Nine

Publication covering sports, fitness and history.

Articles from Fall

African-Americans and Pick-Up Ball
The Loss of Diversity and Recreational Diversion in Midwestern Youth Baseball There are two things seldom seen today on Little League and other youth baseball diamonds in the Midwest. One is African-American children. The other is spontaneous play....
An Invitation to See the Hanshin Tigers
Japanese Baseball as Seen Through the Eyes of a Female Fan I was studying Japanese grammar one afternoon on a bench outside Osaka's Ryokuchi Koen Youth Hostel when Fujiko Tanaka invited me to join her for green tea. Wiry and springy with radiant,...
Baseball's Mental Game
Ask sport fans what it takes to play professional baseball and they usually talk about foot speed, arm strength, hitting, and power. Less often do they mention the mental traits, such as focus, concentration, and confidence, that are also required...
Batting Around
Some years ago, as part of a pregame feature before baseball's annual All-Star game, a bat that had once been used by Babe Ruth was brought into the National League dugout and shown to some of the players. As seen on television, this sidebar served...
Boondoggling, Baseball, and the WPA
Cooperstown's Doubleday Field The first Hall of Fame baseball game was played at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, on June 12, 1939. [1] This contest between American and National League all-star teams was organized to celebrate the official...
Change of Pace
On this one Sunday Lenny baron hit one that went 420 feet, clear over the fence in left center where they say nobody ever hit one before. I'll have to admit that it was a pretty good shot, but in all honesty I got to say too that there was a wind blowing...
Competitive Balance in Major League Baseball
Back to the Future The more things change, the more they remain the same. In 1911 Major League Baseball (MLB) owners sold the motion picture rights to the World Series for $3,500. When the players demanded a cut of the proceeds, the owners canceled...
Confessions of an All-American Girl
Madonna's Model Madonna portrays me in the movie, "A League of Their Own." She plays a cut-up, and I was the original clown of the league. Rules were always made to be broken, and I think I broke every rule in the book. I met Madonna when they...
Dick Allen, the Phillies, and Racism
From the days of the Negro Leagues up to the present battles over merit-based excuses for the absence of blacks in management positions, baseball has long served as a barometer of the nation's racial climate. Nowhere is this more true than in Philadelphia,...
Father Bought a Ball Team
Will Rogers, or someone of equal shrewdness, once observed that there are two things the average American male is convinced he can do better than anyone else--cook and run a baseball team. I can vouch for the second half of this maxim. Back in 1947,...
From the Heart
Fan Response to the Seattle Mariners' 1995 Baseball Season It was more than sixty years ago that Mickey Cochrane first called baseball "the fan's game." Yet for all of the talk of the importance of fans, there are very few examples of listening...
Play Ball!
A Selective History of the Round Object That Gives the National Game Its Name (Part 2 of the trilogy encompassing the bat, the ball, the glove) Safe at home. Ten-year-old fan, dropping a baseball into the open coffin of Babe Ruth, at Yankee Stadium,...
Soldiers at Play
Baseball on the American Frontier In the post--Civil War era, the United States Army performed several tasks, but foremost among them was its role in the final conquest of Native Americans. As a tidal wave of population migrated to the Great Plains...
The Journey to Find the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings
Keynote Speech to the Sixth Annual NINE Spring Training Conference, March 13, 1999 In the summer of 1985 I set out on a two-month, 12,000-mile odyssey around the U.S. following the tour routes of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. My intention was...
The Pitch
It was my brother's idea. Charlie, a season ticket holder of the St. Paul Saints, said, "El, you edited a book" -- Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend: Women Writers on Baseball "--why not throw out the first ball?" I'm not an athlete, that's why not....
The Secret Life of Leon Trotsky
Baseball and the Revolution In the annals of revolutionary leaders, rebels have often led uncommon lives, subject to unexpected twists and turns. Yet few radicals have had a hidden life as improbable as that of Leon Trotsky. For all we have come...
Transition of Women's Baseball
An Overview Why is baseball thought of as a male sport and softball a female sport despite women's and girls' rich baseball history? From 1866 to 1935. women and girls were actively involved in amateur, semiprofessional, and professional baseball....
Triple Play
Mark Twain, Westward Expansion, Immigrant Unrest Baseball and American Growing Pains in Darryl Brock's If I Never Get Rack Darryl Brock's If I Never Get Back recounts the time traveling adventure of Sam Fowler, a recently divorced and down-on-his-luck...
Ty Cobb
Poe in Flannels If finding something that passionately engages you is to be blessed, I've been doubly blessed because I have two--literature and baseball. The first fed me for most of my adult life, as I got paid to talk about it. The second has...
When Baseball Careers End
Parker Brown had just arrived in the clubhouse when Joe Zacek, the Greenville Braves trainer, gently tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Don't dress, Brownie, the skipper wants to see you." Parker felt himself blanch. Fixing his eyes on the floor,...
Winter League Escapades
Dispatches from Ballparks in the Dominican Republic Santiago, La Romana, and San Cristobal were quiet, less densely populated cities with few paved roads. Their stadiums were among only a handful of places where I felt a strong sense of community....