May 11

That's what happens when you play with batsClick for larger image

Rick Deckard Comments: Pennant Fever … catch it!

Published 1980

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 4.90 out of 10)

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30 Responses to “The New AToms’ Bombshell”

  1. THX 1139 Says:

    “Fools! From my remote lair I shall control all forms of rounders!”

  2. A.R.Yngve Says:


    Did the year 2002 change anything about baseball… apart from sports stadiums getting a lot more security checkpoints and armed guards?

  3. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The worst part about Space Baseball in 2002 was that the audience had to endure an endless loop of “An Der Schönen Blauen Donau” playing through the speakers.

  4. fred Says:

    There’s a lot of wasted advertising space around that stadium.

  5. Tor Mented Says:

    2002: The year they started throwing Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox at people.

  6. JuanPaul Says:

    I think 2002 is the year that it became completely unaffordable for a working class family of four to attend a baseball game.

  7. Tat Wood Says:

    Why is the bowler the only one with a face-mask? Are the rest considered expendible?

  8. JuanPaul Says:

    @Tat Pitchers will do whatever they can to hide thier intent from the batter.

  9. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Although Van Dongen was an American artist, he seems to have known very little about our national pastime. That pitcher’s mound looks like a sheer cliff, a real ankle breaker. And, like, where’s second base?

  10. Francis Boyle Says:

    My complete lack of understanding of what’s going on here is due to complete lack of knowledge about baseseball*. Yeah, that’ll be it.

    *A typo, but maybe that’s what in fact the silver guys are playing.

  11. Tat Wood Says:

    @JuanPaul: Pitcher? Batter? Is it Shrove Tuesday already?

  12. GSS ex-noob Says:

    The hovertext over the various stars has new meaning. 2 stars says “I would touch it without protective gloves” and my brain shrieked “A used book?! No way am I touching that without gloves!”

    The pitcher appears to be in a surgical mask as well.

    (squints at blurb line). I don’t recall 2002 as being a big change in baseball, except for more security as @ARY said. I’m absolutely certain the Yankees never played a team in hazmat suits.

    Why is there a miniature (or a projection of) Evil Morgan Freeman in an Andre the Giant-sized chair, in an olde-tymey control room in/on the baseball? That definitely doesn’t fit the rigorous standards of MLB.

    @JuanPaul: 2002 at the latest for affordability. And can you imagine how many accessories the catcher must be wearing, with the pitcher and infield kitted out like that?

    @BC: Not only is that pitcher’s mound non-standard (no rubber plate there either), why is the pitcher on tippy toes on his follow-through? Is the… shortstop, maybe? wearing an oven mitt and not a glove? And why is the Yankee running? He can’t be stealing second base because it isn’t there. Nor can he be running after the batter gets a hit, since the ball’s still on the way.

    We can only conclude that in the book’s 2002, a whole lot did change, making the blurb true. The mind boggles at what might have happened to the infield fly rule.

    @Tag Wizard: can we get a “font problems”? There’s no good reason at all for “AToms”.

    This concludes today’s episode of “Let’s Confuse the Commonwealth”. This broadcast may not be recorded without the express written consent of Major League Baseball. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks.

  13. Tat Wood Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: one day you’ll join the rest of the English-speaking world and give up the kiddy version of cricket for the real thing. In the meantime…



    (*CRA!! KERR!! JAAAAACK!!!)

  14. THX 1139 Says:

    No, no, Peanuts:

  15. Hammy Says:

    @GSSx-n (#12):

    It looks to me like the spaceman pitcher (I shall call him Bill, after Bill “Spaceman” Lee, left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, 1969-1982) is throwing the ball across the first-base line (note the angled line at the bottom of the cover). Perhaps he’s trying to cut down a runner at the plate.

    If so, he’s either going to have to curve that ball 135 degrees laterally to get it to the catcher, or he’s going to be charged with one big error.

