinting like he just got up from a nap. “Hi. Uh, didn’t expect you so early.”

    “Yeah, well I’m in kind of a hurry. Thank you again for watching Casey on such short notice. I really appreciate it,” Mrs. Lewis said as she gave Matt a quick hug.

    Matt yawned and nodded. “Yeah, of course,” he muttered.

    “Oh, and this is her new friend Cubone. He shouldn’t be any trouble. I’m sorry to rush out like this but I really have to go.” Mrs. Lewis gave Casey a kiss on the forehead and patted the top of Cubone’s head. “Bye everyone!”

    As soon as the door closed, the room was silent for a few moments. Matt looked at Cubone and Casey, who were staring up at him. Someone had to break the ice. He cleared his throat. “So you’re a New Bark Electabuzz fan, huh?” he asked. He was referring to the yellow, black-striped jersey and the lightning bolt cap that covered Casey’s long, violet hair.

    Casey nodded and smiled. “Sure am! Now and forever!” She was glad he at least brought up a topic that she could relate to. “You like baseball?”

    Matt shrugged and nodded. “Yeah, it’s fine. I’ve been coaching a PLB team for the past three years. The job pays pretty well.”

    Casey’s face lit up. “Maybe this guy won’t be so bad, after all,” she thought. “You coach a Pokemon League Baseball team? Who?” she asked.

    “Um, the New Bark Bolts,” he responded.

    “That’s so cool! I didn’t know you were their coach! I mean, the Bolts are the only PLB team to not make it past the first playoff round since the league started, but still! Isn’t it just the greatest job ever?”

    Matt shrugged again. He didn’t look nearly as enthusiastic about it as Casey did. “Sure. Like I said, it pays well.”

    “Well, there’s gotta be more to it than money,” Casey said. “I mean come on, it’s the PLB! I’ve been following the games in that league ever since they started it. Can you believe the PLB All-Stars actually beat the Major League All-Stars last year? That Machoke from the Cianwood Brawlers can really pitch!”

    Matt’s face fell as soon as she mentioned the Brawlers. “Um, sure,” he grumbled.

    “We’re going to watch the Electabuzz game later today if you don’t mind us using your TV. You’re an Electabuzz fan, right? Are you going to watch it with us?” Casey asked.

    Matt’s shook his head. “No, I’m too tired,” he said. “I’m probably going to take another nap soon. You go ahead, though.”

    The room got quiet again for a few moments, so Casey broke the awkward silence by picking up her bags.

    “Well, Cubone and I are taking our stuff upstairs now if you don’t mind,” she said.

    Matt shook his head as he headed toward the couch. “Not at all. You can use the old guest room. I never use it.”

    Casey and Cubone set their stuff upstairs in the guest room. The room looked vacant other than a set of bunk beds and a small dresser that had two drawers. The top drawer was empty. A thick layer of dust covered the bottom of it. Casey had to wipe the dust off before putting her spare clothes in it.

    “Well, Cubone,” she said after putting everything away. “He seems okay. It’s so cool that he coaches a PLB team, but I don’t understand what his problem is. He doesn’t sound excited about the job at all.”

    Cubone nodded. “Yeah, that’s true. But maybe he just had a bad day and doesn‘t feel too excited right now.”

    Casey nodded. “Maybe.” She snapped her fingers and pointed toward Cubone. “Hey, I just got an idea! You should ask Uncle Matt to play for his team! You’ve told me how you wanted to play in the PLB.”

    “What?” Cubone began twiddling his fingers. “I dunno. I’d like to, but I don’t want to be so forward. We just met him. I’ll ask tomorrow, maybe.”

    Casey grabbed Cubone by his hand and dragged him down the stairs. “It’s okay, you don’t have to be forward! I’ll do that for you!”

    The two rushed toward Matt, who was resting his head on a pillow. His long legs were spread across the length of the couch. He sat up when he heard Casey and Cubone. “Yeah?” he asked, slightly annoyed.

