Whatever It Takes
Chapter 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Heterosexual,

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - When you're a marginal infielder with a low average and no pop in your bat, you live on the edge of failure all the time. Freddie Brumbelow knows that he's the anti-A-Rod, but he is determined to climb all the way up the ladder -- whatever it takes.

"Listen, Freddie, this isn't something for you to be getting excited about. Trust me, you're gonna be right back here in Bowie before the first of the month. You're gonna be riding the pines the whole time you're up there, and you may not even get into a game. Maybe as a pinch runner, or something... But this isn't your shot, Kid. Maybe your day will come, but this ain't it. This is just a false alarm. So, relax, do your best, keep your eyes open while you're up there, and don't get all crushed when they send you back down... They will send you back down, Freddie. This ain't gonna be like the movies. You're not going to hit a homer with two out in the ninth and, all of a sudden, you're the starting shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles for the next twenty years."

Well, I knew my manager, Corky McGregor of the Bowie Baysox, was giving it to me straight. And I knew he was right as he could be. I was hitting a cool .254 in my first season of Double-A ball, with no homers, nine ribbies in twenty-seven games, and only so-so numbers for my defense and speed. My immediate future was this season, and, more than likely, another one after that, right here in the Eastern League, learning my trade and -- I hoped -- boosting my numbers.

After that, if all went well, I'd be making a stop in Norfolk, with the Orioles' Triple-A club there -- assuming I hadn't had my contract traded, cancelled, folded, spindled or mutilated by that time.

So, maybe -- big, huge maybe -- the Orioles would be calling me up to Spring Training with the Big Club -- in three more years.

So why was I being called up now, in the middle of May? It was for one reason, and one reason only: Just about everybody the club had, anywhere in its organization, who could play shortstop better than I could was injured. The club's regular shortstop, Marv Clemens, was out for the entire season with a broken left arm. His backup, Diego Salazar, last week had gotten his right Achilles tendon slashed severely during a collision with a base runner.

The kid in Triple-A who would normally have been called up to fill in was on the injured list in Norfolk, and his fill-in for The Tides was their backup left fielder, tossed into service as an infielder for his first time since high school!

No need to recite the whole litany. The long and the short of it was, yours truly, Freddie Brumbelow, a hundred and sixty-five pound infielder for the Bowie, Maryland Baysox, was the latest bit of cannon fodder being fed into the breach to assure that the Orioles had their full allotment of twenty-five warm bodies on the big league roster.

Nobody wanted me in Baltimore. It wasn't even a certainty that anybody needed me in Baltimore.

But they'd called me up, anyway. I had a lump in my throat as big as David Wells' stomach, and I knew that every word my Bowie manager had just said to me was gospel. This wasn't going to be my shot. This was just my walk-on with the Big Club because everybody better-qualified was either hurt or dead.

"Another thing..." I guess Corky McGregor still wasn't through thinking up reasons why I shouldn't get over-stimulated by this battlefield commission I was getting. "... Another thing is, they're probably on the phones right now, trying to pick up a utility infielder from somebody -- anybody -- to fill in until they can get an established player back on the line. You are not going to have time to get used to being up there, Kid. Don't be surprised, you get off the plane in Minneapolis, somebody tells you 'never mind, ' and gives you a ticket right back here to Beautiful Downtown Altoona."

That's where we were -- Bowie was in Pennsylvania, playing the Altoona Curve -- when I got the call-up.

"Jesus, Corky, OK!" I said. "I get it that I am not Lou Gehrig and that I'm not going to start for the Big Club. You don't have to act like I'm some kind of tropical disease! I'm gonna go up, and try to help them. I'll be humble, I'll do whatever I'm told, I'll show up on time, and I'll say 'yes sir' to all the real big-leaguers... OK? I'll be polite, even to the batboy. And if they send me back down tomorrow, I promise I won't embarrass you in front of Paul Warren... I won't cry."

