“Time past and time present”: Baseball’s most feared competitor, Ty Cobb
We have recently blogged
on violence in cricket and baseball. In Right Off the Bat
(page 47 ff.) Martin and I discuss the early 1930s-conceived strategy of “Bodyline,” whereby the batsman almost literally has to be on his toes. The baseball equivalent, less organized-strategic but certainly effective, is the brush-back pitch (a.k.a. “a little chin music” or “get out of my office”), wherein the pitcher sends a less-than-friendly message, with his thrown ball, to the batter regarding his crowding home plate. When such gets out of hand, when the batter is actually struck by a pitch, mayhem ensues in a tit-for-tat fashion. The Tampa Bay Rays
and Boston Red Sox
are presently locked in a series that features this
unwanted and dangerous game-within-a-game.
More appropriate for this solemn holiday of Memorial Day (once known as Decoration Day), the unofficial start of summer with all this implies for the Boys of Summer, is an exhibit of rare, old-time baseball cards, the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection, at the U.S. Library of Congress. Check it out.