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June 14, 2007

Hybrid Graphic- OTR Scroll/Journal Entry
Above: Extract from Kerouac's journal entry for June 14, 1948

Jack Kerouac's Batting Averages

On June 3, 1948 the American writer Jack Kerouac came up with a formula that he called a "batting average" to calculate his productivity while (re)working his first novel The Town and the City (published in 1950). He writes in his notebook,
I worked out an intricate mathematical thing that determines how assiduously I'm getting my novel typed and revised day after the day. It's too complicated and mad to explain [he writes to himself], but suffice it to say that yesterday [June 2, 1948] I was batting .246, and after today's work, my "batting average" rose to .306. (Source: Windblown World-The Journals of Jack Kerouac, 1947-1954, edited by Douglas Brinkley. New York: Viking, 2004. See p. 89)

Kerouac remarks that he has to catch and stick with Ted Williams, the superb hitting outfielder for the Boston Red Sox (American League). We have not been able to decode the formula nor are we currently aware of any further explication of the mathematics behind Kerouac's accounting. Below is a table of the "batting average" data as provided by Kerouac in his journals between June 3 and August 12. We are attempting a correlation between these averages and the page data count Kerouac provides to see if we can come up with anything. If we can, it will then be necessary to determine the implications created as a result of this fusion of literature and baseball statistics.

Jack Kerouac's 1948 "Batting Averages"
Date Average
6/2/1948 .246
6/3/1948 .306
6/4/1948 .324
6/5/1948 .345
6/14/1948 .345
CBA Note: Ted Williams' batting average on this date was .398
6/16/1948 .343
6/18/1948 .353
7/7/1948 .315
7/12/1948 .328
7/13/1948 .330
7/16/1948 .309
7/19/1948 .327
7/20/1948 .330
7/22/1948 .329
7/27/1948 .329
7/31/1948 .331
8/6/1948 .336
8/12/1948 .345

On August 17, 1948, Kerouac writes in his journal,
Babe Ruth died yesterday, and I ask myself: 'Where is the foundling's father hidden?' -- where is Babe Ruth's father?
The journal's editor, Brinkley, provides a footnote to this entry: "The search for Babe Ruth's father notion was later used, to great effect, in On the Road, the search for Dean Moriarty's (Neal Cassady's) father." Kerouac's second novel, On The Road (published in 1957 but first contemplated in the summer/fall of 1948 as he finished his first book), is touring the country in its "scroll" incarnation as this year is the 50th anniversary of its publication. In fact, tomorrow marks the opening of the scroll exhibition in Kerouac's home town of Lowell, Massachusetts (& home of the Lowell Spinners, a New-York Penn League, Class A affiliate, of the Red Sox.)

Thirty-six feet of of the 120 foot On the Road scroll will be visible at the exhibition in Lowell. When one of the National Park Service workers responsible for the nearly three year project of organizing the scroll's Lowell exhibition was asked by a reporter what was the most interesting thing he discovered during the project, the gentleman replied, "Learning about the artistic process of the author. I'd almost like to go to the New York Public Library and get into his notes and notebooks." Although, curiously, when asked earlier if he was a "big Kerouac fan" the project worker replied, "Actually, no. I actually like to listen to Kerouac read his work, though. I could listen to him for hours. There's a certain cadence in his writing I don't get when I read that I do when I listen."

Kerouac is a leftfielder for the Dharma Beats, a cosmic baseball team.

June 8, 2007

Link to Game Report

Cosmic Game Report
Abbott & Costello @ Pornographers

In the 1940s the Federal Bureau of Investigation learned that Lou Costello possessed a "sizeable" collection of "obscene motion picture films." In 1958 the FBI generated a memo indicating Bud Abbott's interest in pornography,
"Bud Abbott, the well known motion picture and TV star, is a collector of pornography and allegedly has 1,500 reels of obscene motion pictures..."

The business of pornography has, beginning in the 1960s, become a substantial industry.

"Whatever you've heard about how much Deep Throat earned, it's underestimated. I'd say that $100 million in gross income would be underestimated, and most of it was cash." (Lawyer representing pornographers, quoted in Los Angeles Times, June 13, 1982.)

