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October 1998 Archives

October 28, 1998
Tanya Merrill: New Poet at the CBA

For the third time this month the CBA is pleased to introduce a new poet at the website. Tanya Merrill is a young poet living in South Carolina, but originally born in Clearwater, Florida. Among other interests, she digs the Beat Generation writers. Last summer she made a pilgrimage to Jack Kerouac's gravesite in Lowell, Massachusetts. In remembrance of Kerouac's death 29 years ago on October 21, she wrote the poem "Lowell" which has been published here at the CBA website.

Click Here for Tanya Merrill's "Lowell" Poem

October 27, 1998
D'Anne Bodman: New Poet at the CBA

The CBA is pleased to introduce another poet to the website. D'Anne Bodman is a poet living and writing in New England. She has just published a book of poetry and photography with Nancy Roberts called The Bending Moment. She lives in a house where the birds sighted were recorded on closet doors and the views are uncommonly beautiful. She writes, "Perhaps because of my name, ungiven, and years of answering to misnomers, mispronunciations, names of their husbands and dogs, a princess, I have a mistaken identity."

Click Here for D'Anne Bodman's "Chasing the Light."

October 22, 1998
Herm Card: New Poetry

CBA's chief of umpires and Senior Baseball Poetry Editor (see related news item) has a new book, The Poetry of Teaching, published by Thornetree Hill Poetry Press. Several selections from that collection are now available here at the CBA's website.

Tom Curley, a professor of philosophy and education at LeMoyne College writes that The Poetry of Teaching "gives wonderful insights into the life of a teacher. [The book] is a welcome addition to the literature about the soul of teaching."

In addition to his new poetry, CBA has previously published Herm's "Casey at the Pen", a parody of the Thayer classic and an ode to Jackie Robinson, The Railroad Stops in Syracuse.

Click Here for Herm Card's Poetry Index Plate

October 21, 1998
Mary Sternbach: New Poet at the CBA

Mary Egan Sternbach is the author of two volumes of poetry, Eight Pieces Written in Italy and Countries With No Names. The CBA is proud to publish three original pieces of writing by Ms. Sternbach who is becoming well known for her lyrical and intense use of words. As one reviewer put it, "Sternbach's words take flight and seem to fly beyond our expectations."

Sternbach received a Masters in Fine Art degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She currently lives in Manhattan.

Click Here for Mary Sternbach's Three Pieces

October 17, 1998
Why the "World Series"?

1884 "World Series"

1894 "World Series"

The series of post-season games that baseball plays to determine which team is the best has been called the "World Series" at least since 1894. However in 1884, when the Providence Grays of the National League (NL) beat the New York Metropolitans of the American Association (AA) in a three game series played in the original Polo Grounds, they were called "world champions."

The fact is, until the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves in the 1992 World Series, there wasn't anything worldly about the series. All the teams had been from just one of the world's countries: the United States.

The exact origin of the term "world series" is not precisely known. In the 1870s and early 1880s, when teams played post-season baseball, there were a variety of regional and local series yielding local champions. But the words "world champions" or "world series" did not get used. In 1882 the best team in the National League, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, played an aborted series against the best team in the American Association, the Chicago White Stockings. The series was tied at 1-1 when, because of interleague frictions, the teams withdrew from the series. Still, no use of the word "world" was used. There was no series of any kind in 1883.

In 1884 responding to a challenge from the New York (AA) team, the Providence (NL) team went to New York for a three game series at the old Polo Grounds. Providence won all three games and The Sporting Life publication called the team "champions of the world." In that sense, the 1884 championship was the first "world series" although the two words were not used together.

In 1885, according to David Nemec in his book Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Firsts, the series played between the St. Louis Browns (AA) and the Chicago White Stockings (NL) was called "The World Championship Series" by Alfred Spink in his newspaper The Sporting News. The 1885 "world series" ended in a tie; each team won three games.

