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Archived: December 31, 2002
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Recent Cosmic Baseball
Player Nominations
  • Caligula (by Perry)
  • Billy Corgan (Sebastian ReyesMedina
  • Andrew Cunningham (Leonard)
  • Adolf Hitler (R. Stillwell)
  • Thomas Nagel (Kevin Windham)
  • Nelly (Mike Keller)
  • Ryan White (Maureen)
  • Arthur M. Young (Jyre Heffron)
  • Wulf Zendik (Kel Hoyle)
Website Visitor Stats

Source: COBRA 12/2/2002
2002-2003 Annual Report Online
December 28, 2002
Link to 2002-2003 Annual Report
The membership growth rate has leveled off, website traffic has declined...this and other information can be found in the 2002-2003 Annual Report of the Cosmic Baseball Association now online.

Also included in the report is a calendar of important 2003 dates, tables and charts depicting website visitors and a letter from the Cosmic Baseball Association's executive director.

Other Annual Reports

Selection Board Names New Umpires
December 26, 2002
Link to Umpire Plates
The Cosmic Baseball Association's Umpire Selection Board (USB) has named over a dozen new umpires to the official umpire roster for next season. An equal number of umpires have been deactivated including Marv Albert. Some of the rookie umpires are Trent Lott, Martha Stewart, six Catholic priests implicated in the sexual abuse scandals, Kenneth Lay and Rhoda Penmark.

Umpires at the Cosmic Baseball Association are selected from candidates who are generally deficient in the sphere of moral behavior. The moral deficiency in umpire candidates is usually publically demonstrated. This opens up the pool of potential umpires to criminals, adulturers, defrauders, liars, cheaters, fakes, snakes and disloyal types.

The idea behind this unique selection process is based on a theory of rehabilitation that suggests if you put a morally deficient individual in a situation requiring the skill of good judgement then pathways to good judgment will be paved. More moral and ethical behavior will be the result.

The Umpire Plates have been redesigned and now include archives of former umpire rosters.

Link to the Umpire Plates

Possession is 50% of the Law
Barry Bonds' 73rd Homerun Ball
December 23, 2002
Popov (l), Hayashi (r)
Popov (L); Hayashi (R)
Both men have a claim to the ball, superior against all the world.
In the matter of Popov v Hayashi Case No. 400545 or Who Owns Barry Bonds' 73rd Homerun Ball, Superior Court Judge Kevin M. McCarthy decided on December 18, 2002 that both men own the baseball. Since both men have a claim to the ball, it shall be sold and the proceeds split between the men.

The homerun ball in question is the one that Barry Bonds hit on October 7, 2001 in San Francisco's Pac Bell Park. The men in Judge McCarthy's Superior Court were fans attending that day when Bonds hit the historic homerun (he already had broken Mark McGwire's record of 70 homeruns hit in a season set in 1998). Alex Popov, 38 years old and a health food restaurateur complained to the court that Patrick Hayashi, a 37-year old software engineer, assaulted him after he, Popov, caught the ball in the stands. Hayashi for his part claims Popov dropped the ball and then he, Hayashi, recovered it.

The judge had to decide who owned the valuable ball. The ball is estimated to be worth one million dollars. A videotape of the melee in the stands and testimony from eye-witnesses did not clarify the picture for the judge. He concluded that both men owned the ball.

The judge, in his 18-page decision analyzed the unique issues of possession associated with catching an object while sitting in the stands of a sporting event. Popov apparently did have the baseball in his baseball glove for a moment of time. But the rush of the other fans intent to gain possession caused Popov to fall and the ball rolled out of Popov's glove. Subsequently, Hayashi picked up the baseball and laid claim to it.

Pointing out that the idea of possession "is a blurred question of law and fact" (Page 6) Judge McCarthy decided to use what he called "Gray's Rule of Possession" to adjudicate the case. Named after Brian Gray, a professor of law, the rule states that,

A person who catches a baseball that enters the stands is its owner. A ball is caught if the person has achieved complete control of the ball at the point in time that the momentum of the ball and the momentum of the fan while attempting to catch the ball ceases. A baseball, which is dislodged by incidental contact with an inanimate object or another person, before momentum has ceased, is not possessed. Incidental contact with another person is contact that is not intended by the other person. The first person to pick up a loose ball and secure it becomes its possessor. (Page 7)
The judge rightfully observes that there was far more than just "incidental" contact in this case. Popov's efforts at possession were "interrupted by the collective assault of a band of wrongdoers" (Page 9). However, "Mr. Hayashi was not a wrongdoer. He was a victim of the same bandits that attacked Mr. Popov" (Page 10). Both men have an equal claim to ownership.

