I was recently dragged, kicking and screaming, to a night game at the new Jacob's Field in Cleveland. I was a sorta guest of honor. I'm still tingling, ooh-la-la.
A pair of free tix to a production of Lee Blessing's Cobb, sent to me by the Edinboro Theatre Company. It was a genuine surprise, and the evening was capped by the appearance of a huge metaphorical circle before mine eyes, involving:
the three Cobbs concerned (young, middle, and old)—
J. L. Lovelace as Oscar Charleston (the "Black Ty Cobb")
- Krapp's Last Tape—
the three Krapps concerned (young, middle, and old)—
J. L. Lovelace as Pozzo (in Beckett's Waiting for Godot)
all of which I didn't realize until driving home in a heavy hypnotic downpour and I live for these kinds of connections, these taut strings that go reverberating through each other, these harmonics in my life. So thanks.
A request (granted) from a regional mag (Lip Mechanics) to reprint page two, and last I knew it was primarily or mostly a humorous thing so I called and screamed whaddayou think I'm kidding?!?!?
An invite from a bunch of cool guys I hardly know but respect like crazy to take part in a yearly game of hardball played on a very stylish field cuz they pull strings and maybe pay bribes and stuff. I hope they remember me next year, since this year I was moving that weekend. And I want to hit the ball.
Anyone out there willing to translate a document for me? Alex Vrielander in Singapore thanks me for going international and offers me his thesis on Jackie Robinson. But I don't do Dutch. I'm completely serious.
BB10K became official reading on the Jay Buckley Baseball Tours in July.
- These are a few of my favorite feedbacks:
—"You go, girl!"
—"Just the coolest goddamn thing I've seen in a long, long time."
—"Superb." (This arrived with 50 stamps.)
—"Be that as it may..."
—"...a deconstructionist wet dream."
—"...an amusing, informative, entertaining... Rick-Lopez-kind-of-thing."
This from the August '94 SABR Bulletin, under "Research Needs:"
Wendy Knickerbocker... is seeking information on the baseball team in Marshalltown, Iowa, in 1881-1883. She is particularly interested in a game from October 3, 1882, against Des Moines. Any information will be helpful.
Now for those of you with absolutely no concept of the truly important things in life, SABR is the Society for American Baseball Research. I love and marvel at this kind of "looking for." So Wendy you're getting one of these in the mail and I'd really like to know what it was about that day that has you preoccupied. If you will.
I pulled the H. I. Khan quote (page 9) from Mary Laird's "Jim was shot" in BULLHEAD #1, Winter '94, which deserves your support. Editor and writer Joe Napora will send you a sample copy for $5.00. Write Joe at 2205 Moore St., Ashland, KY, 41101. Dialogue is key element here, with efforts to preserve Native American burial ground in Adams County, Ohio as fueling impulse, and "riverrun" as prime mode of discourse and movement.
Most Compelling Book Dedication of All Time:
WHO TURNED OFF THE GAS
This from Tom Kromer's Waiting for Nothing and Other Writings, University of Georgia Press, highly recommended. A compelling and horrifyingly beautiful depression-era tale of woe about the life of the homeless. I read this a decade ago, and I still think of it, don't I?
Tape Search: I'm looking for the May 10th Atlanta Braves' broadcast off TBS, in which Turner's tit-mice pulled yet another come-from-behinder, winning this one in their last at-bat on an awful bunt by the pitcher that flared lazily upward and wriggled its way to earth in a secret no-man's land that only existed for that brief moment it needed to—folding out of and back into unreality like some warp-dimension pillow. My tape was set at wrong speed and I'm a sad boy. Help Me Somebody!
Lift a Glass, say Thank You and Farewell to:
Henry Mancini, died 6/94, I hadn't thought about this man for ages and one day he up and dies and I realize how influential he was in my musical development. The Peter Gunn theme, the soundtrack to Hatari and its sending me off into African music and rhythms at the age of nine, any number of drop-dead gorgeous songs. Moon River, Days of Wine & Roses, man oh man...
Mass Media, died 8/26/94, or should have, with the release of an indictment by Oliver Stone called Natural Born Killers. A film about the real bad guys, the shortchange and hype artists who trivialize all they breathe on, the feeding frenzy tunes we all dance to when blood is spilled: What great copy, what great footage, what a citizenry of ambulance chasers! Sort of a snake eating its own tail here—of course I too went expecting riveting movie megaviolence—and watched the credits feeling properly reprimanded and enlarged by the size of its satiric fangs.
Major League Baseball, died 8/12/94, and I dive weeping into the waters of history, my arms gathering it all in to chase the present and its darkening clouds and that's all I have to say about that.
"I love baseball—you know, it doesn't have to mean anything, it's just beautiful to watch."
—Leonard Zelig (to Dr. Eudora Fletcher)
The White Room Sessions, 1931.
Baseball—A silly game.
The 10,000 Things—As in: "the world and its 10,000 things," (Lao Tzu) its multitude of riches, its infinity of nourishments for our minds and hearts, you know—The Whole Shebang.
The world is my beefsteak tartar.
Anyone reading this hasn't seen pages 1-8 and wants to say so. It's all one thing, don't you know.
I'd like to expect #4 by November.
Replies to #s 1 & 2 have given my list unmanageable proportions: I mailed about 120 / handed out maybe 200 of #1—then I mailed out around 300 / handed out about 500 of #2, along with another few hundred #1s. It gets worse. So I'm requesting expression of any continued interest or desire on your part to keep seeing this. Fair? C'mon. Talk to me. And send stamps.
" 'You damn sadist.' said mr. cummings,
'you try to make people think.' "
—Ezra Pound / Canto 89
All uncredited material © Rick Lopez 1994
Baseball & the 10,000 Things