In our own limited research, the first documentary proof we have seen where the words "world" and "series" are related comes from a score card for the 1894 "Temple Cup" series which bills the match as the "World's Championship Series." William Temple was an owner and president of the Pittsburgh Pirates team in the National League. With the decline of the American Association in 1891 Temple's formula for post season play was to have the first and second place National League teams play a best of seven series for possession of the $800 silver cup he had a New York jeweler make. The Temple Cup version of the series began in 1894 between the New York and Baltimore National League teams. It was discontinued in 1897. Ironically the Pittsburgh club never made it to the Temple Cup "world series."

In any case, 1903 is recognized as the first official "World Series" by Major League Baseball. However, mythology isn't history and the 1903 series was neither the first "world" series nor the first "world series."

By the way, for the 1998 World Series, we like the Yankees in four straight.

October 14, 1998
Pisces Will Dismantle and Rebuild

In a startling and unprecedented move for a team that has just won the Cosmic Universal Series, the Paradise Pisces have announced that they are dismantling the entire 1998 team, firing the field manager and coaches and rebuilding from scratch.

The newly reconstituted Pisces will consist only of players and staff who have a birthdate between February 19 and March 20. Only three members of the current team meet that requirement. One is retiring from Cosmic Baseball and the other two will hold non-playing management positions. Anais Nin (February 21, 1903), the team's current General Manager, and presumed orchestrator of the redesign effort, will become the Field Manager, replacing her former lover, the axed Henry Miller. Chelsea Clinton (February 27, 1980) a current member of the Pisces pitching staff will replace Nin as the team's new G.M.

The announcement did not specify the composition of the 1999 team. However, some of the current active Pisces players who have been dismissed will play for other existing cosmic teams. Pitchers Sigmund Freud and Thales will join the Alphatown Ionians. Pitcher June Miller will play for the Vestal Virgins. Pitcher Nathaniel West will rejoin his old team the Eden Bohemians. Pitcher Luis Bunuel will pitch for the Bolex Poetics. Pitcher Timothy Leary will join the Psychedelphia Woodsox. Pitcher Christina Rossetti will return to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood baseball team. Outfielder Robert Goddard will play for the Ionians. Frances Farmer will play outfield for the Virgins. Outfielder Hollis Frampton will play for the Poetics. Shortstop Caresse Crosby will go to the Virgins. Thirdbaseman Moshe Dayan will return to the Wonderland Warriors. Catcher Ludwig van Beethoven will catch for the Delta Dragons. Utility infielder Andy Warhol joins the Bhutan Vanguards and utility outfielder Virginia Woolf has signed with the Bohemians. Disgruntled firstbaseman Allen Ginsberg will get his wish and return to his beloved Dharma Beats. Several players and staff members have elected to retire.

It is an extraordinary move by a successful team and it will be interesting to see if Nin and Clinton can put together a competitive team by the start of next season.

1998 Paradise Pisces Roster

1998 Paradise Pisces Statistics

Other Pisces Rosters

October 12, 1998
Harvey Nosowitz Named Commissioner of the CBA

Harvey Nosowitz
Effective today Harvey Nosowitz of Massachusetts becomes the Cosmic Baseball Association's new Commissioner. The CBA's Board of Directors elected Mr. Nosowitz at the annual anniversary dinner on October 9. Mr. Nosowitz and members of his family were in attendance at the dinner. He becomes the fourth Commissioner in CBA's 17 year history.

Harvey Nosowitz joined the CBA in 1983. On August 20, 1983 he was appointed President of the CBA Flat League and on February 10, 1984 he became President of the Sharp League (later the Overleague). In December of last year he took over as managing director of the Cosmic Baseball Research Alliance (COBRA), usually considered a grooming position for the Commissioner's job.

While no official report of the vote tally by the Board is ever made, insiders indicate that Mr. Nosowitz's election was unanimous. Mr. Nosowitz succeeds Andrew Zinebrenner who is retiring after more than nine years in the Commissioner's seat.

