If you’re like me, you like crime thrillers about baseball mascots being systematically murdered in increasingly gruesome fashion, and mysterious drifters trying to solve the crimes. Also, the tale must be presented in serialized chapter form. Well we’re in luck! We’ll be running just such a thing right here on SportsGrid beginning on Thursday. So if you’re a fan of baseball/crime/thriller fiction, or just hate mascots, please stop by and read the words.
Words by me. Graphics by the great Sean Panzera.
A small bit from Chapter One:
The crowd cheered wildly and Gobbles flapped his wings, which was intern Joey Perricone’s cue to switch to the recording of the mascot’s theme song, “Albuquerque Turkey.”
As the ATV raced around the outfield the cheering and the rhythmic clapping became louder, and the visiting Vancouver players stopping their warmups to watch the show. Fans familiar with the routine knew that the ATV would circle the field entirely and Gobbles would play to the crowd the entire way, at length seizing a hand-held T-shirt cannon and firing prizes into the stands as he sped by.
The ATV picked up speed down the third-base line, and Gobbles began shooting items into the crowd. The first blast was confetti, meant to tantalize and confuse. The second volley consisted of T-shirts, which caused a series of mad scrambles in the box seats and reserved section (the weapon did not have the firepower to reach general admission). The third volley was hats, which, due to the laws of aerodynamics, sailed majestically to the very back rows, where one landed in a hot dog vendor’s tray. A mustard shot, as Gobbles called it.
Locked and loaded with the most sought-after prize of all, a Destroyers’ jersey, Gobbles prepared to pull the trigger. He never got the chance.
And look, we already have a couple of reviews:
“Hilarious, masterful romp by one of America’s most gifted sports writers. Also a cautionary tale: if you can’t handle the heat, don’t dress up like a mascot.” — Matt Richtel, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of “The Cloud” and “A Deadly Wandering”.
“A story so frightening and intense, it could only be told in installments.” — Will Leitch, senior writer for Sports on Earth, and author of “Are We Winning: Fathers and Sons and the New Golden Age of Baseball”, “God Save The Fan”, “Catch” and “Life As a Loser”.
“This had better not interfere with your regular work.” — Eric Goldschein, Managing Editor, SportsGrid.
See you right here on Thursday if you have a few minutes to kill. And believe me, we’ll kill them.