Barbara Jean was his college sweetheart

Barbara Jean was his college sweetheart

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance


Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance


I am dedicating this story to my late father. He loved baseball in all its forms. RIP, Dad. You deserved better.


I am dedicating this story to my late father. He loved baseball in all its forms. RIP, Dad. You deserved better.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Baseball Tryouts

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 27, 2016

Reads: 601

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 27, 2016



Barbara Jean was his college sweetheart.

Matt was finally going away to college. He had worked long hours to save enough money to pay his necessary expenses and buy a car. His uncle came to him the night before he was to leave. “I want you to have my old pickup for college.”

“How much do you want, Joe?”

“Nothing. You'll need it for all those dates I know you'll have.”


“Really. I had a mechanic look it over and he says it should last another couple years.”

“That's great! How can I thank you?”

“Graduate! Your Aunt Mary and I are very proud of you and we know your parents haven't given all the help they can.”

“This is great. And all I have to do is graduate?”

“That's it. I've gotta go. Mary and I are going out.”

After a lukewarm good bye to his parents the next morning, he started 'his' truck and hurried off. He felt a bit of fear as he neared the freeway. He said out loud, “I don't know what's ahead, but its gotta be better than my crazy parents.” With that thought, he pushed a little harder on the gas pedal. 'Its about 200 miles so, I should be there in a little under 4 hours,' he thought.

He stopped for a soda on the way out of town, but couldn't find the kind he wanted but did find a type he thought was out of business and bought two.

He arrived about 15 minutes sooner than expected. He parked in front of the dorm and lugged his only two boxes into the dorm. “I'm supposed to be staying here,” he said to the person behind the front desk. He put the boxes down and took his paperwork from the top one. “Here's my letter saying so.”

“Jeff is the name of your roommate and I think I see him coming in now. . .Jeff, this is your new roommate. His name is Matt Hudson.”

He picked up his boxes and followed Jeff. “I'll take take one of those for you, Matt.”

“Thanks, Jeff.”

Jeff put the box on one of the beds.

“I take it this is my half of the room.”

“Yep. Some of us are going out for a few beers later on. Want to come?”

“No thanks. My two alcoholic parents have made me shy away from alcohol. Besides, I'm only 18.”

“Enough said.”

“Thanks any way. I'll stay here and get a soda out of the machine and unpack. Do you know anything about the baseball team here?”

“The only thing I know is that the coach’s name is Jones. Why do you ask?”

“My orientation group meets on the athletic field and I thought I'd see about a tryout then.”

He was up at 8 the next morning after retiring early.

He was only interested in the baseball diamond. According to the map he received in his orientation packet, it was a very short walk but it was across a major street so he drove.

He looked behind the seat of his truck to make sure his glove and cleats were still there. He saw them and a bat and some loose baseballs and the other bottle of soda he bought. He found the diamond easily and took a seat in the bleachers. He saw a sign that read:


THURSDAY 10:00-2:00

About fifteen minutes later, he tired of just watching and decided to ask someone in the chain link dugout about tryouts. He asked the first player he saw, the chubby second baseman he had seen practicing. He was about two inches shorter than him. He said gruffly, “Tryouts were last Thursday. Sorry. Try next year.”

“Okay, Big Boy. Can I, at least, talk to Coach Jones?” He sat down and started to put on his cleats.

“It won't do you any good. Only tryouts last Thursday.”

The man next to him held out his hand and said, “Hi. I'm Jack Greenberg. What's your position?”

“Glad to meet you.“ Infield. Second base mostly. Any relation to Hank Greenberg, Jack?”

“No. We looked but no possible way.”

The big man said, “Do you know you just shook hands with a Jew?”

Matt had just finished lacing on his cleats and saw Jack start to go for the man. “Hold on, Jack. Those people aren't worth the booger you flicked when you were a kid. Sit down and relax and let me take this one.”

“What do you mean 'those people'? he roared.”

“I mean bigots with bad attitudes! The only thing that matters on a baseball team is what he can do for his team between those white lines out there. So bite me, Butterfingers!”

Jack called out, “Hey, Pete! Is this a good time for a break?”

“Yeah. What's up? I heard Robert hollering.”

“He was yelling at this man. His name is Matt Hudson and he'd like a tryout. I think we should give him one. He plays infield.”

“We do need infield help. Take him to see the Coach and see what he says.”

“Let's go Matt.”

“Thanks, Pete,” Matt said happily as their cleats made that familiar, welcome sound of steel on concrete. Matt noticed the coach's name on the door: 'Chuck Jones'.

Jack knocked and said, “This is Matt Hudson, Coach. He's wants a tryout. Pete said to ask if he could have one. He plays infield.”

