Take Me Out to the Ball Game

March 20, 2008 at 7:36 am

I grew up in a suburb of Chicago so even though I live in L.A., I still root for the Cubs (don’t laugh). Okay, so 2008 may mark the 100th consecutive year that the Cubs have not won the World Series, but on the other hand, it could be our year! No, seriously! Excitement in the Windy City is high because of the arrival of 30-year-old Kosuke Fukudome, a terrific Japanese baseball player who joined Japan’s Chunichi Dragons in the late ’90s.

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In 2006, he was picked for Japan’s team in the first annual World Baseball Classic and helped win the event. Flash forward to December 2007, when Fukudome is the subject of a bidding war between the Cubs and Chi-town rivals the White Sox. In the end he signed a four-year contract with the Cubbies valued at $48 million, according to Sporting News Magazine. He will start this season as a right fielder.

In the meantime, we’re in the throes of spring training. Unless you’re one of those hardcore fantasy baseball players (like Paul Rudd’s character in Knocked Up), in which case you’re studying everyone to determine who’ll make the cut on your personal team, there’s not much for the average fan to do right now except wait and anticipate – and possibly check out this book: Baseball Haiku.

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Yes, you read that right. Subtitled “The Best Haiku Ever Written About the Game”, this 2007 anthology has collected more than 200 baseball-themed haiku poems from famous Japanese and American authors, including Masaoka Shiki (a master of the form who actually created the word haiku) and Jack Kerouac.

The website for the book’s publisher, Norton Independent, says, “Like haiku, [baseball] is concerned with the nature of the seasons: joyous in the spring, thrilling in summer’s heat, ripening with the descent of fall, and remembered fondly in winter.”

Works for me.

Go Cubs!

cubs.jpg

Sarah S.

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