Disclaimer: I don't own the MLB. I'm actually muchly pissed at my non-ownery. I'm looking to one day remedy the situation when I come by some money.
Summary: I believe in the Church of Baseball.
Notes: Wrote this on a whim. Characters not meant to represent any real-life baseball stars.

I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there's 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there's 108 stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance.

- Annie Savoy, Bull Durham

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The evening summer sky is like the color of a bruised plum, left too long in the fruit basket he has sitting at the center of his kitchen table (he should throw those old plums away, speaking of old plums in fruit baskets). Smoky grey wisps of clouds meander slowly across the edges of his vision, where he loses them, because he is not focused on the clouds, nor is he paying much attention to the canopy of so-dark-it's-almost-black purple sky suspended over the stadium, arms of steel and cement reaching up to the sky like a prayer.

Rather, he is focused on the man standing at home plate, his bat resting on his shoulder, squinting in at the pitcher hard and mean-like, eyes small and shiny like polished black stones.

The man at home plate digs his right heel into the dirt, and then his left, and flicks his wrists in the direction of the pitcher, as if to say, 'I'm getting impatient with your histrionics, pitcher-with-an-era-over-four. Let's get this over with all ready.'

So the pitcher steps off the rubber, rubs the ball in his hands, the stitches chafe across his palms, familiar and welcome. He scrapes his fingernails over a couple of them like they're the beads of his rosary.

There are 108 stitches on a baseball and 108 beads on a rosary.

That is all he needs.

This is home.