Table of CBA Commissioners
Commissioner Term
Paul Arthur November 15, 1981 - August 31, 1984
James Jerue November 30, 1984 - February 11, 1989
Andrew Zinebrenner March 12, 1989 - October 9, 1998
Harvey Nosowitz October 13, 1998 -

CBA's New Commissioner

October 11, 1998
Paradise Pisces Win 1998 Cosmic Universal Series

In a four game romp over the Newshole Muckrakers the Paradise Pisces established themselves as the best cosmic team of the 1998 season. The four game blow out, dominated by the Pisces from start to finish most likely will insure that the Pisces remain CBA's flagship team at least through the 1999 season.

Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader and Pisces secondbaseman garnered the series' Most Cosmic Player award. But the real stars of the show were the Pisces pitchers who yielded only 5 earned runs and posted a pathetically low collective 1.25 earned run average. Timothy Leary pitched a phenomenal Game One shutout and Chelsea Clinton apparently has come into her own as a startng Pisces pitcher with her 1-run standout performance in Game Three that included nine strikeouts.

The Muckrakers who roared through the last half of the regular season and the Subleague Series never got on track offensively amassing a team batting average of .216 for the four game series. Journalist Bob Woodward (7 for 15, .467) was the only Muckraker with a .300 or better batting average.

Pisces Field Manager Henry Miller stated at a post-Series news conference that he thinks this year's Pisces pitching staff is the best he's ever seen. When you take a look at the pitchers' numbers it's hard to refute him or the concept that good pitching is the key to winning in baseball.

Click Here for the 1998 Cosmic Universal Series Game Reports

Click Here for the Cosmic Universal Series History Plate

October 10, 1998
Herm Card Named Senior Baseball Poetry Editor

Herm Card
The Cosmic Baseball Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Herm Card to the position of Senior Baseball Poetry Editor.

Herm, a published poet, English teacher, NCAA umpire and a self-described "Beat generation guy" has recently published a book called The Poetry of Teaching. Examples of his poetry at the CBA include "The Railroad Stops in Syracuse" about Jackie Robinson and "Casey at the Pen" which is part of the CBA's Casey at the Bat special plate.

Members and fans of the CBA will recognize Herm as the current chief of the CBA's umpires, a position he assumed nearly two years ago. In agreeing to accept additional responsibility Herm wrote the selection committee, "Holding both positions enhances my credibility in each, softening the hard reputation of the men in blue, while giving the common man touch to the poetic side." This streak of duality embedded in Herm is understandable enough. He grew up in a home where the mother was a Dodger fan and the father rooted for the Yankees.

October 9, 1998
CBA Celebrates 17th Anniversary

Seventeen years ago in Lost Angeles, California a group of teachers, artists, poets, filmmakers, philosophers and other riffraff formed a club and published a manifesto declaring the supremacy of the creative imagination. And so what began as a modest endeavor remains a modest endeavor seventeen years later. The Cosmic Baseball Association is pleased to represent a small contribution to the collective imagination. We are grateful to our members and friends and are delighted, seventeen years later, to be able to thank them all for their support and kindness.

October 6, 1998
Journal of the Cosmic Baseball Association Vol. 17

Volume 17
The CBA's magazine of interesting ideas and things, The Journal of the Cosmic Baseball Association, has just published Volume 17 in honor of the 17th anniversary of the founding of the CBA (October 9, 1981.)

The new issue contains articles about Roger Maris, baseball statistics, CBA as a post modern idea and a sound piece where you can listen to that most famous of baseball songs, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." You can also listen to the CBA's official anthem. (Both sound files are in the MIDI format.) There is also a COBRA report on what the CBA should do if Washington Presidents pitcher William Jefferson Clinton is impeached by the United States Congress. A fine essay on the uniqueness of baseball as a team sport rounds out the issue.

