SI Vault
William Heuman
September 20, 1954
Often a writer can do in fiction what he cannot do with facts, just as a painter can catch essences and meanings and emotions that may elude the finest camera. This short story?the first to be published in SI ?might be called a "baseball story," but it is really about the community of people. Brooklyn is Brooklyn, and yet it might be any baseball town after the home team has blown a lead in the ninth.
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September 20, 1954

Brooklyns Lose

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I get the empty bottles from the back doorstep and I head down the street toward Klein's. This is my neighborhood; this is where I was born, not on this block, but a few blocks away. This is a nice block, nice people, all good Brooklyn rooters. You feel bad, and everybody feels bad with you. That's neighbors.

Outside Klein's is the usual bunch of kids, seventeen and eighteen years old, and it's all baseball with them, too. It's arguments about baseball, and what these kids don't know about the game you can stick in your hat and forget about.

One kid who knows me says, "Hello, Mr. Armbruster."

"How's it," I say.

"You up the game?" he asks. "You see that Klusookitz?"

"He kills that ball," I tell him.

"I see Roe strike that bum out three times," another boy says. "You give him that fast ball an' he moiders."

Inside, I talk to Sam Klein about the game.

"A hard one to lose," Sam says, "but you can't win 'em all, Joe."

"I know," I say.

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