    Casey pushed Cubone in front of her. “Hey, I almost forgot. Cubone here is a heck of a ballplayer and he really wants to play for the Bolts!”

    Cubone backed away and held his hands up in defense. “That is, i-if you don’t mind me…”

    “I’m having tryouts in a few days,” Matt interrupted as he rested his head back on his coach pillow. “You can come to that.”

    Casey put her hands on her hips and grinned at Cubone. “See? That was easy,” she said.

    For the next two days after that, Casey and Cubone mostly stayed out of Matt’s way. Casey tried talking baseball with Matt once in a while, but he usually strayed away from the topic. Other than some small talk here and there, there was little interaction. Casey and Cubone mostly occupied themselves by watching the Electabuzz games and throwing the baseball around in the front yard.

    Casey and Cubone finished throwing the ball one night when it got too dark. They began getting washed up for their second night at Matt’s house. Casey turned and tossed her glove on her bed as she opened the drawer for a fresh pair of clothes. Casey wasn’t paying attention to which drawer she was opening and she accidentally opened the bottom drawer rather than the top. She realized her mistake and was about to close the drawer when she noticed a golden plaque. On the plaque read, “Major League MVP: Matthew Blake.” Casey gasped as she held the it closer to her face. “Is this real?” she thought.

    Casey noticed a deck of baseball cards in the drawer, as well. She set the plaque down and picked up the card on the top of the deck. It looked old and a layer of dust covered it. Casey wiped the dust off with her sleeve. The man on the card was shown holding a bat over his right shoulder. He was wearing a New Bark Electabuzz jersey. Casey noticed the name on the bottom. “This is Uncle Matt!” she exclaimed.

    Cubone hopped out of his bed and looked at the card over Casey’s shoulder. “Wow, really? That’s pretty cool,” he said.

    Matt looked at least twenty pounds lighter on the card. He had no facial hair and a clear complexion. His long, wavy brown hair stuck out of the bottom of his hat. Casey turned the card around to look at his statistics.

    “He only played for five years?” Casey said, astonished. “I wonder why he didn’t play longer. Usually the pros play for at least ten years. Look at these numbers, Cubone! He led the Major Leagues in home runs and batting average every year he played! Well, except for the fifth year. He only played half the season and his numbers don’t look so good there for some reason.”

    Casey looked at the small information bits under his statistics. “Says here he led his team to the World Series sixteen years ago and lost. That was the year before he was done with baseball. How come I never knew any of this? I mean, my uncle was a star on my favorite Major League team! Mom needs to tell me this stuff about her brother!”

    Cubone rubbed his chin. “Maybe there was something she didn’t want us to know. Should we ask him about it?”

    Casey stood up and grabbed the plaque in her other hand before rushing out of the room. “Of course we should!” she said. “Why wouldn’t we? Come on!”

    Matt looked over from the TV when he heard loud, thumping sounds on the stairs. Casey and Cubone hurried toward him. He yawned as he picked up his bag of potato chips.

    “What’s up, guys?” he asked before throwing a handful of chips in his mouth.

    Casey held the card and plaque in front of Matt’s face. “What’s up with you?” she asked. “You never told us you played for the Electabuzz!”

    Matt took the card from Casey and gazed at it. He sighed and placed his hand over his face. “I didn’t even know I still had all that crap. I forgot I put it all in that old drawer. I can’t believe you found it,” he said flatly.

    “Tell me what is was like playing for the Electabuzz!” exclaimed Casey. “I want to know everything!”

    Matt shook his head. “No.” He looked at the card again. “Put this stuff back where you found it. I should get rid of it.”

    Casey’s mouth dropped open. “Why? Why don’t you display it all? Your cards, your MVP plaque? That’s stuff you should display!”

    “Because I would just like to forget about those days. I didn’t deserve that MVP award. Please don’t bring it up again,” he said as he turned his attention back toward the TV.