Zev Paradise again edited the online journal (he was also responsible for Volume 16). Jessie Numata has utilized her intelligent and eclectic design philosophy as the issue's graphic designer. For information on contributing to CBA's online journal please send an email to Unsolicited contributions are appreciated.

JCBA Vol. 17

October 5, 1998
Muckrakers Beat Superbas in Subleague Series

This year's upstart team, the Underleague's Newshole Muckrakers have climbed their way into the Cosmic Universal Series by beating the Telecity Superbas, the Middleleague champions, in the Subleague Series.

The Muckrakers won the fifth and decisive game against the Superbas mostly by relying on the basic formula of hit the ball, advance the runners, cross the plate. Neither team showed remarkable power at the plate but the Muckrakers did show guile. The Muckrakers used five different starting pitchers and CNN reporter Christine Amanpour dominated the series opener with her wonderful 5-hit shutout.

Washington Post newsman and Muckraker secondbaseman, Bob Woodward, was named the series Most Cosmic Player for both his hitting and fielding performances. Woodward batted .333 (7 for 21) including 21 homeruns and 7 runs batted in. He made several spectacular defensive plays around the keystone bag.

The Muckrakers now go on to meet the Overleague's Paradise Pisces in the best-of-seven Cosmic Universal Series beginning October 8.

1998 Subleague Game Reports

October 3, 1998
Final 1998 Cosmic Season Statistics

The 1998 regular Cosmic Season ended September 24 when the Telecity Superbas defeated the Heartland Capitalists in a one game playoff to determine the 1998 Middleleague pennant winner. According to the Final Official 1998 Cosmic Team Standings the best team in all of cosmic baseball was the Paradise Pisces who posted a 94-68 won-lost record. CBA's worst team this season was the merry band of educators from Black Mountain College, the Black Mountain Mountains who rang in with a fairly dismal 52-110 record. The best new cosmic team turned out to be CBA's team of journalists, Newshole Muckrakers who snared the Underleague Pennant with a 93-69 won-loss record. The Muckrakers are currently competing against the Telecity Superbas in the 1998 Subleague Series.

Final numbers organized by cosmic league and showing individual team and player statistics are available on the following plates: 1998 Overleague Statistics, 1998 Middleleague Statistics, 1998 Underleague Statistics. This season's batting and pitching department leaders are displayed in a statistical table at the 1998 Statistics Plate. These are the various players who outperformed all their colleagues in hitting and pitching skills.

All that's left of this season is the completion of the post season games. Visit the 1998 Post Season Plate for more information about the 1998 Subleague Series and the 1998 Cosmic Universal Series.

And thanks to all our members and friends who helped make the 1998 cosmic baseball season so interesting and exciting.

Other Stats

October 2, 1998
Tina Akers Compton Drafted by the Vestal Virgins

Tina, age 13
After a disappointing season the Vestal Virgins have decided to rebuild. The first step in that process is the decision to go with a youth movement. And the first move the Virgins have made is the acquisition of the young phenomenon from Anne Arundel County, Maryland: Tina Akers Compton. Compton will take over in rightfield next season. Veteran Virgin rightfielder, Erica Jong, has been released.

The Tina Compton story is controversial. She will have to drop out of the 7th grade in order to play for the Virgins. But Tina says she loves the game, so perhaps her desire is enough.

Tina is 13 years old. She's one of eight children of Aubrey "Steven" Akers and Nancy Akers. Steve married Nancy when he was 26 and she was 16 in 1978. The marriage ended in divorce this year.

Tina is a wife. On August 24 of this year Tina married Wayne Compton, age 29, an unemployed roofer who stopped his education during his junior year in high school. Wayne met Tina through one of Tina's brothers. After a 2 month courtship Wayne and Tina fell in love.

