Aaaaaaaaand PLAY BALL! After hearing about the vintage baseball league that plays by 1864 rules out on Governor’s Island (more info here), we simply had to go. On a most gorgeous summer Saturday, Meags and Sweetheart and I packed up the bare essentials (champagne, bread, cheese, sunscreen) and hopped on the free ferry to go see some baseball. In short: it was awesome. The New York Gothams wore navy pants, pillbox hats (you can see the lineage of those wonderful throwback Pirates hats) and white tunics emblazoned with a gothic “G”. What they didn’t wear? Gloves. Maybe gloves hadn’t been invented or maybe all leather was earmarked for Union cavalry saddlebags, but by the 1864 rules, the intrepid fielders go barehanded. The old rules are slightly different— you can’t overrun first base, the pitches are underhand, the strike zone is from the head to the ankles, and (most noted) the barehanded fielders can catch the soft rag ball on one bounce and the batter’s out—but the game is the same, the joyous, methodical, rhythmic American wonder reminds you why the game took hold of us in the first place. In typical American fashion, nicknames abound (Crash, Monk, Bugs) and, perhaps the most nostalgic element, even the heckling is genteel…Can you picture a Yankee fan telling at the Red Sox “That was UNMANLY!”? All of this, on a divine day, with the newly regenerating skyline of lower Manhattan in the background? Perfection.
top and third image by Hiroko Masuike from this NYT article (we were interviewed, but didn’t make the cut…).
This Just In. The official theme of this summer is WANDERLUST+BASEBALL. But, really, is this anything new? Ever since my guilty twinges at not having seen a ballgame by June reached a frenzy, I’ve thrown myself into the American Pastime (more on the New York Gotham’s later this week). Last night on a wild hair, Sweetheart and I sped on the wings of the new G>7 in-station transfer out to CitiField. The Mets were taking on similar-perennial-underdogs-in-a-pretty-tough-division Orioles, and tickets were $5.70 (it was a No-Han special- in honor of Johan’s- #57- no hitter). It was, in essence, a perfect night. Bewhiskered cartoon-hounddog knuckleballer R.A. Dickey pitched a one hitter complete game (back to back on his other one hitter complete game), Sweet Ike Davis broke his epic dry-spell with his first-ever grand slam- we gave him a much deserved curtain call-, and it was 65 degrees and breezy. Also of note: Dickey’s “come to the plate” music is the Game of Thrones theme song. I don’t think I could love him more. If you build it, we will come.Images via instagram here and here.
I love that despite the hubbub of the Knicks finally being back in action at the Garden and the pending leviathan that is the new home of the Brooklyn Nets lurking right in my backyard, despite the flailing of the Jets this past weekend, despite, well, the existence of the Rangers, that the top New York sports stories are still all Baseball. This, I love. I love that A-Rod has entered into an Indiana Jones style agreement that includes traveling to Germany (perhaps with Kobe Bryant by his side) to engage in some mysterious axis-of-evil style rehab plan that as far as I’m concerned will include giant maps of Europe, some nazis, and perhaps the holy grail. I’m also in love with the fact that the (sort of inexplicable, and truly lovable) star of the Mets bullpen, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey plans to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next week with a couple of other MLBuddies despite having received a strongly worded letter from Met’s management advising him against it. I sort of hope (against hope) that A Rod becomes a superhero or that ole R.A. encounters something crazy at the top of Kilimanjaro while he’s there so he can be featured on one of these amazing cards from Left Field Cards genius Amelie Mancini immortalizing baseball players that were injured in bizarre ways. And, of course, they’re made in Brooklyn.