The first game between an American and a Japanese professional baseball team was played on November 22, 1908. In the game, the Reach All-Americans defeated Waseda University in Tokyo, 5-0.
Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published everyday, like those of a baseball player.
It hasn’t even been a month yet, and I find myself counting down to Spring Training. Stephen Jones captures this feeling quite aptly through this haiku, recently published on Bardball.
My season . . . now done
My ballpark empty of life
My heart waits for Spring
On November 19, 2001, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) determined in a landslide vote to award the NL Most Valuable Player Award to Giants slugger Barry Bonds. Bonds won 30 of 32 first place votes, winning his fourth career MVP award — the most by any single player to that point. Bonds went on to accumulate a total of seven MVP awards in his career, which remains the most for any given player.
‘God what an outfield,’ he says. ‘What a left field.’ He looks up at me, and I look down at him. ‘This must be heaven,’ he says.
‘No. It’s Iowa,’ I reply automatically. But then I feel the night rubbing softly against my face like cherry blossoms; look at the sleeping girl-child in my arms, her small hand curled around one of my fingers; think of the fierce warmth of the woman waiting for me in the house; inhale the fresh-cut grass small that seems locked in the air like permanent incense; and listen to the drone of the crowd, as below me Shoelss Joe Jackson tenses, watching the angle of the distant bat for a clue as to where the ball will be hit.
‘I think you’re right, Joe,’ I say, but softly enough not to disturb his concentration.
~W.P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe
Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck finding what’s left of the “Talkin’ Baseball” series via YouTube videos. But for anyone who’s interested, you can find the songs on iTunes:
The first recorded trade in major league history took place on November 15, 1886 when the Cincinnati Red Stockings of the American Association dealt rookie catcher Jack Boyle and $400 to the St. Louis Browns in exchange for outfielder Hugh Nicol.