I asked about this nine years ago on the TV Tropes YKTS section, and got no answers. Recently, I decided to check again, and saw that I'd commented on an unaccepted (and possibly wrong) answer that it was indeed the story I was looking for.

It was a science fiction story that I read in the early 1990s involving a baseball team in a climactic game against aliens for some absurdly high stake. And they lose, in part due a player having what I remembered as a "trick knee", although it was many years later that I learned this was not a positive thing to have.

1 Answer 1


The story in question is Jack C. Haldeman II's "Home Team Advantage" as seen in Alien invasion: aliens create a game and challenge humans and available in the Internet Archive.

The game is against the Arcturians with the stake being the right to eat all humans.

Not after the Arcturians won the series and ended the season. Not after they won the right to eat all the humans.

The injury in question was a "trick ankle"

"Don’t blame Lefty. He couldn’t help it. Got a trick ankle, that’s all.”

The primary humor of the piece is that the narrator discusses the loss just like any other game. The humans do get the last laugh courtesy of Julius Hawk, the announcer, chosen as the first human to be consumed, with the first bite taken out of his nose.

Undigestible, was the conclusion, unchewable; humans were definitely inedible. Something else would have to be arranged.

Slugger smiled to himself, thinking ahead to next season. You had to hand it to the Hawk; he was one tough old bird.

It is possible I instead read the story this is apparently a sequel to, "Louisville Slugger", but this one has all of the details I recall.

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