Illustration by Jonny Ruzzo
With the possible exception of competitive pole dancing, no sport is more erotic than baseball in late summer. The long days of lounging about on plane rides and in clubhouses and dugouts and hotels, the close proximity to your teammates in all states of undress, the long gazes from the pitcher's mound to home plate and back, the words whispered during chance encounters at first base, the memories of that youthful night, out in the anonymous corn-covered land of the minors, when you and that kindly old reliever briefly expressed your hidden desires to one another in that Waffle House bathroom... Well. You get the idea. Baseball, and baseball players, are extremely sexy, and to celebrate this we're starting a new fiction series from writer Leigh Cowart called Baseball Erotica, which imagines some (note for lawyers: 100 percent totally made-up) scenarios about famous figures from America's pastime's past engaging in various acts. The first installment is below. Enjoy!
The wheezing song of the cicadas rang through the dense swamp air, their noises clustered and frantic, like ants on a pile of sidewalk ice cream. The amphibians throbbed, suffering in the vice grip of wanting, belting out their most alluring songs. Everyone, it seemed, was desperate to nuzzle into some South Georgia pond trim before the dawn threw uncomfortable light upon their perversions.
The wet heat of the July night snuggled close to John Smoltz's body, collecting on him like dew in the grass. The soggy air clung in glittering orbs to his coarsely furred skin, and the gentle breeze his airboat stirred as it surged across the shallow water did nothing to relieve the day's heat. Smoltz felt saturated with the worst of summer, despite his comfortable attire: mesh basketball shorts, a fly-fishing vest, and Greg Maddux's off-brand sandals. He felt a heat that could not be denied settle deep in his marrow.
When he borrowed these shoes for his break trip, Greg told him the Okefenokee Swamp was named for a word that means "land of trembling earth." Smoltz smiled as he sat low in the rickety boat, remembering the way Greg so professorially explained to him that the swamp is a metaphor for the pitcher's mound. Something about this reminded Smotlz of his 2-10 start a few years ago, and he became sick at the thought, legs instantly flooded with the memory of how the clay roiled and shifted beneath him.
But that was then, right?
Smoltz grimaced in the darkness of this expanse of nature, the air tasting of decay and salty compost. He worried about the ancient monsters lurking under the soupy land.
He turned his attention to more pressing matters, removing a creased paper from the elastic waistband of his shorts and letting his eyes run back and forth across the words, feeling the congestion of his swelling rise uninhibited against the nylon mesh of his athletic wear.
Whereas last year's cryptic note appealed to his sense of curiosity (geotag coordinates and the 22-letter gift card redemption code for a camping supply store), this year's note sunk straight into his needy softness, dangling the prospect of absolution before him like a carrot on a stick. It said only:
"we didn't finish last time - tom g"
He steered the boat toward a shack sagging dangerously close to the water, baggy on its spindly stilts. Smoltz sucked his lips to his teeth and exhaled anxiously as he tethered his boat to what remained of a dock, turning to check the knot one last time before he climbed into the warm, dark mouth of the shack.
The voice sprang from across the empty room, silken and filtered through the pinched nasal habits of that beautiful masshole. Hearing it croon from the shadows, Smoltz wished it were closer to him, craving more of its melody, wanting to feel that voice move the air around him.
"Welcome back to the swamp."
Smoltz stood, enveloped in the rich folds of the complex aroma, and begged silently for Glavine to approach.
All it took was the way Tom Glavine pronounced "swamp," the way it tumbled from his mouth like it rhymed with "map" and sounded like a three-second blast of fog horn, and Smoltz felt suddenly grateful for the dim lighting. Less than a minute inside this sweaty gray room and he was at full attention, his cock jutting forward, his flat, brown nipples shriveled and hard. Nothing in him was calibrated to withstand uncertainty.
"I hear you've been losing it on the mound again," Glavine said in the dark.
Smoltz nodded slowly, eyes scanning the parts of the room that were draped in shadow. The breath across the room was coming faster and greedier. Hungrier.
The softness of cellulose decay stuck to the air, mingling with the yeasty smell of unwashed genitals and cheap wine. Smoltz stood, enveloped in the rich folds of the complex aroma, and begged silently for Glavine to approach.
"Don't move," Glavine ordered, his voice dropping calmly.
Smoltz felt the hot cactus prickle of anxiety bloom across his chest, the sudden dampness in the hair beneath his arms and between his legs trapping his surging body heat with exponential efficiency. Glavine's words washed over him so casually, as if everything he said was just the right thing, so blankly unquestioned in his confidence. Smoltz, on the other hand, scalded at the slightest indication of approval, turned into a molten space heater at the smallest sign of affection.
"Don't you dare fucking move."
The voice was behind him now, close enough to ruffle the hairs peeking out from the quick-dry vest hanging damply across his shoulders. The unexpected chill of a hot open mouth pressed into the base of his skull made Smoltz's lungs flex open hard and fast, the rush of muggy, whole-milk air clogging his chest like peanut butter on the soft palette.
And then it was just white.
It must have been the paddle.
"I told you not to fucking move."
Smoltz scrambled to collect himself from his unseemly sprawl, ignoring the splinters from the rotting floorboards now stuck beneath the thin skin of his knees, focusing only on getting up before it happened again. He sucked and hissed air through panicked, clenched teeth, trying to calm his shallow, apologetic breaths.
"Are you going to mind me, you useless piece of shit?"
Smoltz remained silent and tried to to stand up straighter. Even his eyes were correctly positioned, looking dully ahead with the plasticine sheen of bad taxidermy. In front of him sat a cork board lined with weather-wilted photocopies of He Who Should Not Be Named, augmented by sharpie to include fecal beards and Pollockian body fluid-based decorations. Fucking Maddux.
Smoltz lost track of how many times they repeated this dance. All he knew was that he had to keep getting up. Until one time, he faltered.
As Glavine berated him like a drill sergeant, he forced him down onto hands and knees and hastily cut away his clothing. Smoltz listened to the sound of the scissors as they swam across his outfit, bisecting it for His pleasure, and was grateful for the splinters now, as they gave him something else to think about besides the throbbing marks made by a talented paddler. As Glavine cursed and spat on the floor, Smoltz's zip-tie bindings cut his skin, listlessly biting at his wrists the way a butter knife saws on a ripe tomato.
The nice thing about the swamp was the way it swallowed the screams, but Smoltz would never be so rude as to holler. The only sound now was Glavine's new tool. The baseball bat made a sick, dull thud each time it landed on his meager expanse of ass and muscular hamstrings, the firm wood core of it planting the kind of bruises that start inches below the surface and later splay across the skin in purple and yellow splotches.
When he finally began to fuck him, Smoltz, delirious from pain and endorphins and unsure if he was about to pass out, cried out in a strangled gargle of some unnamable emotion, cheeks wet with tears he didn't know he was crying, body as loud as it has been or ever could be, laughing hysterically at the way Glavine's cock burning his asshole reminded him of the taco sauce incident in Houston. He was large and rough and Smoltz fought the urge to squirm under him; he was thankful when those sadistic hands hooked his teeth into the spongiform floor.
Yes, please, oh God yes, let me be your anchor, I want to be your fucking anchor.
The sound of dozens of wings taking to the air rushed around the shack as Glavine took one final look at the smug visage stapled to the cork board and screamed into the night like a tortured alley cat. And from within the darkness of his insecurity, Glavine lost himself at last, coming and howling and shoving the purple, turgid, distillation of his fury between the tan mounds of Smoltz's hairy ass with despondent, reckless need.
It was enough to make the naked man kneeling on the floor bite through the gray rot of their crumbling oasis.
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