Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Fiction



Major Advisor

Brady Udall


Mitch Wieland


Clay Morgan


The left-fielder lays the boy’s things across the passenger seat: a jersey worn by the left-fielder two seasons ago, an autographed baseball in a glass cube, new glove. He folds the note from the boy’s father and slides it into his shirt pocket. Errands: bank deposit, clothes to the cleaners, a list from his wife of items at the store—bread, coffee, Capri Sun for Karl’s lunches. He sits behind the wheel and watches Karl, his son, roughhouse with the neighbor kid. His son is tough, like he used to be. Different neighborhoods, but boys can be tough anywhere. The left-fielder won’t let his boy cry. Makes him run laps around the backyard fence line if he believes Karl’s gone easy on someone. From the day he brought Karl home from the hospital and the left-fielder’s own father came to see his grandson and offered his sage advice: Don’t let that boy grow up soft with all these rich folks. He honks the horn from the driveway. Rather than wave goodbye, Karl shoots a double-leg on the neighbor and takes him to the ground.