Baseball Short Story
In his book Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends: The Truth, the Lies, and Everything Else (2008), Rob researched numerous baseball tales to see if he could verify each story from newspaper accounts. Here's two that he concluded were basically true.
Tommy Lasorda & God
Tommy Lasorda told this story that occurred when he was pitching for AAA Mon­treal in the Dodgers organization.
The following Friday I pitched against Buffalo. Because of the problems with (manager) Bryant I desperately wanted to win this game. Late in the game Buffalo loaded the bases with no outs. Bryant was on the top step of the dugout, ready to pull me. In my entire career, I had never prayed on the pitcher's mound, but this time, I turned my back to the hitter, looked up, and thought, Lord, I've never asked you to help me win a game. All I've ever asked was the strength to do the best I could at all times. Lord, I'm in a jam here, and any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Suddenly, I heard my name being called. "Lasorda? Lasorda?" It was incredible. I turned around.
It was the umpire, Billy Williams. "Come on, Lasorda," he said. "You gotta throw it sometime."
"Wait a minute," I told him. "I'm talking to God."
"Oh," Billy said, as if he understood, then turned around and walked back to home plate. He probably figured I was crazy, but on the one chance I had a direct line...
My first pitch was an inside fastball, neither inside enough nor fast enough. The batter jerked it down the left-field line. Our third baseman, George Risley, leaped as high as he could and deflected the ball. It bounced off his glove toward the outfield grass. A base hit, I thought as I ran to back up third base, two runs'll score at least. But our shortstop, Jerry Snyder, dived and backhanded the ball on the fly. Lying on his back, he flipped to second base for the second out, and the second baseman fired to first to complete the triple play. I'd played thirteen summers and eleven winters of professional baseball and had never before been involved in a triple play. As I walked nonchalantly off the field, I looked at Billy Williams, who was staring at me with his mouth open. Then I looked into the sky and said, "Thank you, Lord, but was it really necessary to scare me like that?"
That turned out to be the last game I ever pitched...

L-R: Tommy Lasorda, Mel Ott, Ed Brandt
Ott Was Ready
Bob Addie wrote the following story in the Washington Times-Herald in 1950.
Mel Ott, now a front office executive for the New York Giants, tells an amusing story of the 1933 World Series between the Washington Senators and the Giants. It seems that Senator pitchers went over to scout the Giants one day before the Series began.
"I was facing a pitcher named Ed Brandt," Mel recalls, "and he could have gotten me out by throwing basketballs up there. I never could hit him. Well, on this day, the Washington pitchers saw Brandt strike me out twice on inside curves - each time on three pitches, too. Then I popped up twice and grounded out another time. I never did get that ball out of the infield. So the first game of the World Series comes and Walter Stewart, a left-hander, was pitching for Washington. I told myself: 'I'll bet Washington thinks I can't hit an inside curve. I'll take one to see.' Sure enough, the first pitch was an immediate curve for a strike. On the next one, I slammed the ball into the seats for a homer. Nobody threw me an inside curve after that."