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#1587 - Thursday, October 16, 2003 - Editor: Jerry, based on an idea by Christiana Duranczyk, who also provided key links.  

This issue is dedicated to BASEBALL. Saturday the World Series begins.  

  Here's the only one that only baseball fans would 'get' as it refers to what happened just the other night:  

An ode to Aaron...
From longtime friend Chris Visser,
with apologies to Ernest Thayer:

Oh somewhere in this favored land the sun will soon shine bright,
And kids will play with reckless glee from dawn to dusk each night.
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Beantown - Aaron Boone just hit one out.

  Satchel Paige  

" Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind,
  it doesn’t matter."

" Ain’t no man can avoid being born average, but there ain’t
  no man got to be common."

" I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a
  while I would toss one that ain’t never been seen by this

" Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw
  strikes. Home plate don’t move."

" They said I was the greatest pitcher they ever saw…I
  couldn’t understand why they couldn’t give me no justice."

" Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."  

" Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun

" How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"  

" Money and women. They're two of the strongest things in the
  world. The things you do for a woman you wouldn't do for
  anything else. Same with money."

" Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never
  been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching."

" You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you
  got to dress for all of them."

" My pitching philosophy is simple; you gotta keep the ball
  off the fat part of the bat."

" I never had a job. I always played baseball."  

" Mother always told me, if you tell a lie, always rehearse
  it. If it don't sound good to you, it won't sound good to
  no one else."


Joseph Campbell found that all the hero myths of all the
people of the world of all time were basically one myth, the
work of the human psyche. Carl Jung called this a "monomyth"
and believed it to be the work of a "collective
unconsciousness." We present here in Joseph Campbell's own
words the way he identified the monomyth of the hero. We have
used Mickey Mantle as an example of a baseball hero, to lend
some specifics that will make the connection between Joseph
Campbell's work and the world of baseball. Each hero's story
varies in appearance, but beneath the individualized

dressings lie the same bare-bones: the the monomyth presented here. These stories lead to little more than hero-worship unless they awaken something inside us. This is the value then of the hero stories. They are to help us to realize: "Each of us is destined to become the hero in at least one story -- our own."

Editor's note: please visit the following webpage. Great photos and a nice education on Campbell's concept of the monomyth of the hero, using Mickey Mantle as an example:  link no longer active

Photo of Mickey Mantle  

  You can catch the prize with a runner rounding third,
But you can't keep it in your glove.
You can try to get an edge with drugs,
But you can't keep it sharp.
You can load the bases,
But you can't keep it a secret.
You can act arrogant, when you're ahead in the count,
But you can't keep from getting one in your ear.
Play your heart out, then hit the showers.
This is the Elysian Way.

from The Tao of Baseball: link no longer active

Yogi Berra said:  

" It ain't over 'til it's over "  

" Never answer an anonymous letter"  

" I usually take a two hour nap from one to four"  

" It's deja vu all over again"  

" When you come to a fork in the road....Take it "  

" I didn't really say everything I said "  

" You can observe a lot by watching "  

When asked what time is was......" you mean now?"  

At Yogi Berra day in St Louis 1947 " I want to thank you for
making this day necessary"

" If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be "  

Yogi on the 1969 NY Mets....." overwhelming underdogs "  

" If the people don't want to come out to the ballpark,
  nobody's going to stop them "

On why NY lost the 1960 series to Pittsburgh "

We made to
many wrong mistakes"

" The future ain't what it used to be "  

" It gets late early out here"  

From Highlights Issue #5  

If Yogi Berra were asked, "Can you apply neti-neti to the game of
baseball?", how might he respond? Any suggestions?

The game is not the bat, nor is it the ball, nor the crowd, nor the
bases, nor the field, nor the word "baseball" or the concept of
baseball. There is no perceivable game being played. Rather, something
else underlying the nature of reality is projecting all these things.
That something else is and is not baseball. The ball does not fly
through the air; rather, it is the mind that flies. Thus, baseball is
---Tim Gerchmez  

There is no winner nor a looser
Just a perceiving happy boozer
Comments the Zen-dog in disguise
And he's a dog that's very wise.
By looking at that funny game
He sees what really makes the fame
There's neither fame nor a disgrace
All players have a dollar face.
Zen-dog says "love children's play
Their mind is fluid, doesn't stay.
It moves like water, like a flow
And where their mind is, there they go"

---Jan Barendrecht  

Two great pitchers in a lineup. So good in fact that someone
took the time to write a poem about them.

Spahn & Sain by Gerald V. Hern  
Published: Boston Post (09-14-1948)

First we'll use Spahn
then we'll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

Life by Jim 'Mudcat' Grant  

Life is like a game of baseball,
You play it every day.
It isn't just the breaks you get,
But the kind of game you play.

So stop and look your whole team over,
And you'll find dedication there.
You're bound to be a winner,
With men who really care.

Your pitcher's name is courage,
You need him in the game.
For faith and trust your keystone men,
The grounders they will tame.

Your center fielder is very fast,
Though small and hard to see.
So watch him, son, when he gets,
The ball he's opportunity.

In left field there's ambition,
Never let him shirk.
For in right field there's a husky man,
I'm told his name is work.

At first base there's religion,
He's stood the test of time.
At third base there's brotherhood,
The stalwart of the nine.

