June 21, 2011
Baseball and The Doctor
I've made no secret of the fact that, when it comes to books and movies and whatnot, I'm a bit of a geek. Star Trek, Star Wars, Futurama, SeaQuest, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones... I love them all (and many other franchises/universes to boot). Up until recently, one of the blind spots in my world was Doctor Who. It just wasn't a show I had ever been exposed to as a kid and, in my high school and college years, the prospect of hunting down episodes filled with cardboard sets and dry British wit didn't seem to excite me.
Thankfully, that changed with the newest incarnation of the show and its availability on Netflix. I've watched the majority of the last six seasons, and I love nearly every episode. The characters, the universe, the storylines, the villains... it's all just fantastic (and David Tennant *and* Matt Smith are both incredibly fun to watch). It is easily one of my favorite shows right now.
Being British, though, the show has done very little with baseball. In Star Trek, for example, you can find random soliloquies about baseball from Dr. Kelso and even an entire biography of the man who breaks Joe DiMaggio's record. In SeaQuest and Back to the Future, we even know who won certain World Series. You can bet that if Doctor Who was a purely American show, we would have dealt with all kinds of baseball-related events in the last fifty years (Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Abner Doubleday, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente - they all would have made great settings for some meddling from the Doctor). As it is, you have to dig pretty deep to find the intersection of the Doctor and baseball.
It's there, though. Using the "Doctor Who wiki" (known as the TARDIS Index File), we can see that baseball has shown up a handful of times. In the ten entries for "baseball" at the wiki, all but one refer to a piece of baseball equipment (caps, bats, fields) used in a given scene or episode. For example:
Jerome Weismuller, a CIA agent working in 1959 Wales, wore a baseball cap and jacket with the logo of the New York Yankees. (DW: Delta and the Bannermen)
Not very exciting, but it makes sense for a very London-centric show. There is one instance where it goes beyond that. In the Doctor Who comic book "Time Bomb", the Doctor is meeting a friend in contemporary (1980) New York. After a bit of trouble that results in the Doctor saving the Earth from certain annihilation - all in a day's work for the good Doctor, of course - the Doctor and his companion Peri try to sneak into (presumably) Yankee Stadium for a game. I'll let the entry tell you the rest:
The Doctor destroys the time cannon and he and Frobisher take the TARDIS back to meet Peri in New York City in 1980 for a baseball game. As the Doctor exits the TARDIS he wonders if they will be able to sneak into the game without paying. This seems unlikely, however, as the final panel reveals that The TARDIS has materialized in the middle of the baseball field.
It's typical Doctor, but must have been fun to read anyway. I am curious to see what that baseball stadium looked like in the final panel. As you can see from this page from the comic, when the Doctor says "Well to be honest, I'd rather have been with Peri at the baseball match", the intricacies of baseball games may not have been fully understood by the British authors. Still, any time we can get the Doctor involved with baseball is something worth checking out. After all, the man is from Gallifrey, not England. There's no reason he shouldn't be as good on the diamond as he was on the pitch in "The Lodger".
Now how do I get ahold of Steven Moffat to make this happen?