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JAMES HAZARD THE OFFICIAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BASEBALL .... those who thrive on the intricate mechanism of corporate America are naturally drawn to its reflection in pro football while those who dwell in the economic, geographic, or psychological backwaters of American life are drawn by an almost nostalgic yearning to baseball." ESQUIRE, Sept. 1972, p. 122. 1. My Desert Island Book What about this, that, this-that-and-the -other things?? Well: if I tell you, it will not of course be satisfactory, will it?? You have your own expectations. So, it will not be satisfactory. If you ask me what book I'd take to a desert island and I tell you the truth, my answer will not be satisfactory. But contrary to the popular opinion not a one of us is here to satisfy anyone's expectations. IjOts of people say THE BIBLE for their desert island book. Perhaps they expect someone is listening when they say it. Perhaps they expect just because they are on a desert island with nothing else to do The Good Book would not just gather dust or sand on their coffee table. I for one do not pick the Bible. I've read it, and basically it is not that hot for passing the time - - reading Ecclesiastes on a desert island would just be sour grapes (as it may well be any place else). Also, contrary to popular opinion, a person should have the right to pick his company on a desert island. Frankly I'll be God damned if I want that little creep David, you know, the psalm singer, hosannahing about God breaking babies' heads on the stones. Not on my desert island, David, you little creep. Besides, the Bible tells it all. Seriously, what good is a book that tells it all? For a desert island, my thinking is, assume you won't be rescued, then pick your book. Now most of us (including David the creepy psalmist) assume we will be rescued ... or saved ... or something. But starting with the assumption you won't be rescued (or saved) (or something ) what makes sense then is a book that tells nothing. 22 You'll have a lot of time on your hands. So, if for instance your taste is pornography, how about the 1938 Yearbook from Ames, Iowa? Page upon page of speculations, of combinations!! Think: think what un-provided conclusions you can jump to, or from . . ยท A quote from Wallace Stevens, insurance man and poet: "I think, too, that the choice of subject matter is a completely irrational thing, provided a poet leaves himself any freedom of choice." My chosen desert island book is THE OFFICIAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BASEBALL. I have already begun reading it. I have a postcard of the Palace of Versailles for my Official Desert Island Bookmark. Off to the left of the picture are two walks, lots of lawn - - I mean lots of lawn, a fountain at the center. It is an aerial view and the picture shows a diamond without second base. The fountain is home plate. The left field wall is pretty long but not beyond the power of a Walt Dropo or a Moose Skowron. There is also, at the Palace of Versailles, ample parking space, which nowadays is a consideration . For, as Alfred North Whitehead observed, "The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present." (A note: Page 394 of my desert island book lists three major league Whiteheads - - Burgess, "Silent John," and Milton. None were named Alfred North - - even as a nickname - - and none achieved stardom.) 2. Johann Herder Was A Sissy A mummy "pierceth all parts, restores wasted limbs, cures consumption, heckticks, and all ulcers and corruptions." That from J. H. Zedier, in 1754, and the same can be said today of a batting average . . . even Milton Whitehead's which I note in passing was .222 in 1884, his best and only year. We call that his "lifetime." A life time we call it. That mummied bit of what we have left, in numbers. We do that! We are amazing, truly, as long as we do that, truly we are as religious as...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2157-4189
Print ISSN
0026-5667
Pages
pp. 22-27
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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