Wednesday, May 31, 2017
It is with great pleasure that we announce the publication of THE BASEBALL DIARY ANTHOLOGY, VOL 3: 1985-86. 220 pages of baseball, art, personal hygiene, and living in 1980s Los Angeles. Full color front and back covers. Includes three color inserts. Available for $20@ + $4 shipping and handling from William Fuller, 3042 6th Ave, Sacramento, Calif 95817. Cash or checks only.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
It is with great pleasure that we announce the publication of THE BASEBALL DIARY ANTHOLOGY, VOL. 1: 1982-84. 250 8x10 pages of baseball, art, personal hygiene, and living in Eighties Los Angeles. Full color front and back covers. Includes three color inserts. Available for $20@ + $4 shipping and handling from William Fuller, 3042 6th Ave, Sacramento, Calif 95817. Cash or checks only. BD website coming soon!
Sunday, November 4, 2012
by the Editor
I don't think I'll ever be a Giants fan. But respect where respect is due. Getting there was the real fun; SF was magnificent in those final games they had to win. (Shades of those amazin' A's, eh? What is it about the bay area?) I was really hoping the Series wouldn't end in four days, no way the Tigers could be swept, right?
A huge THANK YOU to the BD contributors this season: James Humphrey, Turk Murdock, Spencer Kimball, Daniel DiPierro, Dave Wesley, Tom Gibson, Scott Soriano, Donna Copeland-Fuller, and an especially colossal shout out to Richard Rosen and Meredith Linden, who somehow managed to come through with multiple amazing posts above and beyond what the Editor ever expected. You all are appreciated more than you know!
BD Volume 12 is hereby put to bed. HOWEVER! This doesn't mean we won't be posting in the off season. If the baseball muse strikes anyone reading this, let it wash over you and send me whatever may result! In any case, the plan is to be back next year for Season 13. Hope to see you all back; have a great winter.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
by Meredith Linden
Knowing people in the same family who like different baseball teams with equal passion made me wonder. What is it that determines a person’s team affinity and/or loyalty? I grew up in Houston, hence my affiliation with the Astros buddy program at a young age. In middle school, I enjoyed watching the Oilers play every weekend in the fall. I was the only one in the house who watched any sports, and I’m not sure where I acquired the taste. Perhaps it was my athletic status at that time. Moving to Philadelphia didn’t kill my athleticism but it seemed to negatively affect my major league sports interest.
By the time I got to college, I was more interested in basketball and the Rockets didn’t exactly call out to me. I followed college football, being in Texas and all, but for major leagues, I had to find a new team. It was during the basketball playoffs in my junior year. The Pistons were playing the Celtics. I didn’t like the Celtics. My only reasons were I didn’t like the looks of Larry Bird and their uniforms were ugly. Oh, and they were top dogs. I liked Isaiah Thomas and Detroit was the underdog.
I never really settled on a basketball favorite until I came to Sacramento and met up with Kings fans. They were a relatively new team to Sacramento and the men in my life seemed to love them. But they sucked, so I avoided any affiliation.
It was during the Loma Prieta quake, which I felt in my living room, that I began a MLB affiliation. I got pretty hyped up for some reason over the World Series and somehow landed on the Giants, feeling the Oakland A’s a bit inferior. It was just a feeling I had.
I think most people attach themselves to sports teams for better reasons than I have. But team connection can make a real difference out in the world; people take it very seriously. As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided that because of my affiliation with Baseball
Diary, I was going to watch a baseball game this season. Of course, it would have to be either a playoff game or World Series game due to the timing. And I needed a team to root for.
I chose the Giants. It made sense to me in a weird way. I could have chosen any team in the playoffs. So be it. It just so happens they ended up in the World Series. How could I have known? Some fans could probably say.
I watched game 5 against the Cardinals, which turned out to be a great game! I had to watch it in the bedroom as others were watching TV in the living room and, obviously, baseball played second string. My daughter walked in on me and said, “What? You’re watching baseball?” “Yeah, what of it?” “Since when do you watch baseball?” Busted. Clearly she hadn’t been reading my blogs!
It’s true I did other things while watching the game, including taking notes for a blog post. I don’t know why I needed notes. Perhaps I doubted my ability to really think in baseball terms or remember key points of the game. I enjoyed the game, watching Zito pitch a no run game. He’s kinda cute, too. Lynn scared me until the Giants got through to the 4th inning. I have to admit, I was not bored.
But perhaps the defining moment in my short career as a baseball fan was at Baskin Robbins during Game 6. I had watched my game and while I was mildly interested in whether the Giants made it to the Series or not, I was not watching any more baseball; I just didn’t have the time.
As I waited for my daughter to decide what she wanted, I noticed the game was playing. I searched the place for the TV. Nowhere. I asked the ice cream scooper if it was on the radio and he assured me it was. Of course. I asked the inning and the score, the only proper thing to do. His eyes lit up and we talked about the game two nights before. It was the perfect bonding moment.
I ordered my ice cream as we talked. He handed me my cone with what can only be characterized as a softball-sized scoop in the place of the normal baseball-sized one. My daughter’s eyes widened immediately. “That’s Giant!” Exactly. Her sundae was mysteriously covered in extra chocolate syrup. My daughter looked at me quizzically. And that’s what team affiliation can get you!