    “But, but,” Casey stammered. “Why didn’t you deserve that MVP award? I saw your numbers. They were incredible! And you led your team to a World Series! Why didn’t you play longer?”

    “I told you not to bring it up again,” Matt said, raising his voice a little.

    Casey grabbed the remote from the arm rest on the couch and flipped the TV off.

    “Hey!” Matt yelled.

    “I’m not leaving and the TV’s not coming back on until you tell me,” Casey said. “That is, unless you want to actually get up to turn the TV back on.”

    Matt glared at her. “You better not bring it up again if I tell you,” he said.

    “Alright, alright!” Casey said impatiently.

    “Let’s just say I got my team to the World Series and then blew it for them. In the last inning of the last game, I tried to throw it home from first base to get the last out. I threw it way over the catcher’s head, two runs scored, and we lost. I was messed up ever since. End of story. That’s all I’m telling you.”

    Casey threw her arms up. “That’s it? One stinking bad throw and you’re done? You had so much going for you! There were plenty of other World Series games you could have played in! Why didn’t you?”

    Matt reached up and swiped the remote from Casey. He turned the TV back on. “That’s all I’m telling you,” he repeated. “Now you two should get to bed.” He looked at Cubone. “You especially. You’re trying out tomorrow, right? Get some good sleep.”

    Cubone nodded. “Yes, Sir,” he said as he headed back upstairs.

    Casey began walking back upstairs, as well. She took one last look at Matt. He was staring blankly at the TV. Casey walked back to her room, wondering what else he was hiding from her.
  3. ESPNfanatic35

    ESPNfanatic35 Catcher of Ubers

    Please let me know if you like this so far and want me to keep going.

    Chapter 2 - Tryouts

    Casey woke up to see the lump hanging down in the mattress above her where Cubone was sleeping. Cubone was cuddling with his bone. Casey threw her blanket off and kicked the bottom of Cubone’s mattress. Cubone jolted awake and his bone fell off the bed and hit the floor with a thud.

    “Whoa! What in the world was that?” Cubone asked as he reached his head down to the bottom bunk.

    “Today’s the day you have tryouts, Cubone!” she exclaimed. “You should be pumped!”

    Cubone climbed down from the top bunk and stood in front of Casey. “Yeah, I am,” he said as he picked up his bone. “I just hope I do alright. Do you think I’ll be okay?”

    “Why wouldn’t you be?” asked Casey as she stood up from her bed. “You’re the fastest Cubone I’ve ever seen and you have a heck of a glove. Carrying and swinging that bone around should help a lot with your hitting too, right?”

    Cubone looked down at his bone. “I suppose,” he said. A look of worry emerged from his eyes. “Do you think they’ll pitch really fast during the tryouts?”

    Casey crossed her arms and shook her head. “Cubone, that doesn’t matter. You need to stop worrying and just play baseball like you would with me. You never ask me how fast I’m going to pitch every time I pitch to you, right?”

    Cubone shrugged his shoulders. “I guess not,” he said.

    Casey gave Cubone a friendly punch in the shoulder. “Then quit worrying about it so much,” she encouraged.

    Casey and Cubone headed downstairs. They were greeted by Matt as he placing a bowl in the sink. His cap and jersey showed a lightning bolt on the front with the word, “Bolts” printed across it in cursive. It was similar to the Electabuzz uniform, only the lightning bolt for the Bolts was colored gold and the lightning bolt for the Electabuzz was colored yellow.

    “Looking good in the uniform, Uncle Matt,” said Casey. “Reminds me of that Electabuzz uniform you used to wear.”

    Matt placed the box of cereal and two clean bowls on the table in front of Casey. “Here you go,” he said, ignoring her comment completely. “Milk’s in the fridge, spoons are in that drawer there. I need to go to the garage and get a couple things. Watch what you want.”

