This site provides news and information about Right Off the Bat: Cricket, Baseball, Literature, and Life by Evander Lomke and Martin Rowe, published in May 2011 by Paul Dry Books. (This book is also available for sale as an audiobook, here or here.) Cricket and baseball share a parallel and occasionally intertwined history (the first international cricket match was played in the United States). Indeed, they have mirrored their countries’ struggles with identity and race, and have expanded beyond the shores of their founding countries to become multinational sports commanding global followings that are, even now, challenging the future of both sports. To that end we make the following declaration:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that baseball and cricket are created equal, and are endowed by the Umpire with certain inalienable pleasures, that among these are the need for good hand–eye coordination, the freedom to fail frequently, and the pursuit of a sphere all around a green park. That to secure these pleasures, Teams are instituted among Men (and Women), deriving their just powers from the consent of the fans,— That whenever any Team (or Manager) becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Fan to kvetch, throw things, write blogs, and ask themselves why they ever allowed themselves to fall under the sway of said Team (or Manager).
Right Off the Bat is a lover’s lament to these much-traduced and battered games—games that have throughout their history at once failed to live up to the mighty claims made for them and yet exceeded everyone’s expectations. They are living testaments to freedom and bondage, independence and imperialism, individual triumph and collective failure. Fascinating and infuriating, on the verge of wholesale collapse and on the cusp of a revival, baseball and cricket—like life itself—are quotidian, timeless, banal, and magnificent.
Evander Lomke (right) has worked in book publishing for over thirty years wherein he edited 1,200 titles (including the ground-breaking Encyclopedia of American Literature as well as books by two U.S. Presidents), and is the executive director of the American Mental Health Foundation, among its charitable work also publishers of Erich Fromm. A lifelong Yankees fan, it’s only fitting that he lives in the Bronx, New York. Martin Rowe is the co-founder of Lantern, a book publishing and media company, and author of two novels (Nicaea: A Book of Correspondences and Bertie Wooster and the Lizard King [the latter banned by the P. G. Wodehouse Estate]). He is also the editor of a non-fiction anthology, The Way of Compassion: Vegetarianism, Environmentalism, Animal Advocacy, and Social Justice. A long-suffering supporter of the England cricket team, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.