"I know you won't, Kid. You can't hit worth a shit, but you've got a good head on your shoulders. You just do the best you can up there, and you'll be fine. I'll see you in a week or so."

I was flying to Minneapolis because that night the Orioles were playing the second game of a three-game series against the Twins. I would arrive at Hubert H. Humphrey Metropolitan Stadium, if the plane was on time, shortly before the game was to begin. If I was lucky, the equipment manager would have a uniform ready for me, and I would be in the dugout for the game.

I had no illusions. Even with the Orioles' first and second-string shortstops out with serious injuries, they weren't about to start me. The starter tonight would be the club's only remaining ambulatory utility infielder, Jesse Porter. Porter, like me, was hitting around .250 with minimum power numbers, but his modest numbers had been earned in the American League, and he had four full seasons of experience under his belt.

My basic mission was to be available on the bench in case Jesse Porter had a heart attack and died.

The plane was only twenty minutes late arriving in the Twin Cities, and I was in the visitors' clubhouse before the game started. It was an almost-empty room, since the players were already on the field, but the equipment guy was expecting me and, sure enough, he had a uniform for me. My name wasn't on the back of the jersey and the number he gave me was "79" but at least it said "Orioles" on the front. I wasn't surprised that the jersey was a couple of sizes too big. I'm what you call a smallish, skinny kind of guy. I didn't strike terror in the hearts of opposing pitchers -- not unless maybe they were afraid they'd throw one too close and blow me away.

So I had to find my way out to the dugout, unescorted, and look around for Paul Warren, or some other familiar face, to whom I could report for duty.

The first thing I noticed, before I even looked around, was the dome on the stadium. Now, the Twins' ballpark isn't one of the prime architectural marvels in the major leagues. It was one of the first parks built with a roof on it, and it's maybe the oldest one still in use. The ball club there has been campaigning for a new park for years.

Didn't matter. It was the first big-league park I'd ever seen from field level, and to me, it looked pretty damned impressive. There was a good crowd on hand -- maybe twenty to twenty-five thousand -- and I was seeing that many people from an angle that I'd never seen twenty thousand people before. Also, the roof of the place looked impossibly high and it was riddled with beams or seams or whatever the hell it was that was holding the thing up there. The dome was a sickly looking off-beige color and I thought about all the stories I'd heard about ballplayers not being able to find fly balls in that background.

Now that I'd seen it, the stories seemed entirely believable to me.

I figured I'd better quit admiring the scenery and find my manager, Paul Warren. He was, of course, all the way down at the other end of the dugout. The game hadn't begun and the dugout was crowded with ballplayers standing around jawing at each other and casually watching the limited activity on the field. But I recognized Paul Warren and made my way toward him as rapidly as I was able.

"You're Brumbelow," Paul Warren said when I got close enough to hear him.


"Plane late?"

"Yessir. I got here quick as I could, sir."

"Oh, hell, I know that. I have yet to run into the first call-up who told me he stopped off for coffee at Starbucks on the way in from the airport."

"Am I too late for warm-ups, Mr. Warren?"

"Paul," he said. "Yeah, no time for you to get out there. Don't worry about it. Relax. You won't be starting, you'll probably not get in the game at all. You're my insurance policy. Just relax. If anything looks remotely like you're going to be involved, I'll try to give you some advance warning. Your first name is Fred, right?"


"They call you Fred? Freddie? What?"

"Freddie, mostly, yessir. It doesn't matter."

"OK, Freddie. Go around, introduce yourself to the guys. Go over the signals with the third-base coach. And, hey -- tomorrow night's game, you'll have a uniform with your name on it. Check on it with the equipment manager -- Reynolds -- after 4 o'clock tomorrow. And make sure they spell your name right... You got one of those off-brand names."

"OK, Mr. Warren."

"Paul," he said again.

The Orioles lost that night, 6-4, and the truth was, my first night in the Big Leagues was pretty much an anticlimax. The Twins scored early and led 5-1 for most of the game, and then the Orioles put on a little rally in the sixth and made it close at 5-4. But in the Twins' half of the inning, they got another run and there wasn't another peep out of our offense for the rest of the game.

