Grit your teeth

Grit your teeth or relax at the plate?  It depends on your hitting coach.

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Charles Schulz


Outta this world home run

Ah, oops…  He just rendered all GPS devices within a hundred-mile radius useless.  Don’t you just hate it when a good thing goes bad?

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Peanuts: Back on the Mound

I have been posting plenty of Peanuts strips here, but now, how about a motion clip?  I feel bad for Linus in this — nobody applauds his spectacular running-up-the-tree catch in the first moments of the video.


“Ted F*ing Williams,” by The Baseball Project

Time for another Baseball Project tune.  This song amuses me, if only because I can just imagine Teddy Ballgame walking around declaring, “I’m Ted Fucking Williams.”  This one’s from the Baseball Project’s first album, Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.


James Corden’s Ideas to Make Baseball Fun Again

This clip is from April 2016 from The Late Late Show with James Corden.  The first half of the clip is sports-related, but not actually baseball-specific, so if you want to go straight to the baseball humor, skip to about the 2-minute mark.

This comedic bit was in response to Bryce Harper’s “Make Baseball Fun Again” cap from a couple years ago.  As you would expect from late-night television, some of the jokes are a bit off-color, but he does throw in some pretty good political jabs.


“Finding Casey’s Card,” by Robert L. Harrison

I had never considered the possibility that the mighty, fabled Casey would have a baseball card, but Robert Harrison has managed to spin an entire tale about it.  Seen as even more valuable than a card for either Mantle or Cobb, the Casey baseball card causes quite an uproar in this piece.

*

The outlook wasn’t great for
finding Casey’s card.
The dealers denied they had him
as I fought against the mob.
And then as Cooney was seen in mint
and Barrows appeared the same,
a sense of elation came to me in this baseball hobby game.

A cardshark got fed up and passed me in despair.
The rest clung to their hobby hopes
and prayed the Casey card was near;
They thought, by the Topps high numbers,
if we could only find his card,
we’ll pay any price even if it’s marred.

Then Flynn (Casey’s mate) was found in very good-
a crease along his neckline stretched into his wood.
So they all bid to possess that crazy players card
until all turned to silence when Mr. Mint
got the final nod.

After Flynn, they found Jimmy Blake,
a tobacco card mistake;
For Blake was frayed and ugly and had
scratches on him from head to toe,
and the collectors were not interested
for the price he fetched was very low.

Then from fifty baseball card collectors
there rose a mighty roar.
It echoed from every table, it bounced off the floor,
it was carried by the newsmen
and was heard outside the door,
for the Casey card, the rarest card
now everyone saw.

There was a full gloss in Casey’s picture
as he posed beside the plate
there were full white borders and a hawkish
look upon his face.
And from an old shoebox he was raised above the crowd.
This symbol of the hobby now had everyone aroused.

Ten thousand dollars was offered;
the smell of gum hung in the air.
Five thousand more, said another,
as he took up on this dare,
Then while the price was raising
beyond the hopes of hobby folk,
a disbelief filled the children’s minds;
for they thought this all was a joke.

For this gem-mint card was dropped
and fluttered everywhere;
the rarest of cards went flipping
and gave them all a scare.
And as the people scattered,
poor Casey turned up tales
and silence filled this card show
and ended all the sales.

From the dealers came a mumble
that roused up to a roar.
Then the auctioneer came over
and looked down on what they saw.
“Raise him! Raise him!” shouted
the newsmen from the back.
But no one would pick up Casey
as he lay by some wax packs.

Like some curse from the devil,
Casey’s origin was on display
and the owner’s face turned to horror
for there would be soon hell to pay;
so he signaled to a friend to sell
a Mantle rookie card,
but the words on Casey’s back would forever
leave him scarred.

“Reprint!” shouted everyone at once,
and the echo answered “Reprint!”
to all this now lonely bunch;
But baseball card collectors are not a discouraged race,
for now the plastic pages were turning
at a faster pace.
They passed up a Wagner and ignored
a perfect Cobb, just to find
again the mighty Casey card

The smiles soon vanished from the children’s lips
as they too joined in this game;
and I who viewed these mental flips
thought everyone there insane.
And now someone gave a TV pitch
in search of this cardboard gold,
asking everyone to even check their attics
as this story is being told.

Oh, somewhere Casey’s card is out there,
or so these dreamers think,
for they will stir up this hobby nation
until they find this missing link;
and somewhere I am laughing,
for I made up that baseball card,
and the refinding of poor Casey
will indeed be very hard.


Abner the Baseball

This little cartoon from the 1960s tells the story of a baseball, appropriately named Abner, and his journey from the bottom of a ball bag to the halls of Cooperstown.  It’s a fun twist to think about the game from the ball’s perspective, and I almost felt sorry for little Abner at times.  (On the other hand, Abner does have a rather melodramatic “woe is me” sort of attitude about his situation, which also prompts a bit of snickering.)

I love how the cartoon spins a touch of reality into the saga, even if the details are a bit sketchy.  The Mickey Mantle caricature is particularly amusing, as he carries himself in a manner that I’ve never associated with the real Mantle.