To defenders of baseball and literary fiction, the charges against each are familiar, and overlapping: too slow, too precious, not enough action. The only realistic response is a resigned shrug. Guilty, and so what?The Art of Fielding - By Chad Harbach - Book Review - NYTimes.com
“Brooklyn’s collective memory still bears the image of [Ralph] Branca’s pitch to Thomson. The significance of baseball, more than other sports, lies in the very nature of the game—slow and spread out and rambling. It’s a game of history and memory, a kind of living archive.”
—Don DeLillo, in a Q&A on Grantland
I asked Murakami if he reread “1984” while writing “1Q84.” He said he did, and it was boring. (Not that this is necessarily bad; at one point I asked him why he liked baseball. “Because it’s boring,” he said.)The Fierce Imagination of Haruki Murakami - NYTimes.com
The significance of baseball, more than other sports, lies in the very nature of the game—slow and spread out and rambling. It’s a game of history and memory, a kind of living archive.Don DeLillo, as interviewed by Rafe Bartholomew in Grantland (via fwriction)
Four hours before my 3rd shift, Sertaun is behind home plate calling balls and strikes and I am hung over as shit standing behind first, a few paces off the base path. Sertaun knows I am hung over, that I have to work, that I’ve come to regret this volunteer opportunity more than I could possibly imagine, and that I all I want to do is get the fuck off of the field so I can go to my car and light a cigarette and not think for a few hours before I go stand behind a cash register and not think for a few hours. Sertaun knows these things, but calls a ball after the nine year old on the mound puts one in the dirt, and the nine year old at the plate starts to fish down for the ball, but pulls back before his bat breaks the plane of the plate.
Here’s the first para of a pretty great story by Caleb Curtiss, from before he was promoted to the majors (i.e. he’s now a Hobart Web Editor), included in last year’s annual baseball issue. We just opened submissions for 2013’s Baseball Issue. Submit and help make it awesome?
The Bash Brothers wanna remind you: submissions are now open for our Annual Baseball Issue.
If you were really as good at baseball as you remember, why do you keep having that dream where you’re in right field and the ball is flying toward your face and you’re trying to put on your glove but you can’t get it on fast enough because you actually don’t even know how to put it on and by the time you finally figure out how to do it it’s only halfway on your hand and it’s a crappy glove anyway and it’s not even broken in and the ball is here now and there’s nothing you can do and now the ball is really here…
(via Hobart :: The Glove by Joseph Checkler )
The umpire opened a curtain and exposed the shadows of the cityscape. The sky was beginning to turn from black to blue. Soon enough he would have to go outside and face Detroit, face all of it. Looking out on the tops of buildings, he realized that there was some poetry to all of this, baseball being a sport predicated on failure, a sport in which perfection of any kind is rare. The only person expected to be perfect on a baseball field is the umpire. (via Hobart :: The Umpire)
Eric Nusbaum on Hobart today.
Last weekend, Elizabeth, Amy, Mary, and Chloe went to Chicago for the weekend. Amy gave me this photo, from the trip, which seemed a fitting image for Eric’s story. Also: I kinda like imagining an alternate world of the four ladies as umpires, looking out on the city, “realiz(ing) that there was some poetry to all of this…”
I Have A Moustache
Head over to Hobart and read this beautiful poem about R.A. Dickey. My friend Aaron’s wife wrote it. He’s responsible for the image.