Lately, my musings on baseball have turned to the connection between religious reliquary and baseball memorabilia. Here are some links that touch on this subject and others that don't:
With baseball cards somewhat passe nowadays, these connoisseurs came to the auction to buy genuine, "game-used" equipment and paraphernalia straight from the clubhouse, complete with "letters of authenticity" from experts, family members and previous owners. "The closer you get to the player, the better," explained Leland's chairman, Joshua Evans. "Lots of use is desirable."
"NINE studies all historical aspects of baseball, centering on the societal and cultural implications of the game wherever in the world it is played. The journal features articles, essays, book reviews, biographies, oral history, and short fiction pieces."
"The score presented the opportunity for Thayer to get some work in, and holy heavens did he ever. When the camera flashed to Thayer, the first and only thing anyone noticed was the miraculous mustache, one with roots all the way to Mecca and back. This my friends, should be on scouting reports."
And this gem by Stephen Jay Gould:
Baseball (as the codified form of a large variety of basically similar stick-and-ball games) has, like the poor, always been with us. Teams, leagues, and various lists of "official" rules had coalesced by the mid-nineteenth century, but Jane Austen refers to something called "base ball" in her 1797 novel Northanger Abbey, and various contests based on hitting a ball with a stick and scoring by running around bases came to America in the early days of European colonization and then grew and diversified as the nation expanded and knit together.
Online discussion spaces about baseball skew heavily male, some of them exclusively so. It is a routine tactic to express one’s hatred of one’s rivals in effeminacy terms, impugning their manhood, implying that they are like those lesser creatures: women. T-shirts abound: A-Rod Sucks Randy’s Johnson, Derek Jeter Drinks Wine Coolers. Success is masculinity; a pitcher’s ability to intimidate correlates positively with the size of his testicles. Sometimes, as a female fan, it is hard to express one’s opinion about a player without being accused of romantic feelings.
It does get tiresome after a while, looking into the mirror of the fandom and not seeing my own reflection.