    Casey and Cubone prepared their breakfast and Casey took the remote. She flipped through channels until she reached the sports channel. It showed a locker room where a bipedal tortoise Pokemon was sitting on a bench next to a brawny Pokemon who had a towel over his shoulder. His anatomy was almost identical to a human’s.

    The tortoise held a microphone to his mouth. “Wartortle here live from the locker room of the Cianwood Brawlers. I’m here with someone I’m sure all baseball fans know, Machoke. Machoke, thanks for taking some time to talk with us today.”

    Machoke nodded. “Anytime, man,” he said. He revealed his sharp teeth as he spoke.

    “So how are you and the Brawlers feeling about the season’s first game coming up in a couple of weeks?”

    Machoke ran his hand through the ridges on his head as Wartortle held the microphone to his mouth. “Really good. We’re all feeling really good about the entire season, too. There’s no team in the PLB who can touch us right now. It should come as no surprise, but we’ll win the World Series again this year.”

    Wartortle chuckled and nodded. “Pretty bold prediction there, Machoke. So-”

    “It’s an accurate prediction,” interrupted Machoke as he crossed his arms and glared at Wartortle with his burgundy eyes.

    Wartortle swallowed nervously and cleared his throat. “Y-yes, of course. So anyway, how’s the pitching arm feeling?”

    Machoke held out his massive, right arm. There were red stretch marks running down it. This was a result of his muscles almost being too large for his skin to contain. “Why don’t you see for yourself?” he asked. Machoke looked down at his arm and smirked. “Smile for the camera, baby,” he said to it as he flexed it.

    “There you have it,” Wartortle said when Machoke finally moved his arm from the camera. “The very humble Machoke. Highest paid player in the league. He’s struck out more batters than anyone in the PLB since the league formed five years ago. Three World Series appearances, two World Series titles, and he’s going for another title this year, as you have just heard.” Wartortle held out his hand. “Thanks again, Machoke.”

    Machoke firmly grasped Wartortle’s hand. “You got it,” he said before Wartortle and his news crew left the locker room.

    “Jeez,” said Casey. “He may be the best pitcher in the league but I never realized what a jerk he was.”

    “He’s always been really mean,” said Cubone. “His arm looks like it’s as big as I am.”

    Casey shot Cubone a weird look. “How do you know he’s always been so mean? Have you met him?”

    Cubone felt sweat forming in the palms of his hands. “No no, that‘s not it. I just meant I’m assuming he’s always been mean.”

    Casey and Cubone finished their breakfast as Matt came back in from the garage. “Are you guys gonna get ready or not? We’re leaving in thirty minutes.” he said.

    Cubone grabbed his baseball stuff from his room and the three left the house. They climbed into a red pickup truck. The truck was elevated because of its enormous tires. Casey had to lift Cubone up to get him in.

    “So Cubone, how long have you been playing?” Matt asked as they pulled out of the driveway and headed down the road.

    “Almost my whole life,” he responded. “I played a lot of pickup games until I thought I was good enough to try out for the pros.”

    “So this is your first time trying out, then?”


    “What position do you play?”

    “I like playing the outfield.”

    Matt nodded his head. “Good on you. My best outfielder signed with another team last year, so we need a solid outfielder.”

    “Cubone’ll be the best outfielder you’ve ever seen!” exclaimed Casey.

    Matt turned to Casey and smiled with one side of his mouth. “Well, we’ll see,” he said.

    As they pulled into the gigantic parking lot of New Bark Stadium, Casey’s eyes widened. “The Electabuzz home field, I can’t believe it!” she squealed.

    “The Bolts, too,” Matt said. “We share it with the Electabuzz. Come on guys, let’s hurry. I’ll get razzed by my players if I’m late.”

    They walked through the locker room and walked through a long tunnel until the field was in view.

    “For the first time in my life, I can say that I walked onto New Bark Stadium’s field!” yelled Casey as she stopped and looked around.

