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September 1998 Archives

September 28, 1998
Ridertown Tarotians are Deactivated

The Ridertown Tarotians, a team composed of the Major Arcana cards from the standard Tarot deck, have been deactivated from the cosmic Underleague and therefore will not compete during the 1999 cosmic baseball season.

The Tarotians were created in 1997 and have played cosmic baseball for two seasons. They amassed a combined 153-171 won-loss record and finished in 9th place in 1997 and 8th place in 1998 in the 10-team Underleague.

The Tarotians official team roster was one of the least accessed at the CBA's website and this fact, combined with a poor performance record accounts for the team's deactivation.

The Tarotians will be replaced in the Underleague by the Littleton Magazines (see related news item.)

1998 Ridertown Tarotians Official Team Roster
1997 Ridertown Tarotians Official Team Roster

September 24, 1998
Superbas Beat Capitalists, Win Middleleague Flag

Johnny Carson pitched the game of his career as the Telecity Superbas beat the Heartland Capitalists in a one game playoff to determine the 1998 Middleleague champion. The game also decided which team will play in the 1998 Subleague Series.

Through four innings Carson allowed only one baserunner when he walked the founder of the Intel Corporation and Capitalist secondbaseman, Gordon E. Moore. Carson was working on a 3-hit shutout until the 8th inning. Supporting his effort the Superbas racked up 17 hits including a homerun by talk show host and catcher Jay Leno who along with television actor Rob Schneider went 4-for-4 at the plate. David Letterman, another talk show host had a triple.

Given all the hits it is surprising the Superbas scored only 4 runs. But the Capitalists, despite a poor offensive showing shined in the field turning over 4 magnificent doubleplays.

The Capitalists staged a mid-season run on the Superbas and the two teams were neck and neck for the past several weeks. But now, the Capitalists can go home to count their assets and the Superbas move on to the Subleague Series which opens in Telecity on October 1 when they meet the Newshole Muckrakers.

Click Here to View the Game Report

September 23, 1998
1998 Regular Cosmic Playing Season Ends

The regular cosmic playing season ends with the Paradise Pisces (94-68) staging a last minute win splurge to take control of the Overleague Pennant, leaving the Dharma Beats (91-71) three games behind.

The Middleleague Pennant is undecided. The Telecity Superbas and the Heartland Capitalists are locked up with 89 wins and 73 losses each. They will engage in a one-game playoff tomorrow in Heartland.

The Underleague prize goes to the rookie team of journalists, the Newshole Muckrakers (93-69).

The Muckrakers will travel to the home of the winner of the Middleleague playoff to begin the best-of-five Subleague Series which will starts October 1. The winner of the Subleague Series meets the Pisces in the best-of-seven Cosmic Universal Series beginning October 8.

Final team and player statistics will be published during the first weeks of October.

Looking ahead, the 1999 cosmic playing season begins March 15, 1999.

Click Here to View the Final 1998 Cosmic Team Standings

September 16, 1998
1998 Post Season Schedule

The regular cosmic playing season ends in a week. The pennant winners in each league have yet to be decided. In the Overleague the Paradise Pisces maintain a two game edge over the threatening Dharma Beats. The Heartland Capitalists and Telecity Superbas are locked in a dead heat for the Middleleague pennant. In the Underleague the Newshole Muckrakers are 2 games ahead of the Fictionals. So there is a lot to be decided in the next seven days.

Any pennant playoff games will be played on Thursday September 24. The best-of-five games Subleague Series, played between the best of the Middleleague and the best of the Underleague gets underway on October 1. The winner of the Subleague Series will meet the Overleague pennant winner in a best-of-seven games Cosmic Universal Series that will begin October 8.

Click Here to View the Current Cosmic Team Standings

September 14, 1998
New Poet at the CBA: Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter
The Cosmic Baseball Association is pleased to announce the addition of Rebekah Carter to its poetry plates. Ms. Carter is a native Vermonter currently living in the city of New York where she strums the aeolian harp and grows gourmet carrots in her rooftop garden. Her work has been described as "dark and brooding yet somehow uplifting." She herself calls her work "draining."