Your catcher's name is humor,
He's important to the scheme.
For with honor warming in the bull pen,
The game is always clean.

With love on the bench,
You've perfection no less.
With a winning team,
And joy and happiness.

Your other team is strong, son,
Greed, hatred, envy and defeat.
Are for strong infielders,
You'll have to buck to make your game complete.

Deceitfulness and a man called waste,
Are always playing hard.
Selfishness and jealousy,
None can you disregard.

Carelessness and falsehood,
Are the big boys in the pen.
You'll have to swing hard, son,
When you come up to them.

There's one more man you'll have to watch,
He's always very near.
He's the pitcher on that team,
And I'm told his name is fear.

This game will not be easy,
There'll be trouble, there'll be strife.
To make the winning runs, my boy,
For this game is played on the field of life.

So stand behind your team, my boy,
There'll be many who'll applaud.
Just remember that you're the player,
And the umpire here is God.

To Buddhists the first step to enlightenment is knowing that
life is suffering and recognizing that it is our attachments
of greed, fear, power, sex, wealth and fame that helps toward
our unhappiness. In such ways one can be to attached to the
game of baseball. For instance there are baseball players
that are selfish and greedy for recognition. As a player you
can focus too much on the outcomes than the process, like
being to attached to statistics and batting averages. By
placing too much of an emphasis on those fame seeking desires
you are placing yourself at risk of a slump or just being
unhappy. So the same goes for both Buddhism and baseball,
disregard the desires and become a winner. --Natalie Farmer  

Casey At The Bat
by Ernest L. Thayer
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day,
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair.
The rest clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast.
They thought, "if only Casey could but get a whack at that.
We'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat."

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake;
and the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake.

So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy sat;
for there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all.
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball.

And when the dust had lifted,
and men saw what had occurred,
there was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;

it pounded through on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat;
for Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place,
there was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile lit Casey's face.

And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
no stranger in the crowd could doubt t'was Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.

Then, while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
and Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped --
"That ain't my style," said Casey.

"Strike one!" the umpire said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore.

"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand,
and it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity, great Casey's visage shone,
he stilled the rising tumult, he bade the game go on.

He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew,
but Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
and they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer has fled from Casey's lip, the teeth are clenched in hate.
He pounds, with cruel violence, his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
and now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And, somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout,

but there is no joy in Mudville --
mighty Casey has struck out.

Regarding the Baseball Strike  

The year after the baseball strike I was in Los Angeles and
was offered front row tickets right next to the left field
dugout. Suddenly all my frustration about the strike and all
those thoughts about how I'll never watch another baseball
game, went out the window. "Front row seats, huh? Umm ...

Me and my best friend went to see the Los Angeles Dodgers
play the Atlanta Braves.

It was opening day and the players were very friendly. Before
the game started they were talking to kids in the stands,
smiling at fans. They were trying to make up for the strike,
which caused the previous year's World Series to be
cancelled. Fans were pretty pissed.

One kid was in full Dodger uniform and thrilled to be talking
to the players. He stood for the essential joy of the whole
institution of baseball, and especially the joy of his own
  I felt his joy and everywhere I turned I felt it, and in
every breath of stadium air. The baseball in all its orbits
-- grass high, waist high, sky high -- that white ball is
concentrated joy because the whole game is about the presence
of the white ball.

Sometimes the ball gets hit to you. This day Chipper Jones
lined a foul ball right into my bare hands. The ball bounced
out, but heck, even major leaguers drop line drives, right?

When that ball comes to you, you see it coming and it comes.
It might slap your palm, sting, and fly out. But you've
touched it. You know it. You've seen the ball is not only
white but as it spins there is a tinge of red in the cloud of
its spin.

Then for a fraction of a second as the ball slaps your hand
you see the white ball is embossed with a red seam. The red
seam, the ball flying away, the river of blood within the
perfect thing that is you, the realization that you've
collided with yourself ... and joy flying off everywhere.

--Jerry Katz    

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!  

This song was written in 1908 by a man named Jack Norworth.
One day when he was riding a New York City subway train, he
spotted a sign that said "Ballgame Today at the Polo
Grounds." Some baseball-related lyrics popped into his head,
that were later set to some music by Albert Von Tilzer, to
become the well known baseball song, "Take Me Out To The
Ballgame." Despite the fact that neither Norworth or Tilzer
had ever been to a baseball game at the time the song was
written, it is one of the most widely sung songs in America.
(1927 version)

Nelly Kelly loved baseball games,
Knew the players, knew all their names,
You could see her there ev'ry day,
Shout "Hurray" when they'd play.
Her boy friend by the name of Joe
Said, "To Coney Isle, dear, let's go,"
Then Nelly started to fret and pout,
And to him I heard her shout.

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."

Nelly Kelly was sure some fan,
She would root just like any man,
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along, good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Nelly Kelly knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the game sing this song.

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."

Now click below to hear the music!  

  A nondualist ordering a hot dog at the stadium:  

"Make me one with everything."  


home run trot—
the batter's eyes a tape
measuring the distance

~ ~ ~

squeeze play
umpire whisk brooming
home plate

~ ~ ~

intentional walk
each fan winding up
his own boo

haikus by Bud Goodrich. Read more:

go yankees!

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Jerry Katz
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