I wasn't called upon -- not even to pinch-run.

I wondered whether, if a guy got called up to the Majors and sat through a whole week's worth of games on the bench, and never got into one at all, would his name still go into the Encyclopedia of Baseball? I was very big on getting into the Encyclopedia of Baseball. I had no illusions that I was going to be the kind of ballplayer who got into the Hall of Fame, or who ever racked up two thousand career hits, or was a World Series MVP, or some such thing. I knew -- even at the tender age of twenty-three -- that the best I could hope for would be to make it all the way up someday, and then maybe stick for a few years.

It wasn't that I was modest or unassuming or humble or anything else. I just knew what I could do, and what I couldn't do, and I was damned realistic.

But, hey, if I could make it into the Encyclopedia of Baseball -- get into a game while I was up here, and get into the record book for all time -- then at least one of my more modest goals in professional athletics would have been achieved. Even if it turned out to be the only shot I would get, the only time they'd call me up to the Big Club, it would be something!... Something nobody could ever take away.

I pictured myself, years into the future: An old fart somewhere, with a couple of grandsons sitting on the living room floor down by my feet, and I've got the Encyclopedia of Baseball out, thumbing through it, ready to show them that modest little line, there, with my name in the heading. Maybe the numbers there would be something really ridiculous, like three at-bats and no hits and no walks, and a "lifetime" batting average of .000. But the size of the print on the name, there, up above that line -- up where it said "Frederick "Freddie" Brumbelow -- that print would be the same size as the print they used for Tyrus Raymond Cobb and George Herman "Babe" Ruth or Henry Lewis "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron.

I'd be in the book!

In our final game with the Twins the next night, one of the Orioles' three reliable front-line pitchers, Sam Bailey, was in top form. Sam shut out the Twins for eight full innings before leaving the game with a 7-0 lead. The Birds' relief corps promptly got bombed for four runs -- two of them unearned -- in a major Twins' ninth-inning uprising, but we eventually shut them down, 7-4.

An hour later, the club was on buses, heading for the airport. We were going to fly to Seattle for a three-game series that would begin the next night. With the two-hour time difference in our favor, we would perhaps get into our hotel by around three in the morning, Pacific Daylight Time. That would be about sunrise back in Baltimore. Ain't life in the Big Leagues great? I'd been an Oriole for thirty-some hours now, I was heading for Seattle at five hundred and fifty miles per hour, and had never yet even seen Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

On the plane, most of the players were trying to sleep or were sitting quietly, reading or fiddling with hand-held electronic devices. A poker game was in progress at a booth-like table set up in the rear of the plane, but participation seemed to be limited to three Latino players and the club's third-base coach, himself a Venezuelan.

"Hey, Rook, you wanna play?" It was Eduardo Garcia, a relief pitcher and one of the club's youngest players. I had noticed that the entire poker game had been conducted, up to that point, in Spanish, and I perceived that fact as being just one additional disadvantage I would experience (along with a shortage of cash) if I were to join the game. I thanked them for the invitation, but politely declined.

Cory Zane, an outfielder, leaned over my aisle seat and spoke softly into my ear. "You know about Amiable Amy, right?" he said.

"Amiable Amy?... No. Who's that?"

"Flight attendant," Zane said. "We use this charter airline for all the West Coast swings. Amy's one of their regular flight attendants... She likes ballplayers."

"Well. I don't... know her," I said.

"The only Orioles that ain't been with Amy," Zane said, "are members of the Moral Married Minority, plus one kid who's got a bad case of Religiosity, and one other guy I strongly suspect is left-handed in more ways than one, if you get my drift."

"Well, I don't know her," I told Zane again. I wasn't really interested in hooking up with some sluttish flight attendant who had a penchant for bedding ballplayers.