Click Here to Read Ms. Carter's Poetry

September 13, 1998
Kerouac Estate Controversy Update

Jack Kerouac
On September 11 the New Mexico Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of the heirs of Jan Kerouac, Jack Kerouac's daughter, that will have a direct impact on the status of a lawsuit filed by Jan Kerouac in Florida in 1994. In the Florida case, Jan Kerouac was attempting to assert her claim to part of her father's literary estate. In effect, the New Mexico ruling allows John Lash, Jan's ex-husband and David Bowers, her half-brother, to dismiss the Florida litigation.

Jan Kerouac died in 1996 but her literary executor, Gerald Nicosia, wanted to continue with the Florida lawsuit which claims that Jack Kerouac's mother's signature on her will was forged. If this claim were true it would change who owns and controls the Jack Kerouac literary estate valued by some estimates to be worth more then US$10 million.

The New Mexico ruling apparently means that Lash and Bowers can stop the Florida lawsuit and presumably dismiss Nicosia as Jan Kerouac's literary executor. Therefore, the New Mexico ruling seems to be a victory for John Sampas of Massachusetts who is the current executor of the Jack Kerouac archives.

For more background information about the controversy please visit the Jack Kerouac Literary Estate Controversy plate.

September 12, 1998
Will President Clinton Ever Play Again?

Clinton- 9/11/98
CBA Members and friends have been asking what happens to the status of Washington Presidents pitcher Bill Clinton if he is really impeached from office. On August 15 the Presidents placed Clinton on the Morally Disabled List (MDL) (see related news item) thus preventing him from playing in cosmic baseball games. The team took this action because of the scandal involving Clinton and the Presidents' ex-General Manager, Monica Lewinsky. This action, however, is only temporary. As it stands right now, Clinton will be eligible to rejoin the team as an active player next season.

The Cosmic Baseball Association's Constitution stipulates that the individual cosmic teams will impose cosmic player disciplinary action when necessary. If a cosmic team does not respond with appropriate action then the responsibility for discipline falls to the individual cosmic league the player plays in. Finally and ultimately, the Commissioner of the CBA and its Board of Directors can impose any necessary actions deemed fit and proper.

Each cosmic team has its own independent By-Laws governing among other things how cosmic players should be disciplined. The By-Laws of the Washington Presidents specifically state that players who have resigned from the office of the President of the United States shall still be an eligible active player, regardless of the reasons for resignation. Only one historical president has resigned from the office. That was Richard Nixon who resigned in 1974 and is currently an active pitcher with the Presidents. Curiously the team's By-Laws are silent about what happens to a President player if he or she is impeached.

Because of this lacuna in the team's By-Laws the team's owner, George Washington, has asked the Board of Directors to provide some guidance on what should happen if in fact President Clinton is impeached and removed from office. Informed sources indicate that an impeached player would probably be ineligible to play in any official cosmic games. However, since there is no precedent for this action the Board has asked that a team of scholars from the Cosmic Baseball Research Alliance (COBRA) look into the issue and prepare a report on the subject.

In the meantime, President Clinton sits on the MDL wondering if he'll be in a President's uniform when next season commences.

September 10, 1998
New Cosmic Team: 1999 Littleton Magazines

Team Logo
The Cosmic Baseball Association announces the creation of a new cosmic baseball team: the LITTLETON MAGAZINES. The MAGAZINES consist of small, mostly alternative publications including magazines, quarterlies and journals published in the United States during the 20th century.

The history of the little magazine is the story of writers and other artists finding ways of getting their work to the public using avenues of access generally blocked by the established and profit-based corporate cultural apparatus. Felix Pollak, a poet with some five volumes of published poetry remarks that the "little magazine is much more than a small magazine that would like to be big."

It occurs to us that the avenue of access known as the World Wide Web carries forward the traditions found in the history of the small alternative magazines of this century.

