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January 20, 1999
Helena Blavatsky- 1999 Cosmic Player Plate

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was a poet, pianist, painter, philosopher, spiritualist, educator, occultist and a "tireless warrior for light." To put it very generally, her goals were universal truth and universal brotherhood. The poet William Butler Yeats wrote to a correspondent that Blavatsky was "the most living person alive." Albert Einstein's niece reports that a copy of Blavatsky's book, The Secret Doctrine, was always on his desk. Her book, The Voice of the Silence, is said to have been on Alfred Tennyson's night table when he died.

Others thought she was a charlatan, little more than a traveling fake, peddling her mystical tonic called "theosophy." She beguiled and bewitched claiming to have a variety of paranormal capabilities: ESP, clairvoyance and the power of astral projection were all traits ascribed to this ancestor of a founder of Russia. She was credited with predicting the existence of subatomic particles when science was in the dark regarding electrons and other small matter.

Madame Blavatsky was drafted by the 1999 Vestal Virgins to play centerfield. An appropriate location, in between left and right, for a woman who did much to connect the intuitive aspects of the East with the more analytical focus of the West.

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Blavatsky's 1999 Player Plate

January 18, 1999
NEW COSMIC TEAM- 1999 Motherland Mothers

The MOTHERLAND MOTHERS were created at the end of December and primarily represent mothers of well-known artists. The team is managed by Nkem Chukwu, the Texas mother who gave birth to eight children in one sitting, as it were. The MOTHERS will compete in the cosmic Underleague.

The American poet Joaquin Miller (pen name for Cincinnatus Hiner) wrote a poem called "Motherhood" which opens with the following verse:

The bravest battle that ever was fought!
Shall I tell you where and when?
On the maps of the world you will find it not;
'Twas fought by the mothers of men.

As the lives of mothers and their children reveal, such unmapped battles are sometimes won and sometimes lost. It is the mother's image and her touch that first affects the infant's soul. It is usually the mother that first assures the child that love exists in its new world. Although we know such is not always the case.

Contemporary ideas of motherhood filtered through Freud and the feminist revolution of the latter 20th century have, in the opinion of some, created a confused understanding of just what the role of mothers is. Combined with this confusion is the alarming rise of misogyny on the part of men who are apparently just as confused. Even the decision of when to have children seems unclear.

In her book The Second Stage, feminist writer Betty Friedan attempts to attenuate some of this confusion by pointing out how important the emotional need of motherhood really is for some women. Author Anne Roiphe argues in her book Fruitful: A Real Mother In the Modern World that women can be feminists and mothers. Still, women and men are even confused about when to have their children. Roiphe suggests the ideal time to have children for a woman is between the mid-20's and early 30's. But in many cases this conflicts with career development and advancement. A new approach is needed.

The American clergyman and supporter of the 19th century's woman suffrage movement remarked that "the mother's heart is the child's schoolroom." It is the very nature of that heart that seems to have such great impact on the children in our culture. The 1999 MOTHERLAND MOTHERS honors the idea of motherhood, mindful of its intensity.

Click Here for the
1999 Mothers Roster

January 16, 1999
CBA Announces Director of Statistics

Amanda Rifkin
The Cosmic Baseball Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Amanda Rifkin as the new Director of Statistics. Ms. Rifkin a New York City native currently living in Bethesda, Maryland joined the CBA Staff last December.

After graduating Georgetown University in 1991 with a degree in Mathematics, Amanda went to work for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. as a research analyst in the macroeconomics division. She received a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Maryland in 1994 and is currently employed by the Brookings Institute.

Amanda attiributes her interest in baseball and numbers to her father who was a public high school mathematics teacher in New York and a serious New York Mets fan. Her mother worked for the New York Mets organization in the 1980s.

As CBA's Director of Statistics, Amanda will oversee the compilation, review and analysis of all statistics generated by the Association.

January 13, 1999
Michael Jordan and Baseball

Michael Jordan retired from professional basketball for the second time today. It is fair to say that "Babe Ruth was the Michael Jordan of Baseball." The sport of basketball will not likely see another player the likes of Jordan. No athlete so dominated his sport the way Jordan dominated the sport of professional basketball.

In 1975, at the age of 12, Jordan was named "Mr. Baseball" of North Carolina by the Dixie Youth Association

In the book Hang Time published before he played professional baseball, Jordan talks about his dreams:

I'll dream I'm a baseball the dream I will hear the crowd cheering for me, but the cheers are different than the cheers I hear every night on the basketball court...In the baseball dream, they're more cheers of hope than cheers of expecting me to be good.

Jordan retired from basketball for the first time in October 1993 after winning three championships with the Chicago Bulls. That was just a few months after he had won the Upper Deck Celebrity Homerun contest at Major League Baseball's All Star Game festivites in July. On February 7, 1994 he was signed as a free agent by the Chicago White Sox. On April 7, just before reporting for work to the White Sox' Double A Southern League affiliate, the Birmingham Barons, Jordan played in the Windy City Classic on April 7. He was in the outfield for the White Sox in an exhibition game against the Cubs. He went 2 for 5 at the plate and had 2 runs batted in.

