“Clothespins,” by Stuart Dybek

I like how this piece captures the imagination surrounding baseball in children.  And I love the detail — I can just visualize a boy with a bat, tossing up clothespins to swing at, the occasional clothespin bursting apart in midair.  This piece was originally published in Brass Knuckles in 1979.

*

I once hit clothespins
for the Chicago Cubs.
I’d go out after supper
when the wash was in
and collect clothespins
from under four stories
of clothesline.
A swing-and-a-miss
was a strike-out;
the garage roof, Willie Mays,
pounding his mitt
under a pop fly.
Bushes, a double,
off the fence, triple,
and over, home run.
The bleachers roared.
I was all they ever needed for the flag.
New records every game—
once, 10 homers in a row!
But sometimes I’d tag them
so hard they’d explode,
legs flying apart in midair,
pieces spinning crazily
in all directions.
Foul Ball! What else
could I call it?
The bat was real.


Infographic: Why the knuckleball is so hard to hit

Here’s an informative infographic explaining the basic physics of the knuckleball.  I find the the information about the illusion of the pitch’s movement to be especially fascinating.

knuckleball


This day in baseball

Led by legendary pitcher Christy Mathewson, the Giants lost to the Cardinals on May 24, 1909.  It was the first time in five years that the New York team suffered a defeat at the hands of the Redbirds, having beat them 24 consecutive times prior to this game.

christy mathewson.jpg

Christy Mathewson (Baseball-Reference.com)


Quote of the day

I know that baseball players have certain rituals or habits that they develop, because sometimes it becomes somewhat superstitious if they get on a streak and want to do the same thing over and over again.

~Chadwick Boseman

chadwick boseman

IMDb.com


“This Is Baseball,” by Matt Taylor

I happened across this fun little cartoon music video last night, and it brought a smile to my face.  According to the YouTube description, the song is based on actual events in the life of the artist, Matt Taylor.


This day in baseball: Mark Twain’s umbrella

On May 18, 1875, writer Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) attended a game between the Boston Red Stockings and the Hartford Dark Blues.  A record crowd of 10,000 fans attended the match-up between the two teams, both undefeated up to this point in the season.  The visiting Red Stockings defeated the Dark Blues, 10-5, led by captain and pitcher, Albert Goodwill “Al” Spalding.

During the game, a young boy snagged an umbrella belonging to Clemens when he stood up to root for the home team.  A couple days later, Clemens published the following notice in the Hartford Courant newspaper:

To the Public

TWO HUNDRED & FIVE DOLLARS REWARD–At the great baseball match on Tuesday, while I was engaged in hurrahing, a small boy walked off with an English-made brown silk UMBRELLA belonging to me, & forgot to bring it back. I will pay $5 for the return of that umbrella in good condition to my house on Farmington avenue. I do not want the boy (in an active state) but will pay two hundred dollars for his remains.
Samuel L. Clemens.

Mark_Twain

Mark Twain (Library of Congress)


Quote of the day

I remember one game I got five hits and stole five bases, but none of it was written down because they didn’t bring the scorebook to the game that day.

~ Cool Papa Bell

Cool-papa-bell


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