Link to Game Report
Abbott & Costello Right Fielder
Deep Throat, released in 1973, was a groundbreaking pornographic film starring Linda Lovelace (she's also the Pornographers' starting pitcher in this game) . The film cost $22,000 to make and was financed by Louis Peraino (also known as "Butchy"). In 1982 two of Louis' relatives would be the targets of "hit men" in Brooklyn because of problems with the accounting of funds associated with Deep Throat. (The official scorer of this cosmic game, Veronica Zuraw, was, sadly, an innocent victim of this pornography related business matter...she was accidentally killed as two men with sawed-off shotguns tried to kill two "business associates".)

Also in 1973, Kurt Vonnegut published his seventh novel, Breakfast of Champions or Goodbye Blue Monday. In chapter five of the novel, a character makes up a new novel about an astronaut who is introduced to another planet's pornography which consists of people being filmed while eating food.

Link to Game Report More and more the sin of pornography appears not to be about looking at it or even performing in it. The sin of pornography is less about lust and more about greed. It's historic business model violates well-established anti-trust principles, at least. This cosmic game suggests that Abbott and Costello were not guilty of watching pornography...but many in the pornography business are guilty of greed with an appetite for wealth that could never be sated.

This particular cosmic game is of some interest since a non-humanoid team of pornographic films has been nominated for service during the 2008 cosmic baseball season.

June 6, 2007

Link to Kerouac Controversy at the Cosmic Baseball Association

Dharma Beats Controversy
Nicosia and Sampas Scuffle

With the Delta Dragons nipping at their heels for control of the league the Dharma Beats generated some inside controversy when Beat bench coach and Kerouac biographer Gerald Nicosia (Memory Babe, 1983) complained in public about Beat General Manager and Kerouac Estate executor John Sampas. The manifest complaint is that Nicosia believes his name and his work on Jack Kerouac's life is being suppressed by publishers at the urging of Sampas.

Nicosia accuses John Sampas of telling authors interested in using materials from Kerouac's estate that they will not receive authorization if they cite Nicosia in their works. He also claims that Sampas had references to him and his biography removed from recently written books about Kerouac and other beat authors and poets. (

The LA Times' Josh Getlin reports that Gerald Nicosia, biographer of Jack Kerouac, blasted Viking Penguin on Tuesday at a press conference in Manhattan for allegedly removing his name and all references to his work from its books about the late author as part of a vendetta against him by the executor of Kerouac's estate. Nicosia added that Viking had bowed to executor John Sampas' wishes and removed Nicosia's name from books it is publishing on Kerouac and the Beat Generation. (

Mr. Nicosia told the Sun that he was subject to a "blacklist" and "censorship," which he believes are in part a response to his having supported a lawsuit in 1994 by Kerouac's daughter, Jan Kerouac, who had sued the relatives of Jack Kerouac's third wife and widow, Stella Sampas, including her brother, the estate's executor, Mr. Sampas. (

The publisher of Viking, Paul Slovak, told The New York Sun that Mr. Nicosia's claims were "absolutely untrue." Mr. Sampas, who was Kerouac's brother-in-law, likewise said that Mr. Nicosia was looking for publicity. He called Mr. Nicosia a "stalker of the Kerouac estate, especially me, and has been for many years." (

These are the surface issues but they should not mask some of the important subterranean conflicts that continue to unsettle this team as it tries to supplant the Paradise Pisces as the Cosmic Baseball Association's "flagship" team.


June 1, 2007

Link to Game Report

Cosmic Game Report
Thurn und Taxis Princes @ Lot 49 Characters

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This personal cosmic game was played to determine if there was any additional light that could be spread over the President Kennedy assassination theories. Kennedy's 1963 murder remains one of the great crime mysteries of the 20th century. Could the karmic events that might appear during the game provide more clues or concepts to fill in the spaces left open by the available evidence?

If the characters from Pynchon's second novel prevailed (& since the barely subterranean message of the novel is to be politically paranoid...the end of a chain reaction mobilized by Kennedy's assassination) then we might conclude with the conspiracy nuts that something deeper is at play. On the other hand, if the various princes representing the Thurn und Taxi family (and its identity with the ruling class, despite what some commentators say, creators and administrators of a wide area communications monopoly are members of the ruling class)...if the Thurn and Taxi team won the game, then we might conclude that what is...will never be known, for real.

The Lot 49 characters behind the pitching of Oedipa Maas won the game in the bottom of the ninth...thanks to Clayton Chiclitz' clutch two out single.

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