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For the Cubs, a door closes and a conspiracy theory opens; poetry in wartime between pitchers and mascots; and a small career lost in service.

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Kate rekindles some ballpark missed connections, Emma gazes at Michael Martinez and the Indians, while Trevor matches up Eric Young Jr. and destiny.

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Jason shares the wealth, Matt shares the fate of an old friend, and Nathan reviews Baseball Highlights 2045.

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A collection of poems of celebration, and an online auction one would rather never see.

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A narrative poem about a diminuitive hero of the past, a polemic against the laziness of polemics, and a piece that reveals too much about one author's financial status.

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What does college poetry have to do with Stan Javier? Everything.

It’s late. Outside my window, across the valley, porch lights twinkle; behind me, my wife watches a documentary about German expatriates in the Galapagos. There is, yet again, no baseball. I have spent half an hour reading poetry I wrote in college. I should be writing about the Hall of Fame. I do not want to write about the Hall of Fame. I want to write about Stan Javier.

Sometimes we are deep and sometimes we are not deep, and sometimes we just want to feel deep, that warm comfortable blanket of wisdom in seeing something and understanding it, having words for it. This is one of those times and I am sorry. I am sorry that I have chosen this, if in fact I have.

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Dan Quisenberry's book of poetry, published the year he died, says a lot about the man and the pitcher.

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Pitching poetry with the Professor.


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A look at some of the best (or simply most enjoyable) baseball movies ever made

1) Field of Dreams
To be perfectly honest—and when discussing a movie sewn through with themes of simplicity and the supposed erosion of classic American values, honesty should be required—not only isn’t Field of Dreams my favorite baseball movie, it’s not even my favorite Kevin Costner baseball movie. That, of course, would be Bull Durham, and as both films arrived in theaters when I was in my twenties, Bull Durham’s irreverent comedy was far more likely to strike a nerve than the overwrought sentimentality of Field of Dreams. Enjoying Field of Dreams at that point in my life would have been akin to copping to a fondness for Steel Magnolias. Sure, I made the two hour pilgrimage to the Field of Dreams film location at Dyersville—after all, there’s not much else to break up the drive from Madison to Iowa City—but when I ran the bases and smacked a few batting practice lobs into the left field corn, I did so with a practiced smirk. I rolled my eyes when I overheard comments about how “peaceful” and “pure” the experience was, chuckling at the ongoing squabbles over commercialization between the two families that then owned portions of the site.  I enjoyed myself, reveling in my ironic detachment… until my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to play catch, shattering all my pretension and reminding me that I hadn’t been immune to the film’s melodramatic charms after all.

You see, Field of Dreams may be a Capra movie without Capra, burdened with Costner’s sub-replacement-level Jimmy Stewart, but you can’t deny the power of its Capital M Moment. After ninety minutes of fully ripe Iowa cornball, it’s hard to believe that the appearance of Ray Kinsella’s father and their game of catch could pack such an emotional wallop. It seems completely unearned, but when I saw it in the theater, I teared up—one of only five times a film has done that to me. This was despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that I had a very happy, baseball-filled childhood and didn’t suffer from Paternal Catch Deficiency. What’s more, I’ve had at least a dozen friends or acquaintances tell me they had the same experience of not particularly enjoying the film but welling up during the game of catch. I can’t explain it, and in many ways it’s completely counterintuitive, but it’s true. It happened, and even now I get a little misty just writing about it. Whatever your opinion about Field of Dreams as a whole, it’s hard to deny its ability to get under your skin, and while that doesn’t make it the best baseball movie of all time, it certainly makes it one of the most memorable. —Ken Funck

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In honor of the 33rd anniversary of the greatest five-book trilogy ever, here's some Vogon poetry on our favorite sport.

Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest stories ever told, Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The story was originally aired as a broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on March 8, 1978, before eventually turning into the funniest five-book trilogy you'll ever read. If you've never had a chance to read the books, or, especially, if you've only seen the subpar movie (how a movie featuring Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell, Martin Freeman, and Zooey Deschanel can be subpar, I don't know), I highly urge you to correct that. You'll thank me for it, I promise.

In honor of this life-changing event - and since we're only a few weeks away from baseball season finally starting - I've written some Vogon poetry about our favorite sport. It's a tall order, I know, to measure up to the universe's third-worst poetry, but I've done my best.

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October 5, 1998 12:00 am



Rany Jazayerli

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