Jordan played his first official professional baseball game on April 8, 1994. He started in rightfield for the Barons. His first at bat resulted in a fly out and he went 0 for 3 in the game. His first hit occurred April 10 during the third inning. It was his eighth time at bat as a professional baseball player. Jordan hit a single off Knoxville pitcher Joe Gaviote. His first homerun didn't occur until July 30 during his 345th at bat. It was a solo homerun hit off Carolina pitcher Kevin Rychel.

Jordan wore number 45 on his baseball uniform because that was his number when he played high school baseball in North Carolina. Baseball was the sport his father had loved. And Jordan's first retirement from basketball and his embracing of baseball had a lot to do with his father. James Jordan had been murdered in North Carolina in the summer of 1993. Several months later Michael retired from professional basketball.

The Birmingham Barons set a club record for attendance in 1994: 467,867 fans attended home games. Clearly it was Jordan who filled the seats in the Southern League's baseball parks. In our opinion, Jordan is the very best basketball player ever to play the game. "The best there ever was, the best there ever will be" as it says on the statue of him outside the United Center arena in Chicago. He was, however, not a particularly accomplished professional baseball player. He tied the 1994 Southern League record for most errors (11). His batting average was a paltry .202 (88 hits, 436 at bats.) He had three homeruns and 51 runs batted in. He stole 30 bases and was caught stealing 18 times. He walked 51 times and struck out 114 times. After the end of the Southern League season Jordan played 35 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. In 35 games he compiled a more respectable .252 batting average. Nevertheless, the consensus was that baseball was not Jordan's sport.

Jordan retired from professional baseball on March 10, 1995. On March 18 he announced his return to basketball. He rejoined the Bulls on March 19, too late to help them win another championship. But he then proceeded to lead the Bulls (by now known as the Jordanairs) to another three championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998. His last professional basketball shot was even more magnificent than Ted Williams' homerun in his last at bat. Jordan sunk a 17 foot jumper, nothin' but net, in what would be the game winning shot in the sixth and last game of the 1998 championship series against the Utah Jazz. (Williams never won a World Series.) Jordan left his shooting right arm extended for just a moment as if to say goodbye to the sport he had so completely mastered.

There is no chance that Jordan will give reality baseball a second try. Only in his dreams will he be as successful in baseball as he was in basketball. What is undeniable, however, is the fact that the fans of both sports will never forget Michael Jordan.

January 10, 1999
Major League Baseball Website Standings

The New York Yankees lead all Major League Baseball teams with 84 websites indexed at the Yahoo search facility according to the just-released 1998 Website Standings Report by the Cosmic Baseball Research Alliance (COBRA). The National League, with two additional teams, have more overall sites (696) then the American League (625).

The Arizona Diamondbacks posted the largest increase in sites (+15) and the Boston Red Sox showed the greatest decline (-9) in overall listings at Yahoo.

The data in the report was compiled at the end of December and reflects changes between 1997 and 1998.

Click Here to View the Report

January 2, 1999
Ginsberg Buys Dharma Beats

Allen Ginsberg has purchased the Dharma Beats from Gabrielle Kerouac.

Ginsberg, a former firstbaseman for the Paradise Pisces and a well-known American poet, buddhist and social activist completed the transaction during the New Year holiday. Terms of the sale were not made available.

Ginsberg had made it known that he was interested in owning a cosmic baseball team but no one thought a deal between him and Mrs. Kerouac could be worked out especially since the relationship between the poet and Jack Kerouac's mother has been problematic for many years. Mrs. Kerouac once threatened to call the F.B.I. on Ginsberg because she did not like the fact that he was a Jewish homosexual who exerted considerable influence over her son.

It is not known what changes the new owner will make, however insiders indicate no major adjustments to the team's management staff will occur.

The Dharma Beats play in the cosmic Overleague.

January 1, 1999
Happy New Year to All Our Members & Friends

The staff of the Cosmic Baseball Association would like to wish all our members and friends a very happy and healthy New Year. We are all looking forward to another interesting and productive season. We would also like to take this moment to thank our members and friends for their support and encouragement for our work here at the CBA.

Below is a table of selected key dates to keep in mind during 1999.

February 11Winter Meeting in Portland, Maine
March 15Regular Cosmic Playing Season Begins
June 28Summer Rookie Draft
July 20Summer Meeting in Seattle, Washington
September 23Regular Cosmic Playing Season Concludes
October 1Subleague Series
October 9CBA's 18th Anniversary
Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C.
November 25Cosmic Universal Series

Click Here to View the 1999 Season Plate

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CBA News & Information- January 1999 Archive
Archived: February 1, 1999
Copyright © 1999 by the Cosmic Baseball Association