The MAGAZINES will be deployed for competition in the Cosmic Underleague beginning with the 1999 season which starts March 15, 1999.

Click Here to View the 1999 Littleton Magazines Official Roster

September 9, 1998
Merry Prankster Steve Lambrecht Dies

Steve Lambrecht, starting thirdbaseman for the Pranktown Busriders and also known as "Zonker" died today in California after a long illness. Lambrecht was a member of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, a countercultural troupe who invented the concept of the "acid test" in the early 1960s. Lambrecht was on the bus that made the infamous trip described by Tom Wolfe in the book Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Fans of the comic strip "Doonesbury" are familiar with the character "Zonker" patterned on Lambrecht.

Born March 3, 1942 in Oakland, California, Lambrecht was raised in San Jose and played water polo at San Jose State University. After his adventures with the Pranksters he ran the Safe-Way Chemical Co., a hazardous-material disposal company in San Jose. According to Ken Kesey, Lambrecht's "death was tremendously well-done. Zonker died as befits a courageous knight.'' Lambrecht is survived by two sons.

Zonker's corporeal death will have no bearing on his status as a cosmic baseball player. So far this season Lambrecht has a .250 batting average with six homeruns. He is considered one of the best fielding thirdbaseman in the cosmic Middleleague.

September 8, 1998
McGwire Hits No. 62

McGwire & Son
This evening, at 8:18 p.m. local time, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire came to bat in the fourth inning against the visiting Chicago Cubs. Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel threw a pitch and a few seconds later, after the hit ball flew 341 feet in the air, the deed was done. McGwire had surpassed Roger Maris' single season homerun record. McGwire's 62nd homerun, by the way, was the shortest of all his home runs this season.

After running around the bases McGwire picked up his son, Matthew, and held his son high like a trophy thus making clear once again that baseball is really about fathers and sons and the passing on of traditions.

Sons turn to fathers
When hit balls fly overhead
Sweet life knows some time

Click Here for Article About McGwire and His Son

September 7, 1998
Bulgarian Baseball Team Needs a Coach

Flag of Bulgaria
Toncho Tonchev, secretary of the Sofia Rangers Baseball Club in Sofia, Bulgaria has written to the CBA asking us to help him find a coach for his baseball team. His baseball club was established in 1991 but they have had difficulty finding someone to manage the team. Mr. Tonchev writes,

"Our team is not a professional one but we love this game and we want to play real baseball with a professional coach. If you are aware of any possibility for us to find such, please let us know as soon as possible. We can afford paying a small salary for this brave adventurer as well as assume the hotel and food expenses." (Email message of 9/6/98)

For more information about the unique possibility of coaching a Bulgarian baseball team, please contact Mr. Tonchev directly by email at

Click Here for more information about the country of Bulgaria.

September 6, 1998
J.D. Salinger Announces Retirement

J.D. Salinger, journeyman infielder for three different cosmic baseball teams in a career spanning eleven seasons, announced today that he will retire from playing cosmic baseball at the conclusion of the current season.

Salinger began his cosmic baseball career with the 1984 Bhutan Vanguards and quickly became their everyday shortstop with a good bat. While playing for the Vanguards, Salinger became embroiled in a scandal involving some young female fans of the team. The dusty details of that situation have been conveniently swept under the rug but the result was a four year suspension for Salinger.

After the suspension the Vanguards traded Salinger to the Dharma Beats. The Beats moved him back and forth between shortstop, his natural position, and secondbase. Having to adjust his defensive game impacted on his offensive output. Salinger didn't hit a single home run while with the Beats. In 1995 The Beats sent Salinger to the Eden Bohemians who made him their regular shortstop; but again his home run production was zero. By 1997 Salinger was being used mostly off the bench. Even so, he managed to whack 18 home runs. This season, with a little over 200 at bats so far, Salinger again has shown some pop in his bat: he has 13 home runs.

The author of a popular novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger is a popular cosmic player both in the locker room and with the media and fans. He has been active in many community activities focused on young people who think of him as a hero. This popularity has more to do with his literary abilities, perhaps, than his cosmic playing talents.

