What is baseball?
|Let's see...Jefferson, Washington, Roosevelt|
and, bringing up the rear, Abraham Lincoln.
Cut the dude some slack, though.
He has a hole in his head.
Which nothing usually does. Unless you count when those teenagers chased each other around the park while wearing huge president heads.
No, baseball is much more. Sometimes, it goes into extra innings. Then, you can go back to sleep.
As the icy grip of winter gives way to the balmy tranquility of spring, we emerge from our dens like so many hibernating creatures. Seeking to warm our blood, we throw off the shackles of a catatonic languor wrought by hours of televised bowling and those obnoxious commercials to come visit Florida.
|Yeah, Miami. |
NOTE: I apologize to the Southern hemisphere. I realize that the coming of spring for you is not a harbinger of pleasant weather. But, cheer up, at least you have poisonous snakes. And we have Snooki.
Like the first robin, green grass pushing through melting dog turds, or slowly receding snow banks which reveal how many critters turned out to be slower than the plows, it’s the reappearance of the “boys (sometimes girls) of summer” which tells us the NBA playoffs haven’t started yet.
|Oh, yeah. Kick...our...ass.|
YET ANOTHER TEDIOUS NOTE: Baseball is played throughout the winter in Central America and the Caribbean. Not only does it hone their ability to kick our ass, it also takes their minds off the fact there’s nothing to eat.
The quintessential American sport (unless you count the Japanese, Venezuelan, Cuban, Dominican, Panamanian, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Mexican, Dutch, Colombian, Australian, and Canadian players), baseball has been around since the beginning of the republic.
Or has it?
|Nope, I don't see any resemblance, either.|
Many historians trace its origins to the British game of “Rounders,” a game played since Tudor times between plagues or whenever there was a shortage of witches to burn.
|"Yeah, they don't notice |
all the beheadings and stuff, too."
Rounders involved hitting a small, hard leather ball with a round wooden bat. Each team had nine players who, upon hitting the ball, rounded four bases. The idea was for the batting team to avoid three outs before losing their at-bat.
|Okay, he was full of crap.|
However, when Albert Spaulding observed that Rounders used five innings instead of nine, he declared there was “no frikkin’ resemblance” to baseball, a distinctly American sport.
Quickly searching for an unquestioned “Father of Baseball,” he selected Civil War general Abner Doubleday.
Mr. Doubleday could not be reached for comment, because he had been dead for 15 years.
|On the bright side, Charlie always made sure|
there were plenty of hookers in the dugout.
|"I promise, as soon as we take care of China |
and the Philippines, we'll give the Dodgers
or Yankees a call."
Black people, as well as Hispanic and Japanese ballplayers were denied a chance to show what they were capable of. Although, to be fair, the Japanese were pretty busy elsewhere, what with that whole conquering Asia thing.
However, in 1947, Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier as a Brooklyn Dodger. Not only did he dazzle America with his good-natured athleticism (enduring substantial racist abuse), he made fans realize that folks like Phil Rizzuto probably weren’t all that good, after all.
|Apparently, the only senators in |
Washington with term limits wore cleats.
|World Series earthquake. |
Or Yankee Stadium.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, continued bad blood between owners and players reached a boiling point in 1994. This resulted in cancellation of much of the season and the first year without a World Series (like A Year Without A Santa Claus, only not as bad).
Luckily, this happened while America’s newest pastime was being played: professional football.
So, nobody noticed.
|Yeah, you can race giant |
president heads all you want...
Plus, they don’t have a dead general as the “Father of Football.”
It makes my head hurt.