"Well, if you would like to know her," Zane persisted, "I could pass the word to her that we have Fresh Meat aboard. It is, Rookie, a long, long way to Seattle-Tacoma, and our Amy could introduce you to the finer points of airline restroom gymnastics."

"I don't think it sounds like my kinda thing," I told him. "I haven't even got a condom, and I don't really care for casual flying fucks, anyway."

"Suit yourself, Kid," he said. "Ain't nobody gonna force you... But if Amy comes around, you might change your mind. She's pretty damned fine, m' boy. If you are thinking this is some old skank I'm promoting, here, well, you're way off. Amy is primo snappin' pussy!"

"Thanks for the tip, Cory," I said. "I appreciate it -- really."

Well, I thought that would be the end of it, and I was relieved that Zane hadn't leaned on me. I was also pleased, and a little surprised, that he hadn't implied that I was some kind of fairy for having turned down this alleged sure-fire freebie, Amiable Amy. Whether or not Cory Zane had noticed, I was not left-handed. After all, I was a middle infielder -- mostly a shortstop. In case you haven't noticed, you don't see left-handed shortstops every day. In fact, you just don't see them, period. And, anyway, on or off the field, I was strictly hetero.

I relaxed and tried to nap my way to the West Coast. However, sometime later I woke up in darkness with somebody groping my groin. The other two seats on my side of the aisle had been occupied earlier, but were empty now, and when I looked up, a very attractive redhead was leaning close to my face, smiling broadly, and simultaneously kneading my penis meaningfully with her extended left hand.

"Hi!... I'm Amy," she said breathily. "Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea?"

I fully expected her to say, "... or me?" next, but she didn't say it. She just squeezed my dick. She was an expert dick-squeezer. I was wide-awake already, and all the blood was heading for my groin.

I turned away from her, because her face was too close to mine. I'd been sleeping, and my mouth tasted ugly. Bad breath or not, I was afraid she was going to stick her tongue down my throat at any moment.

"Maybe a glass of cold water," I said, squirming a little in her gentle-but-insistent grasp.

"You sure you don't want a little Scotch in that water?" she asked. She had lightened her grip on my now fully erect cock, but she hadn't entirely let go of it just yet.

"Just... the water, thanks," I croaked. She finally released my crank and went to do her flight-attendant thing.

Sam Bailey, sitting alone across the aisle from me, shook his head and smiled. "You know about Amy, right?" he said.

"Zane says she's... friendly."

"That's the word, all right," Bailey said. "Welcome to the Big Leagues, Freddie."

Well, that was really nice. That was Sam Bailey, there, and he knew my name! I wouldn't have bet a quarter that Sam Bailey, the Orioles' Number Two starter, would have known my first name. OK, so he probably didn't know my last name, but, hey, I was impressed, anyway! More impressed than I'd been, getting groped by a hot, oversexed redhead.

"Do guys really... do her... on the plane?" I asked Bailey.

"Oh, yeah. I mean, there's not a line waiting at the restroom door, or anything, but Amy's a regular flight attendant on this charter. We see her on most of our West Coast swings, coming and going. Her airline even handles our shorter hops between Seattle and Oakland and L.A. We see Amy all the time... And I know of... three, maybe four guys -- all newbies like you -- who've gotten lucky on these runs."

"I feel kind of... chary about it," I told him. Sam Bailey seemed like the kind of guy you could talk straight to.

"Well, you do what you like," Sam said casually. "She's... OK, I think. I mean, I doubt if she's out to land a husband, or to set up a paternity suit, or anything. And I think she's probably, y'know, clean and all. And you can see for yourself, she's pretty damned good-looking."

"But... ?"

"But I never took advantage of the opportunity, either," Bailey said. "Partly, that's because I've been with my own Amiable Amy for a long time, now. I don't need any help in that particular... uhh... area of endeavor."

"You married the woman who used to be the translator for Shiggie, didn't you?... Everybody knows that story!"