    Cubone stood on the field, stunned. He was surprised at how big the stands were. “This is how many people would be watching me?” he thought. He looked around and saw a variety of Pokemon jogging, tossing the baseball around, and practicing their swings.

    Matt was about to enter the dugout when he turned back and saw Casey and Cubone admiring the stadium. “Yes, it’s a great field,” he muttered. “We have to start soon, so come on.”

    Casey and Cubone walked into the dugout and Cubone set his stuff on the bench. He looked next to him and saw five other Pokemon sitting on the bench. They were all holding their mitts. Cubone decided to set his bone down and grab his mitt, as well.

    Matt stepped back out of the dugout and called out loudly to everyone on the field. “Bring it in guys, let’s go!” he shouted.

    The Pokemon on the field slowly jogged over to Matt and grouped around him. “Okay everyone, we’ve had some good practices the past few weeks. We’ll get these next couple of weeks over with and then the season will start,” Matt said. He motioned toward the five Pokemon and Cubone on the bench. “These six Pokemon will practice with us today and one of them will be your new teammate, so be nice to them.”

    The entire Bolts team turned to look at the bench. Cubone’s heart thumped a bit faster. He looked down. All of those Pokemon staring at him made him feel uncomfortable.

    “Okay, pitchers get into the dugout. I need to talk to you for a little bit before you go to the bullpen to warm up. Everyone else needs to go to the outfield and find someone to throw with,” Matt said.

    Cubone stood up and went to the bucket in the dugout to get a ball. A few of the pitchers passed by and sat down on the bench. Cubone looked up after grabbing a ball and saw an enormous ape sitting on the bench in front of him. Cubone could feel the heat coming from the flame on the ape’s head. “Oh man, that’s Infernape,” Cubone thought. Cubone only saw a few PLB games on TV in his life. The games that he did see, however, he noticed Infernape over every other player. The prowess that Infernape had on the mound and at the plate stunned Cubone. Cubone didn’t realize he was staring at Infernape for such a long time.

    “Is there something you want? I don’t like being stared at.” Infernape growled as he greeted Cubone with his cold stare.

    “No, I’m sorry,” Cubone quickly responded as he turned and rushed out of the dugout.

    Cubone held the ball in his brown, leather mitt as he scanned the area for possible throwing partners. Everyone else already seemed to be taken.

    “Hey,” said a startling voice from behind Cubone. Cubone quickly turned around. He was looking eye-to eye with a small, human-shaped Pokemon. The Pokemon had three spikes protruding from its head, almost resembling a Mohawk. He had a wide smile on his face. “I’m Tyrogue, you wanna toss with me, right?”

    “Yeah, sure.” Cubone responded.

    “I see you’re trying out,” said Tyrogue. “I tried out last year and made it, so this is my second season. I’m the left fielder. Gold Glove Award-winning left fielder, I should add. I love playing here, it’s great. I especially love when you get a big hit or make a big catch and everyone goes crazy. That reminds me of this one time…”

    Cubone and Tyrogue jogged to an open space in the outfield as Tyrogue continued to talk. Cubone tried to listen to everything, but it tired him out to listen any longer. He simply nodded in between sentences to let Tyrogue believe he was still listening.

    As Cubone and Tyrogue tossed, Cubone glanced at Matt every now and then. Matt would check on the pitching coach and his pitchers and look back toward the outfield where everyone was tossing. Cubone also glanced at Casey on the sidelines a few times. Every time he looked, she gave him a thumbs-up.

    “Cubone, did you hear me?”

    Cubone snapped back to attention as he threw the ball back to Tyrogue. “What?”

    “I asked what position you played,” said Tyrogue.

    “Outfield,” said Cubone.

    “Very nice, we need another outfielder. I noticed you kept looking at Coach Blake. Don’t worry, he’s not all big and intimidating like everyone thinks he is at first. He rarely yells or gets mad at us. In fact, he doesn’t do much of anything. He just kind of watches the practices and games and gives us the, ‘Go get ‘em next time’ speech afterward.”

