Part One: The Spring

Chapter One

"I can't believe this! This is a major league club. We shouldn't be having this kind of personell trouble," Mick Henry paced behind his desk.
"Invite a bunch of college kids to camp," Donald North said calmly; he was perched on the corner of Henry's desk, "along with the usual minor leaguers. Might get lucky."
"We haven't had that kind of open training camp in years! Do you have any idea the chaos that could cause?"
"Actually, Mick, it wouldn't be that much of a problem if we set a per day limit on the people who get in, and make daily cuts," Jonas Rymart, the batting coach, said quietly.
"And it's better than opening spring training with no shortstop whatsoever," Donald said.
"Alright," Henry stopped pacing, and slammed his hands on the desk, "make a general announcement. The day after tomorrow, we'll have an open spring training camp."
A ringing phone. Vannessa glared at it from across the room, and the clock beside it that read 4:00 am. She looked at her roommate's undisturbed sleeping form.
"This better not be for you," she mumbled as she dragged herself out of bed to answer the relentless phone, "I hope you know what time it is."
"Vannessa, honey, sorry to wake you up so early," Donald said appologetically.
"Dad? It's 4 in the morning! What's wrong?"
"Nothing wrong, Vann. Something great."
"Couldn't something great wait 3 more hours?"
"I'm really sorry, Vannessa, but this is important. I've booked you on a 7 am flight to Arizona."
"Geez, Dad, what's going on?"
"We don't have a shortstop. Tomorrow camp's going to be open to all comers. I want you to come to Arizona today, so you can be one of the first in."
"Dad, what are you saying?"
"I'm saying that my little girl's biggest dream could possibly come true."
"Oh Dad, this is wonderful! I can't believe it! How did you manage to arrainge this?"
"I suggested an open camp to Mick. He just doesn't know how open I meant."
"They're not expecting any female ball players to show up, are they?" Vannessa sounded disappointed, "how can you be sure I'll get in."
"No, they're not expecting women ball players, honey, but don't worry. Just wear something loose on top, and hide that hair of yours under your cap. "
"Oh Dad!"
"You're good enough for the majors. Just let them see Vann North in action."
"This is what I want. A chance, just a chance. Oh Dad, you're terriffic!"
"Thanks, honey. Don't miss that plane!."