Three days to Opening Day!
Baseball exemplifies a tension in the American mind, the constant pull between our atomistic individualism and our yearning for community.
~George F. Will
I re-watched A League of Their Own over the weekend, and I’ve had this song stuck in my head ever since. I wish I could find a video that featured the track alone, without the movie footage, but this will do for now.
Batter up! Hear that call!
The time has come for one and all
To play ball.
We are the members of the All-American League.
We come from cities near and far.
We’ve got Canadians, Irishmen and Swedes,
We’re all for one, we’re one for all
Each girl stands, her head so proudly high,
Her motto ‘Do or Die.’
She’s not the one to use or need an alibi.
Our chaperones are not too soft,
They’re not too tough,
Our managers are on the ball.
We’ve got a president who really knows his stuff,
We’re all for one, we’re one for all,
This poem does a great job of capturing that feeling of anxiety and pressure when the outcome of a game is on the line. Nothing else seems real when you find yourself in that key position of making a deciding play or hit, and everything that is going on around you seems simultaneously immediate and distant. Written by Katharine Harer, this piece was published in the book Line Drives in 2002.
baseball is a good antidote for death
where else do we mutter belief scream
hope over green grass bathed
in light where else do we coach the best
out of one another
it’s all right baby
you can do it
settle down guy
you’ll be okay just hang in there
we need you buddy
we need a spark
be the ignitor man
our whispered pleas combine over rows
of seats and peanut calls and pour into the ears
of our boys fixing them
with our best hope the best we have to give
nowhere else do we do this together
reverently from some untapped place
in our chests saved for our children
and our lovers we thought we’d used it up
but listen to us croon making our voices
carry just the right mixture
of love and demand
our throats are sore
the peanut shells under our feet flattened
from jumping up and sinking down again
our heats extended
into this one afternoon
you can do it
you can do it for us
do it now come on
do it now
A good Saturday morning chuckle. Thanks, Bill!
When we played softball, I’d steal second base, feel guilty and go back.
Just 11 days to go!
I passed (read: wasted) some time last night playing this online game I came across, Zombie Baseball. Truth be told, there is nothing extraordinary about this game. It’s not fast-paced, nor is there an interesting plot to it.
The rules are simple. A princess pitcher drops a ball from a tower in front of you. Your objective is to allow it to bounce, and then to hit it as it passes through the strike zone. If you time your swing accurately, your hit will send the baseball into the on-coming zombies.
If you successfully take out all the oncoming zombies, you level up! With leveling up, you sometimes get to add a new bat to your arsenal. You also get to add upgrades to your player’s abilities.
Don’t let the zombies get you, though! As you might expect, if the zombies reach you, your fate does not look too great.
I never managed to decapitate a zombie with a baseball, as demonstrated in the tutorial (though I did manage to take out two zombies with one ball, once). Honestly, I wonder if it’s truly possible, given that I managed to hit multiple zombies in the head/neck area without that kind of success.
So for anyone looking for a way to pass (waste) some time, this isn’t a bad way to do it. It combines two of our culture’s most fascinating things: baseball and zombies. It’s strangely addicting, given how simple a game it is. Enjoy, if you dare!
Play Zombie Baseball here: http://www.onemorelevel.com/game/zombie_baseball
The only thing now lacking to forever establish base-ball as our national sport is a more liberal encouragement of the amateur element. Professional baseball may have its ups and downs according as its directors may be wise or contrary, but the foundation upon which it all is built, its hold upon the future, is in the amateur enthusiasm for the game. The professional game must always be confined to the larger towns, but every hamlet may have its amateur team, and let us see to it that their games are encouraged.
~John Montgomery Ward
On March 17, 1907, the day after Ty Cobb had quarreled with a black grounds keeper and with teammate Charlie Schmidt, Tigers owner Frank Navin makes an all-out effort to trade Cobb. Indians manager Nap Lajoie turned down a straight trade for Elmer Flick, a former batting champion, stating that Cobb was a problem player. Connie Mack of the A’s showed little interest as well, given that he already had a strong outfield.