“Sit down, Matt. We could use some infield help. Our second baseman is graduating this year and we could use you if you're any good. Jack tell Pete to stick around for another 5 minutes. What's your story, Matt?”

Before I answer your question, I've got one for you. Are you the Chuck Jones who played with Roy Bell at Sonoma State?”

“Why yes I am! How is the old skunk?”

He picked up a sticky note pad from his desk and wrote down a number saying, “You can ask the old skunk yourself. Its the high school's number. Just punch in the extension 117 when it says enter it. He's usually not there on Saturdays. He probably won't be there until Monday.”

“Let's try him anyway. I'll leave a message if I don't get him.” He picked up the note and dialed. “Ringing” he said. “And I punch in 117, also ringing.”

He heard, “Roy Bell here.”

“How are you you old skunk?”

“Chuck Jones, how did you find me?”

“I've got one of your former players here sitting with me. His name's Matt Hudson and he wants to pay some infield for us.”

“Don't wait just give him a uniform! You'll love his glove and you won't hate his bat. He lead the league in hitting two years running. The kid lived and breathed baseball and still managed to graduate with honors.”

Chuck waved at Jack. “You've got your tryout, Matt. Jack, Larry can handle it. Pete will pitch to you.”

He ran out almost falling at the doorway. “Hey, Jack! Coach said I can have a tryout! Pete's supposed to help.”


He grabbed his glove.

Pete said, “I'm warmed up. Let's see what you've got.”

After about 15 ground balls, the coach came out. He stood behind the backstop and next to the other coach. “I talked to this kid's high school coach just now and he says he lead the league in hitting two years running and he said I'd like his fielding better. How's he doing?”

“He's like a vacuum cleaner out there. Who was his coach?”

“Roy Bell.”

“Good recommendation.”

“Come on in, Matt. We've seen enough. Let's see what you can do with a bat.”

He smoked Pete's curve ball to right. After a few more pitches, Chuck said, “That's enough, Matt. Larry's gone, Jack. See if you can find this man a locker and uniform.”

On the way to the locker room, Matt asked, “Does this mean what I think it means?”

“Yepper. Welcome to the team!”

Let's get your uniform first. We've got seven, eight and ninteen, but that's all.”

“I'd like eight. That was my number in high school.”

“There changing out the lockers so you'll have to take one of the old ones.”

“That one next to the new ones suits me.”

“I'll get you a towel. I think you can figure out the rest. Okay?”

“Okay. I saw the showers on the way in. Shower time!”

In the shower, Jack asked, “I have got to ask you a question. Why did you stand up to Robert like you did?”

“That's easy. When I tried out for high school ball, there was black kid trying out, too. I thought he was good enough to make the team but some guys called him some names and said some awful things and he just gave up and went home and I said nothing. I never saw him on the field. I've felt bad about that ever since and Robert gave me an opportunity to make up for some of that. How's that?”

“Okay by me. Eve, my girlfriend is gathering part of the softball team at the student union and some of us are meeting them there about six. Wanna come?”

“Sure. Why not?”

On the way out of the shower, Jack said, “That's the attractive part of the softball team.”

“That's good. Some of them look like they outweigh me!”

He made it back to his room wearing his new jersey to find Jeff still there. “Did you find anything about the baseball team?”

“I was surprised to see anyone there and I got my tryout and I made the team.”


“I'm hooking up with some of them at the student union at six.” He noticed the time was 5:30 and grabbed his other soda and a package of small cigars from his truck and headed to the union for some ice. He waited on a bench outside with his refreshment until a pretty blonde approached and said, “You must be Matt. Jack told me all about you.”

“You must be Jacqui, Jack's roomie.”

She smiled and said, “That's one way to look at it.”

“Where's Jack?”

“He's parking the car. We can meet him inside.”

Inside, Jacqui got herself some liquid refreshment and he had a quick look around.

He asked Jacqui, “Is that brunette with the red blouse that's falling off her shoulder one of your players?”

“That's Barb. I didn't expect to see her here tonight. Do you want to meet her?”

“Yes and I'd like to marry her, too!”

“Introductions first. Barb, over here please.”

“Hi, Jacqui. Who's your friend?”

“This is Matt Hudson, the new player on the baseball team. Matt, this is Barbara Jean Martin. She's our second baseman.”

“Hi, Barbara Jean.”

“Just Barb is okay.”

Jack came in. “What are we doing, Wife?”

“I don't know. It looks like we are all that's coming.?

“Let's get a pizza and show Matt the beach we like.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

“If we're going to the beach, let's go by my dorm. I've got two blankets in my truck. I'm in Madison dorm.”


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