Wayne, Austin & Tina
Tina is a mother. In September Tina gave birth to a son, Austin. According to Wayne, Tina told him she wanted a baby. Wayne told a reporter from the Washington Post, "Whatever [Tina] wants, she pretty much got from me." Wayne says, referring to his new wife and son, that all he wants now is "to be a family to them both."

Tina describes her husband as nice and lovable. "I just love him," she coos.

A candidate for the Anne Arundel county state attorney office, Richard R. Trunnell, claims "there's no way that a 13-year-old can know it's time to quit school and have a child." Others think the marriage inappropriate and ill-advised. And others even think that Wayne Compton is a sexual predator and a pedophile and guilty of statutory rape.

Tina's parents did not object to the marriage. Tina's father, age 46, says the couple "got involved when she was too young. But they're trying to do the right thing." Steve Akers is supportive of his young daughter and new son-in-law.

In response to her critics, Tina replies, "I'm married. It's over and done with and no one can do anything about it."

The Vestal Virgins are banking on Tina Akers Compton to be the cornerstone of their rebuilding project. We wish all concerned the best of luck.

October 1, 1998
Linda Tripp Becomes a Cosmic Umpire

Linda Carotenuto Tripp, a major figure in the Clinton/Lewinsky political/sex scandal, has been added to the Roster of Cosmic Umpires. Umpires at the CBA are usually selected because they have demonstrated a moral or ethical flaw. By giving transgressors the chance to act in a role requiring good judgment and an objective state of mind, CBA believes, perhaps arrogantly, that good moral lessons can be learned. The goal of the CBA umpiring program is ethical rehabilitation.

Ms. Tripp's appointment to the Roster of Cosmic Umpires is a result of her transgression with regard to her misunderstanding the nature of human friendship. Regardless of her motives, her betrayal of Monica Lewinsky (a former General Manager with the Washington Presidents) whom she befriended in 1996, is an egregious moral transgression.

Linda Tripp was born in 1949 in Morris County, New Jersey. She was the daughter of a high school teaching father, Albert Carotenuto. Her mother, Inge was a homemaker mother. While Tripp was still in high school her parents got a divorce, apparently because of her father's extramarital affairs. Albert Carotenuto would evenutally marry two more woman.

Tripp graduated high school in 1968 and in 1969 the record indicates she was arrested in New York on charges of grand larceny. According to her lawyer, the stealing charges were later dropped.

In 1971 she married a career Army soldier, Bruce M. Tripp. After nearly 20 years of marriage the Tripps were separated and later divorced. The marriage produced two children, a son Ryan and a daughter, Allison.

Ms. Tripp was hired by the Bush administration for a job in the White House. She remained in the White House when the Clinton regime took over in January 1993. She was one of the last persons to see Vince Foster alive before he killed himself on July 20, 1993. Foster was a close associate of the Clintons. In November 1993 Tripp claims that Kathleen Willey told her of a sexual experience with President Clinton in the White House. In August 1994 Tripp was transferred to a job in the Pentagon. It was at the Pentagon that Tripp befriended Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern. Unknown to Lewinsky, Tripp recorded telephone conversations that the two had regarding Lewinsky's affair with Clinton.

In January 1997 Tripp contacted the office of the independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr (a Cosmic Umpire) and offered to cooperate with his investigation of Clinton. With that act Tripp brutally betrayed her friend Monica Lewinsky who had confided in Tripp as a trusted friend. Tripp's motives for such a betrayal are not entirley clear. Were they ideological or financial?

In the summer of 1998 after she completed her testimony to the Starr grand jury, Tripp made a public statement. In that speech Linda Tripp asserted,

I'm you. I'm just like you. I'm an average American who found herself in a situation not of her own making.
Well, maybe yes, maybe no. We welcome Ms. Tripp to the cosmic baseball family and trust she will make an excellent cosmic umpire. Tripp replaces the rehabilitated Hildarose Tsai on the Roster of Cosmic Umpires.

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