Thursday, October 06, 2005

Phenomenal Smith's Guide to Baseball

My name is Phenomenal Smith and I used to play baseball. I was a journeyman pitcher from 1884 to 1891, playing for the Philadelphia Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Brooklyn Grays and the Pittsburgh Alleghenys of the American Association League. I don't even know what an Allegheny is. I also spent time in the National League, playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Alleghenys and the Detroit Wolverines. That's right, there was once a team called Detroit fucking Wolverines of the National League. Things were very different in 1886.

On the margains of history (baseball and otherwise), there are men who have had the misfortune of not being able to live up to their names. I was anything but my moniker, and I was out of the game at 26. But I was there and you weren't, which makes me a poet. Us players, we're all poets, and the sum of our poems have given you more drama than Shakespeare, more sadness than Dostoevsky and more absurdity than Miguel de Cervantes. This is my diary of baseball history.

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