    Cubone looked at Matt one more time and looked back at Tyrogue. “Yeah, okay,” he said.

    After a few more minutes, Matt told the group to separate between infielders and outfielders. Cubone stayed in the outfield as about half of the group jogged to the infield. Cubone stuck near Tyrogue, as he was beginning to feel pretty comfortable around him.

    Matt walked over to home plate with a bat and began hitting ground balls to the infielders. Two of the six Pokemon that were trying out were in the infield. It was easy to decipher who was trying out and who was already on the team. The players already on the team looked relaxed as they scooped the ground balls into their mitt and effortlessly flung them toward the first basemen. The two who were trying out looked very stiff and usually threw the ball over the first baseman’s head.

    Tyrogue turned to Cubone and pointed toward the infield. “Word of advice: Don’t be like those two,” he said.

    “Okay outfielders, I’m coming to you!” shouted Matt. He tossed the ball in the air and hit a deep fly ball to right field. The outfielder in the front of the line took a few steps forward and caught the ball before throwing it back into the infield.

    Cubone’s stomach began to churn as his turn neared. He turned to look at Casey again. She simply nodded her head. “Come on,” Cubone thought. “This is your chance, don’t get nervous now.”

    Cubone stepped forward after Tyrogue caught his fly ball and threw a bullet across the field to the catcher. The throw was strong, but the ball sailed high over the catcher’s head. Tyrogue threw his glove to the ground and stomped on it with rage. “I can‘t believe I messed that up!” he screamed. “This is bull crap!” Cubone backed away, frightened, as Tyrogue stormed by saying a long string of swear words. Cubone could almost see steam coming from Tyrogue’s ears.

    Cubone finally stood in his spot and waited for Matt. Matt hit a casual fly ball. Cubone stepped forward with his glove in the air and felt the impact of the ball hitting the mitt. He threw the ball back into the infield. Cubone felt a sense of relief when he realized that he made a flawless play. He turned back toward the line of Pokemon in the outfield. As he ran to the back, he thought, “That wasn’t too bad.”

    “See buddy, it‘s not so bad. Just stay calm and you’ll be fine,” said Tyrogue when Cubone walked back behind him.

    “Thanks,” said Cubone. He wasn’t sure that someone who just flipped his lid should be giving advice to “calm down.” He was also confused about how someone could go from so enraged to so composed in such a short amount of time.

    As the rest of the outfielders finished, Cubone kept a special eye out on the other Pokemon who were trying out. They didn’t look bad, but they didn’t look great, either.

    “I just need a play that will help me stand out,” thought Cubone.

    “Alright, we’re gonna go again,” shouted Matt. “This time I’ll have some of my players running from third base trying to score after you catch it. Try to throw them out.”

    Cubone watched as many of the outfielders attempted to throw out the base runners at home plate. None of them succeeded. When it was Tyrogue’s turn, he turned to Cubone and said, “Watch the Gold Glover now” before running forward to his spot. Matt hit a line drive directly at Tyrogue. It was hit hard enough that Tyrogue could stand still and catch it. The runner dashed toward home plate. Tyrogue stepped forward and violently swung his hips around as he threw a perfect strike to the catcher. The runner was tagged out with at least two seconds to spare.

    Cubone’s mouth dropped. “Whoa,” he said to himself.

    Tyrogue beat his chest with his fist as he turned back around. “Yeah, that’s the stuff! That‘s how it‘s done!” he shouted. He ran past Cubone and slapped his hand. “Pretty good throw for someone with only three fingers! Now it‘s your turn!”

    Cubone took a deep breath as he watched Treecko walking to third base. The gecko Pokemon got set and turned his head toward the outfield to take a look at his opponent. Cubone remembered seeing Treecko play in a few games on TV.