"Yep. I'm all taken. But don't let my superior morality dissuade you," Bailey said. "Lots of guys -- well, several guys, anyway -- on the club have succumbed, as it were, to Amiable's charms. They're all alive and well and their penises, when last I looked, hadn't fallen off."

"I dunno," I said. "I don't get enough offers to turn very many down, but I don't much like fish-in-a-barrel situations. Besides, the only reason I'm up here with the Big Club is the epidemic of guys on the disabled list. I mean, Amy, there, would be hauling my ashes under the false impression she was banging a big-leaguer."

"God, Kid, that last reason for turning her down? That's just strange! You've got the weirdest sense of integrity I've ever encountered!"

"You want to tell me which of the guys on the club were the ones who... took Amy up on her offer?" I asked him.

"C'mon, Freddie! If you were one of those guys, would you want your name bandied about like that?"

Amiable Amy and the airline's other flight attendant were not the only females on our charter that night. I had noticed, even before we'd left the Metrodome, a stunning blonde named Josie Fitzgerald, holding a wireless microphone and interviewing ballplayers on the sidelines before and after the game.

I knew her name, and recognized her, because she was a regular member of the BirdSports Network broadcasting crew -- the outfit that televised virtually every Orioles game, home and away, on cable TV. Two play-by-play guys, an abbreviated camera crew and this young woman -- Josie Fitzgerald -- accompanied the club on road trips, sharing expenses for the charter and maintaining near-constant access, for their network, to the club's management and players when the Orioles were on the road.

One of the reasons I had been reticent about the Amiable Amy Opportunity was that I was fearful that word of any indiscretion of mine would filter back to Josie Fitzgerald. She didn't know me, at that moment, from the Kansas City Royals' left fielder's kid sister, but the last thing I wanted Josie Fitzgerald to do was to learn my name under less-than-honorable circumstances.

You see, I'd been watching her player interviews and between-inning news asides for the past two seasons, from my distant posts in the Orioles' minor league system. And I thought Josie Fitzgerald was just about the finest specimen of womanhood that could be dreamed up by a talented Creator.

If there was any female on this plane with whom I had an overpowering urge to copulate, she wasn't named Amiable Amy, Available Amy, or any-other-Amy. It wouldn't be polite to mention her name, but her initials are Josie Fitzgerald!

But there were a few problems. There were always problems, with these things, but, man, the problems I had with this girl, Josie, were prolix. First of all, there was the fact that she didn't know I was alive. Secondly, if she did manage to discover my existence, there was no reason to suspect that she would be particularly impressed.

Thirdly, there were probably all sorts of anti-fraternization rules applied to her by BirdSports Network, and comparable rules applied to me by the Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club, Incorporated. These rules that I was certain existed would sternly prohibit us from any kind of relationship, other than verbal (and I'm not talking oral, here, either).

I didn't want to even think about all the established boyfriends -- or even a husband -- that Josie Fitzgerald would likely already have. Sweethearts like her didn't spend a lot of time alone by the fire with a good book.

Finally, as if all those other things weren't enough, there was what we can call the "Corky" problem (in honor of my Bowie Manager and his lengthy lecture on the occasion of my departure from Altoona).

The "Corky" problem was simply that I was not long for this particular world -- the World of Major League Baseball. I was subject to being handed an airline ticket at, literally, any moment. OK -- probably not until after this plane landed in Seattle; but anytime after that, I could be on my way back to Double-A without so much as a 'sorry-'bout-that' from the management. The Bowie Baysox were going to be playing in Altoona for one more day. After that, it would be Akron.

I knew I was day-to-day up here. For me, it was the next three days in Seattle (or, maybe, Altoona). After that, a four-game set in Oakland (or, maybe, Akron). Akron is beautiful this time of year -- if you like the smell of burnt rubber.

Wherever I was, I'd be in somebody's uniform, playing (or at least watching) baseball games. The more humble the uniform I was wearing, the more likely it would be that I would actually be playing.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Heterosexual /