As it’s been a month or eight since I last updated the site, here’s a roundup of goings on and publications and conversations since I last opened the WordPress editor:
For the book recommendation site ShepherdI compiled a list of books that master the trick of placing baseball in a broader historical context
For the SABR baseball card research committee blog I wrote about why it can be tempting to not open a pack of baseball cards
Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf is a great online repository of publications about the game; I spoke to Ron himself about The Only Way Is the Steady Way, The Utility of Boredom, kids, the Blue Jays, the rules of collecting ballcaps, and more
Despite being Yankees fans, the folks over at Start Spreading the News turn out to be nice people, and I spoke to them about Ichiro, how I’d “fix” baseball, etc.
We here in Ontario are about to go into another lockdown, and the air outside my window is adance with snow flurries, but it’s Opening Day, damn it, and so we rejoice and find gladness in the promise of a new season. Tomorrow, April 2, is the official publication date of The Only Way Is the Steady Way, so chosen because it’s also the twentieth anniversary of Ichiro’s MLB debut. It’s also the fifth anniversary of the publication of The Utility of Boredom. That one was a coincidence, but it’s still worth noting. Regarding the former, there have been some developments—articles, appearances, etc.—that I’ll endeavour to round up here:
Baseball, like Whitman, gives me glimpses of what once was, scraps of history with varying degrees of relevance to the way we/they live now. Mostly it’s myth and symbol, lingering ideas and images that please but don’t do much to inform.
To get into the swing of things I did Open Book‘s take on the Proust Questionnaire, and in the process learned a little something about myself (namely that I really don’t have answers to most of the questions on a Proust Questionnaire).
Thanks to Grace O’Connell and everyone at OB:T for the invitation, and apologies for all the damage I’m about to do to your esteemed brand.
The music of Led Zeppelin is a thrilling, seductive, and ultimately dishonest reflection of an unreasonable form of masculinity.
— Over at The Town Crier, I answered Tyler Willis’s question about aging, identity, nostalgia, and Led Zeppelin as part of an “Omnibus Interview” of Puritan contributors who’ve released books in 2015. Big thanks to Tyler and all the Puritan braintrust for being so good to me and all authors whose work they continue to nurture and promote.