In a variety of recent interviews, Salinger has let it be known he'd be interested in a general manager's position with one of the cosmic teams. Bohemian G.M. Jack London is in the last season of his contract with the team and knowledgeable sources close to team owner Simone de Beauvoir, indicate a contract extension for London is unlikely. Perhaps Salinger will be considered.

Rookie Photo

J.D. Salinger- Official Cosmic Record
  YEAR  TEAM       POSITION    BA    AB     H     HR   RBI
  1984  Vanguards  ss         .241   557   134    13    61
  1985  Vanguards  ss         .223   633   141    15    70
  1986  Vanguards  ss         .304   257    78     9    30
  1987  Vanguards  ss         .277   260    72     6    28
  1992  Beats      if         .183   355    65     0    19
  1993  Beats      if         .203   364    74     0    22
  1994  Beats      if         .186   361    67     0    17
  1995  Bohemians  if         .239   675   161     0    29
  1996  Bohemians  if         .261   472   123     0    38
  1997  Bohemians  ss         .236   259    61    18    44
Total 10 Seasons              .233  4193   976    61   358

KEY: BA-Batting Average; AB-At Bats; H-Hits 
HR-Home Runs; RBI-Runs Batted In

September 4, 1998
Current Cosmic Team Website Access Standings

The Bigtopia Barnumstormers lead all 1998 cosmic teams when it comes to the number of times the Official Team Roster is accessed at the CBA's World Wide Web site. Despite the fact that they are playing only .500 baseball on the field this season the interest in the B'Stormers roster is, far and away, greater then any other team.

In data collected between May and August of this year the B'Stormers Roster registered an average of 1,568 "hits" each week. After the B'Stormers the next most accessed team roster belongs to the Armageddonia Anarchists with 813 weekly "hits" followed by the Dharma Beats (768), the Vestal Virgins (728), the Wonderland Warriors (587) and the Alphatown Ionians (536). Curiously enough, CBA's flagship team, the Paradise Pisces had only 330 weekly "hits" placing them eighth on the list of 24 teams.

Since the Beats have been actively seeking to displace the Pisces as the flagship team these standings might be important. The Beats and the Pisces are battling it out on the field of play for the Overleague pennant, with the Pisces holding on to a slim 3 game edge in the game standings.

Sitting in the cellar of the access standings are the Riderland Tarotians with just 43 weekly "hits." Also near the bottom we find the Bhutan Vanguards and the Newshole Muckrakers each with 59 weekly "hits."

Click Here to view the complete Team Website Access Standings.

September 3, 1998
Roger Maris: Hall of Fame Controversy

A lot of people are surprised to find out that Roger Maris, current holder of the single-season home run record (61), is not in Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. With all the talk this season about the possibility that the record will be broken, the debate about whether or not Maris should be in the Hall of Fame has re-ignited.

Maris broke Babe Ruth's record on October 1, 1961 in the last game of that season. The New York Yankees were hosting the Boston Red Sox. In his first at bat Maris flied out to Boston's rookie leftfielder, Carl Yastrzemski. In his second at bat, in the fourth inning, with the count at two balls and no strikes, Maris hit the orb, thrown by Boston pitcher Tracy Stallard, 360 feet over Yankee Stadium's rightfield wall and broke Ruth's record. It was at 2:43pm and it was the only run of the game. That great accomplishment, however, according to the rules governing Hall of Fame eligibility, is not sufficient to get Maris elected to the shrine.

The rules are written to discourage the election of what are called "short-term wonders." These are the players who have performed an outstanding feat in one season. Entrance to the Hall is based on career-long excellence. Rule Six states,

6. Automatic Elections -- No automatic elections based on performances such as a batting average of .400 or more for one (1) year, pitching a perfect game or similar outstanding achievement shall be permitted.

