The Laughing Man is a short story, also written by J.D. Salinger
J. D. Salinger
The Laughing Man
The New Yorker, March 19, 1949, pages 27-32
This tale is a story within a story and outer manifestations of hidden inner feelings and fears of inadequecy.
A tale inside a tale, The Laughing Man is the story of a child who was kidnapped by a group of bandits and, upon the parents refusal to pay ransom, had his head mutilated in a carpenter's vise. After a few years being the mascott of that group, he grew up to become an outlaw himself.
There is mention of mythical France-China border
, but that's probably Salinger's trademark.
The main tale of that story is about a bunch of kids, the Comanche Club, who get on a bus every schoolday at 3pm to get to Central Park to play, usually baseball, and the tale of the Laughing Man is told by their coach during their bus rides.
One similarity between the story and The Laughing Man of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is that the coach's daughter will only play baseball with a catcher's mitt, no matter where she's positioned. She plays shortstop once and left field once, and she is lousy at both positions, probably due to the mitt. She runs like the wind and is allergic to first base, according to the narrator, so that's why the guys enjoy playing with her. In Stand Alone Complex, the kid incarnating The Laughing Man is an autistic paraplegic in a wheelchair and is always seen with his baseball cap and catcher's mitt, which is inscribed with a quote from The catcher in the rye.