    Matt hit a shallow fly ball that drifted off to the right. “Ah, shoot! Sorry about that, Cubone!” he shouted when he realized that he hit it too soft.

    Cubone heard Tyrogue from the back of the line behind him shout, “Catch it anyway!”

    Cubone watched the ball carefully as he sprinted toward it. As the ball began to drop, Cubone dove forward and stuck his glove in front of him. His face hit the grass when he landed, so he couldn’t see if he caught it. However, he heard the pop of his mitt and everyone on the field hollering. Cubone used his momentum to somersault and get back on his feet. After he realized the ball was in his mitt, Cubone looked up and saw Treecko barreling toward home plate. Cubone hurled it as hard as he could to the catcher. Treecko slid into home plate only to be greeted by the catcher, who tagged him out with ease.

    Cubone dusted himself off and turned around. He saw the other outfielders with their mouths hanging open. In the back of the line, he saw Tyrogue jumping up and down shouting, “Oh yeah, that’s it! We got the next Willie Mays here! You gotta be kidding!”

    Cubone looked at Casey on the sidelines. She was pumping her fist toward Cubone. He couldn’t hear her, but she was definitely shouting something.

    “I can’t believe I just did that,” thought Cubone. He couldn’t comprehend the play he just made. Everything seemed to happen so quickly and all at once. As Cubone ran to the back of the line, he was greeted by a line of high fives. He almost felt like a celebrity. When he reached Tyrogue, he received a high-five that nearly took his arm off.

    “That’s the way to score points with the coach, man. Heck of a play!” Tyrogue said.

    “Thanks,” said Cubone. A giant smile formed on his face. He was breathing heavy and his heart was still pumping rapidly after that rush of adrenaline.

    Matt hit to the infielders and outfielders for another half hour. Overall, Cubone was content with his performance. He didn’t make a catch as phenomenal as the second one he made, but he was the only one trying out who didn’t make an error.

    After Matt was finished, he motioned toward the bullpen and picked up a large bucket of baseballs. A Pokemon with a intriguing swirl pattern on its stomach jogged out to the mound. He resembled a giant frog. Cubone recognized him as Poliwhirl. Matt walked to the mound and set the bucket next to Poliwhirl. Poliwhirl began throwing warm up pitches as Treecko walked toward home plate with a bat.

    Cubone’s heart sank. “Oh no,” he thought. “Batting practice.”

    Everyone spread throughout the infield and outfield. After Poliwhirl was all warmed up, Treecko tapped the end of his bat on home plate a few times and got in his stance. Poliwhirl didn’t wind up and throw full speed. He casually tossed the pitches to Treecko, who sprayed line drives all over the field. The players rotated in and out from the field and home plate as they took turns hitting. Cubone kept a low profile and tried to prolong his wait as much as possible. After almost everyone hit, Cubone and two other Pokemon were called in from the outfield.

    Cubone set his glove down on the bench and grabbed his bat. He noticed that is was much smaller than most of the other bats in the dugout. Cubone stood just outside of the dugout and Casey walked up to him.

    “You’re doing great, Cubone,” she said. “You should have seen the look on Uncle Matt’s face when you made that catch!”

    Cubone nodded. “Thanks,” he said. Cubone exhaled deeply as he watched the Pokemon at home plate hit a line drive to the outfield. He knew the inevitable was about to happen. He had to hit next.

    “Hey, I know when you’re nervous,” said Casey. “You’ll be fine. You didn’t have a problem in the outfield, did you? You shouldn’t have a problem hitting.”

    The batter started walking back to the dugout. Cubone saw Poliwhirl look at him as he picked up another ball.

    Cubone slowly walked to the plate. Bad flashbacks went through his mind as he lifted his bat to take his stance. He looked up and saw Poliwhirl clutching the ball in his hand. For a split second, Cubone pictured him as Machoke. “Please don’t embarrass yourself again,” Cubone said to himself.

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