Maris' career statistical record is above average but it is debatable whether or not he has Hall of Fame numbers. According to research conducted by a contributor to the newsgroup Maris ranks close to rightfielders like Bobby Allison, Bobby Bonds, Rocky Colavito, Dwight Evans, Ken Griffey Sr., Jackie Jensen, Tony Oliva, and Dave Parker none of whom are in the Hall of Fame.

But baseball great Hank Aaron, has said, "What irritates me the most is the suggestion that Roger was a fluke who had one good hitting year. I played against him. He was one of the best all-around outfielders I have ever seen." Maris' teammate Mickey Mantle called the single season home run record the greatest sports accomplishment of his time. Nevertheless, based on numbers alone, Roger Maris probably does not belong in the shrine.

On the other hand, Rule 5 states,

5. Voting -- Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

Unlike Pete Rose, whose numbers clearly qualify him for a place in the Hall of Fame but is kept out because he lacks character (see the Pete Rose: Hall of Fame Controversy plate), Maris was a man of integrity, sportsmanship and character. In eleven seasons Maris played on seven pennant winners and three World Series winners. He appeared in 4 All Star games, and was twice voted the American League's Most Valuable Player. His contribution to the teams he played on and to the sport in general are obvious and significant. With regard to sportsmanship, on the night he broke the home run record Maris went to the Lenox Hill Hospital to see the recuperating Mickey Mantle, who had also challenged the record before being injured. Regarding personal character, Florida sports writer, Hubert Mizell wrote that "Maris [was] one of the half-dozen best baseball people I've ever met...far more admirable than Mantle." By most accounts, Maris was an admirable and honorable man.

Maris' friend and former baseball field manager Whitey Herzog has said that Maris' negative relationship with the New York sports media was what kept him out of the Hall. This is a reference to the difficulties Maris had under the media microscope during his bid to break the home run record. Maris was made to feel subversive for trying to break the record. He was booed by the fans who saw him as an interloper. Even official baseball didn't like the idea of anyone encroaching on Ruth's record that had stood for 34 years. On July 17, 1961 the commissioner of baseball, Ford Frick, ruled that anyone who challenged the Babe's record had to accomplish the feat in 154 games. The pressure on Maris was so intense his hair began falling out. It took Maris 162 games to break the record which is why the asterisk is placed beside his name in the record books.

So, if you want to do it by the numbers, Maris should probably be kept out of the Hall of Fame. On the other hand, if you believe that it is people who count, not numbers, and you want to consider other non-statistical factors, as we do in the case of Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson, then perhaps Major League Baseball ought to consider enshrining the last man to wear Yankee uniform number 9.

September 2, 1998
Cosmic Game Report: Pre-Raphaelites @ Tarotians

It isn't often that a team gets nine baserunners and fails to get any runs but the Pre-Raphaelite brothers and sisters achieved the feat in this lackluster Underleague game. The Tarotians on the other hand converted three hits into two runs and won the game, 2-0.

Several informed sources have predicted that the Tarotians won't be back next season. Few fans turn out to watch them play and they are en route to completing their second sub-.500 season in the Underleague.

The sad thing about this game is that Pre-Raphaelite pitcher Dante Gabriel Rossetti was pitching a wonderful game through the first six innings allowing just one walk and one hit. However in the seventh inning a single by the Empress and a massive homerun by the Emperor was all the Tarotians needed to win the game. The Pre-Raphaelites just couldn't get anybody across home plate.

This is only the second time this season that the Tarotians shut out their opponents. The Pre-Raphaelites have been shut out six times this season.

Click Here to View the Cosmic Game Report

Click Here for other 1998 Cosmic Game Reports

September 1, 1998
Major League Homerun Firsts

This is the season of the homerun slugger. It looks like Roger Maris' 1961 record of 61 home runs in a 162-game season will be broken. The numbers are beginning to add up.

Take a moment to consider some of these home run "firsts" from the history of Major League baseball.

Source: Great Baseball Feats, Facts & Firsts by David Nemec.

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CBA News & Information Plate- September 1998 Archives
Archved: October 1, 1998
Copyright © 1998 by the Cosmic Baseball Association