Batboys and the world of baseball by Neil D. Isaacs

By Neil D. Isaacs

From a hundred and seventy interviews Neil D. Isaacs good points first-hand tales of batboys who served in the course of 9 a long time of baseball. In chronicling them he exhibits how truth neutralizes illusions and the way conventions of the game implement lifelong values.

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The first phase of that re-creation produced novels for a juvenile audience that were no less moralistic or simplistically idealistic than Richardson designed Pamela to be when the English novel was in its infancy. The world of Gilbert Patten's Frank Merriwell, of the six ghost-written novels of Christy Mathewson himself, and of Edward Stratemeyer's (Lester Chadwick's) Baseball Joe persists, 6 even though it has been substantially eclipsed in several of the mature parallel worlds that evolved from that infancy.

Both the love and the separateness, to borrow Eudora Welty's phrase for an application she never dreamt (though Robert Penn Warren hints at its possibility in his analysis thereof), are insisted upon by baseball's establishment and its conventions. And for those of us outside, looking in or on or down through the most powerful of lenses, it is the separateness that nourishes the love. Page 27 It is not the purpose of this study to shatter a myth, nor to explore a sacred world in order to tear it down from within.

President Eisenhower threw out the first ceremonial ball to Whitey Herzog. When he threw the second, 6'7" pitcher Frank Sullivan reached for it but deflected it right into Ryan's hands. " Mark Sassetti and his brother Jim were made to feel important when asked to contribute suggestions for the design of the clubhouse in the new Comiskey Park. ) But both had been close to Harold Baines and his family and were upset when he was traded. ) and Paul Greco were the 1986 Mets batboys who carried the banner down Broadway at the head of the World Series parade.

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