Saturday, October 20, 2012
by Meredith Linden
Long, long ago when we could wear whatever we wanted to school, I decided I would much rather wear the keen plaid skirts, pressed shirts, and Maryjane shoes of my contemporaries who went to private school. Back then, yeah we’re talking ages ago, most private schools were parochial. Never mind that I was not religious in the least, much less Catholic. I envied the uniform as well as my friends going to CCD (Confraternity of Catholic Doctrine).
What is it about uniforms? There’s the proverbial joke about loving a man in uniform or going for the nurses in their white caps and starched white dresses (now they just wear scrubs). Oh, how pure. Just imagine hundreds of hospital employees divided into their appropriate caste by uniform, standing out on the lawn for a picture. How clean, how precise, how conforming.
When my kids started school, the school uniform had been adopted by public schools to cut down on inappropriate clothing in general, and gang clothing specifically. I loved it. Shopping was so easy; we had to buy very few non-uniform outfits. And in the poorer registers of town in which I worked, we had much fewer problems with people paying attention to clothing. Problem solved.
What in the world does this have to do with baseball? Well, of course, a team would NOT be a team without a uniform. As I mentioned in a recent post, I was halted in my tracks as I passed a university team practicing in their uniforms. Oh yeah, it was baseball, by the way. I was struck, and struck that I was struck, star-gazed-like, by the men/boys in uniform. A little flip was had by my stomach. Well, that was an interesting surprise. I have never really had such a visceral reaction to a sports uniform, or any uniform, before, especially on men.
But there you have it. They were neat little packages of athletics. The pants come in nicely at the waist, different for a guy, even if the pants do have those weird type of belt loops. But that’s the only thing I could find I didn’t like. I remember wearing jersey-style rock shirts from concerts, all designed on the baseball theme. They need room for their arms to swing the bat and catch fly balls, so their shirts have bigger sleeves, but their mostly broad shoulders account for the difference. You really get to see the man in a baseball uniform. That might sound funny coming from me, as I’m not a man’s woman. But I know attractive when I see it.
When comparing football, basketball, soccer, and baseball (and even rugby) uniforms, my vote is for the baseball uniform. Football players wear theirs purely by necessity but look ridiculous in the top-heavy skinny-legged outfits. Basketball uniforms have changed considerably even since the 70s from the short shorts (ugh, who wants to see that?) to the obscenely long and baggy shorts, but they don’t do much for the men’s figures. Finally, I just can’t stand the long tube socks making up the bulk of soccer and rugby uniforms. I know, I know, baseballers wear some sort of them, too, but at least you don’t see their knees when they hike up their knickers. Thus, it looks like a continuous pant with a little flare at the knee.
I don’t know who came up with the knickers idea over 100 years ago, but it stuck for quite a while. Not everyone does it, which makes me wonder why some players do or don’t do it. But what’s even more interesting about today’s baseball uniform is the return of something around the neck. The men used to actually wear bow ties or scarves. Now they’re wearing necklaces of team colors and, I understand, the necklaces are supposed to have some sort of healing magnetic powers. How 21st century.
After my “aha” moment regarding baseball uniforms, I decided to find out what others saw attractive. After a household poll, I found it is just a matter of taste. As they say, whatever turns you on.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
by Meredith Linden
In the particular state I am in, I really really get something about baseball. I mean, previously I understood why baseball players did it; it’s just that I get it so much more right now. “It” would be the chewing…of something. If there weren’t gum or chew, they’d probably be somewhat like beavers, chewing on their bats or gloves. Mmmm, leather.
In my particular state, with my jaw clenching and my brain flying at the speed of light, I get why they must chew so much. I wouldn’t mind something to chew on right now, though I think it might make things worse. I don’t really want something to eat, as that doesn’t last. Just chewing would be the thing to do.
In my last post, I mentioned the fact that baseball is the only sport I know of during which a player can chew something. I would guess 80% of baseball players’ time is spent waiting, watching, waiting, standing, sitting, watching, and waiting. And not patiently, either. They want to play, damn it. They want to move their team forward to victory. However, I would guess most baseball players must be of a patient sort, at least on the field, to stand that kind of delayed gratification. Yes, I know. I have heard the stories of the errant baseball player and his loss of patience, but how often does that happen during a game because they are tired of waiting for their turn at bat or the ball to come to them? I don’t really know since I don’t watch it.
At any rate, right about now, I started remembering the chewing gum that came out in the 1970s. Not the baseball card chewing sticks, though I bought those, too. It was the bag of Big League Chew! Wormy little pink pieces of gum you could use to emulate your favorite baseball player who may or may not get mouth cancer. Lovely. It came complete with a comic-style baseball player on the bag, all to remind you of the inspiration behind it. Later came the roll of gum in a plastic box with a caricatured baseball player on the lid.
Perhaps that is when baseball players began chewing gum more than chew. Some sources say chew is banned, but when I see a player spit, I immediately think he is chewing tobacco. Also, the stuck out lower lip is a bit of a giveaway. I heard one story that a player was probably saved from jail because he was chewing. Apparently, he had a bad night on the field and nearly ripped someone’s head off. I guess gum and chew can serve to alleviate tension. Probably why I want some now.
I have no idea how this came into my consciousness except for the fact that my increased involvement with Baseball Diary has also increased my awareness of all things baseball. Since being here, I have proclaimed baseball as boring, watched a bit of baseball, and thought about baseball much more than I have in easily 40 years. While I am no more interested in watching all the playoff games, I am more interested in my friends’ team preferences and why as well as who might go to the Series. And I have vowed to watch a game of baseball (preferably in total) before the season is over. Meanwhile, I’d better get something else to do or some gum to keep me busy while I watch.