“Perfection,” by Mark Helprin, was published in the 2004 collection The Pacific and Other Stories. The protagonist, a Hasidic Jewish boy called Roger Reveshze, lives in post–World War II Brooklyn and becomes the unlikely ally of the New York Yankees baseball team in helping them out of a string of defeats. Roger is physically puny and knows nothing about baseball but draws his power from a divine source (angels help him hit the ball out of the stadium). This agency is available to him because of his extraordinary piety and devotion to perfection in his own life. In the greater scheme of things, his unusual abilities are portrayed as a God-given compensation for the Holocaust, in which he lost his parents in horrific circumstances. Rejecting the cynicism of much twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature, Helprin invokes such traditional themes as the perfection of God’s ordering of creation, the inspirational quality of the life lived with honor and integrity, and the limitations of materialism.