Wednesday, May 6, 2015

An unexpected source: The Atlantic

I was listening to a Leonard Lopate interview with Greg Proops, a comic featured on the popular TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway, host of The Smartest Man in the World podcast, and, most recently, author of The Smartest Book in the World: A Lexicon of Literacy, A Rancorous Reportage, A Concise Curriculum of Coolwhich devotes probably a disproportionate amount of space to baseball.

Proops is a major and knowledgeable fan. The latter is an important distinction. A lot of celebrities say their fans, but Proops walks the walk. I offer to you his “Walkers” episode from 2012 in which he describes how raucous and filthy the game was as played in the late 19th century (warning; LOTS of NSFW language). You can find it within this entry I posted after hearing that podcast. is a long-winded way of getting to my point: During the interview, Lopate mentioned an article he had read in the February issue of The Atlantic titled “Making Baseball Less Boring.” When I went to the magazine’s website and typed “baseball” in the search box, I was presented with over 16,000 hits. Granted many of them refer to baseball only tangentially, but there’s a lot of good stuff in there if you have the patience to sift through it. For example, three articles I printed for later reading include “Moneyball 2.0: The New Team-Oriented Study of Baseball” (2014); “A Cultural History of the Baseball Card” (2014); and “Battering the Batter” (2015).

You can find similar thoroughness on the websites of other major magazines. Happy hunting.

In case you were wondering, “The Last of the Pure Baseball Men” the cover story for the August 1981 issue, refers to Calvin Griffith, the late owner of Washington Senators/Minn. Twins.


An unexpected source: The Atlantic

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