  16. DonPaul Nogueira Says:

    “Oh dear, I suppose I should not have built my secret lair inside of a baseball. This is going to hurt.”

  17. Bibliomancer Says:

    This ballgame definitely isn’t cricket.

    I suppose this is the only way Major League Baseball is going to have a season this year under the threat of a pandemic. But I expect the crowds will be non-existent.

  18. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Hammy: I had to look several times to see what you mean, and maybe. Perhaps Tiny Evil Morgan Freeman will pilot Bill’s throw so as to turn that 135 degrees? I don’t know what the rules would say about that but Joe Torre would certainly lodge an objection. That’d be one heck of a curveball.

    @Tat: Baseball games take long enough, but they generally don’t run over 4 hours unless there’s extra innings. Cricket goes on for days. The entire Western Hemisphere (and bits of the Far East — go Nippon-Ham Fighters!) will stick with the less-boring one.

  19. Tat Wood Says:

    @GSS ex-noob – why is a four-day match where everything’s on the line until the last few minutes more ‘boring’ than a three-hour warm-up punctuated by military recruitment stuff where, actually, nothing happens and everything’s pre-ordained? That’s like using four bullets instead of one to make Russian Roulette less ‘boring’.

    Baseball’s so uninspiring they need a Hammond Organ and flashing signs to keep the audience awake.

    (I’m also curious about your definition of ‘the entire Western Hemisphere’ – you seem to have omitted Ireland, Argentina, Canada and Antarctica )

  20. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tat W—I think the real reason there are no hammond organs or flashing signs is that the audience is *expected* to sleep through at least three-fourths of the match. It’s part of the Grand Tradition.

  21. Tat Wood Says:

    @B.Chiclitz: nobody told these guys

  22. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tat W—Thanks for the clip. It’s good to know that, once, back in 1976 was it?, there was an aroused crowd at a cricket match. Anyway, not looking to re-ignite the ancient cricket vs. baseball debate. They are equally noble, and equally inane, ways that humans spend their time.

  23. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Near-future SF: the genre guaranteed to look silly within a generation.

  24. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Bruce: Yep. Things don’t really change that much in 22 years. And I’ll bet most of the people who bought this book in 1980 were still around in 2002.

    We bought this house about 22 years ago. The TV’s bigger, the internet’s faster, and the car’s hybrid, but the house itself hasn’t changed except for taking out the hideous wallpaper and paint left from the 70’s and redoing some of the plumbing.

    Women’s fashions are cyclical on about that schedule. I remember being in a shoe store with my mother in the 90s and saying “Ugh, I didn’t like this style last time around, in the 70s.” She said “Neither did I, and I didn’t like it in the 50s. Come to think of it, your grandma didn’t care for it in the 50s either, or in the 30s.” It came back in the 2010’s, and I continued not wearing them. If I’m still around in another 10-15 years, I’m sure I will hit the century mark of my genetic line hating that style.

    And we won’t have some baseball players in uniforms and some in protective gear, nor baseballs with tiny black men’s evil lairs.

  25. THX 1139 Says:

    @GSS xn: That’s no tiny black man, that’s evil genius Colonel Sanders!

  26. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Fried chicken does go with summertime activities, but that can’t be the Colonel. In purple? No way.

  27. THX 1139 Says:

    How about an Evil Colonel Sanders?

  28. GSS ex-noob Says:

    A ruling from the judges has found in favor of @THX’s suggestion. An Evil Colonel Sanders can wear purple, hit the tanning salon, and control baseball.

    One suggested perhaps he could have a double goatee, in accordance with the Rules of Evil Twins, but this was overruled by everyone else, using the ancient words of power: Too Silly.

  29. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    @GSSxn: Are we not in the one place where the words ‘Too Silly’ have no power?

  30. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Vlttp—To my mind the words “too silly” do have power—they are the high mark of approval! 😉

    dada for now . . .

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