The judge will therefore employ the "concept of equitable division" as a remedy to the dilemma. Pointing out that the concept has its roots in "ancient Roman law" this will be a fair-minded remedy. The judge cites two cases as insightful and instructive: Arnold v. Producers Fruit Company (1900) 128 Cal. 637 and Keron v. Cashman (1896) 33 A. 1055. The latter case involved five young boys in New Jersey and a sock they found stuffed with $775 cash. The ruling in that case was that all five boys would split the money equally.

Popov and Hayashi each stand to make near a half million dollars off the ball that Bonds hit. Had Popov caught the ball and not lost it he might have become a millionaire, although in pre-trial statements he claimed he did not plan to sell the baseball. Mr. Hayashi, on the other hand must be thankful that Mr. Popov's baseball catching skills were not capable of withstanding an attack of swarming fans all trying to grab a piece of cash value history.

The new co-owners might want to consider why their baseball is estimated to be worth only a third of what the McGuire No. 70 baseball sold for. The 70th homerun ball sold for $3 million. That stands as the most ever paid for a game-used sports memorabilia item. Why the difference in value? Consider this: Sales of 500 career homerun baseballs hit by Mickey Mantle, McGwire and Eddie Murray have sold for more than $250,000. Barry Bonds' 600th career homerun baseball sold for only $40,000. Some like Joe Orlando, president of sports memorabilia rating agency PSA think these lower values for Bonds' memorabilia have to do with Bonds' popularity, or lack thereof. Orlando says, ""It tells you a lot about how the public receives Barry Bonds as a person. I don't know Barry Bonds personally but the perception is that he's a bad guy." Like possession, perception is in the eye of the beholder.

Of course Judge McCarthy did the right thing. Or perhaps, just as solomonic, he could have mandated that the baseball be cut in half. Then each owner could have done what he pleased with his piece of the ball.

from Judge McCarthy's Decision

Related Links

Ted Williams: Upsidedowndate
December 22, 2002

Cryonic Chambers
Ted Williams is going to remain frozen upside down. An agreement reached among his children the other day means that the former Boston Red Sox star, who died July 5, 2002 at the age of 83, will remain frozen in a metal chamber in Scottsdale, Arizona.

After Williams died his corpse was immediately flown to Scottsdale, Arizona where it was frozen using cryonics technology sold by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. According to reports, Alcor charges $120,000 to cryonically freeze a body. Behind the concept of cryonics is the hope of a future revival. There was also speculation at the time that family members froze the body because they planned to sell the Hall of Famer's genetic material (DNA). Family members denied they planned to do that.

One of Williams' three children had opposed the cryonic preservation of her father claiming the former professional baseball player wanted to be cremated. However, the two other children, from another marriage, produced a signed document (see below) indicating Williams wanted to be preserved cryonically. The dispute was being litigated in the law courts until an agreement was reached the other day to leave Williams frozen, as is, in Arizona. The disputants were Williams' eldest daughter, Barbara Joyce Williams Ferrell on one side favoring cremation and on the other side, John-Henry and his sister Claudia, two younger children from another marriage, who claimed Williams wanted to be cryonically preserved.

Shortly after her father's body was flown to Arizona, Ferrell filed a petition in the Citrus County Circuit Court in Inverness, Florida demanding that her father's corpse be returned to Florida for cremation. It was this petition that Ms. Ferrell has just withdrawn clearing the way for Williams to remain frozen and upside down in Arizona.

There is, of course, more to this story than just the spiritual implications of death and the fate of one's physical container after the soul departs. For example, Ferrell agreed to drop the lawsuit when the trustees of a $645,000 irrevocable insurance trust left by Williams to his children agreed to immediately distribute the funds. Her legal fees according to news reports had already reached nearly $90,000. Pursuing the case could have cost another $250,000. There also remains a dispute between brother John-Henry and sister Claudia. This dispute regards the disposition of baseball bats signed by Ted Williams and set up in trust for his children. John-Henry is trying to prevent Claudia from selling her bats to a collector for $1.2 million. Half-sister Barbara Joyce is due to receive 38 signed bats also from a trust set up by her father. Ferrell was quoted as saying, ". "I've been fighting for [those bats] since I was 50 [they're] mine. [The trust] was supposed to be added to over the years, like [John-Henry and Claudia's] were, but mine was stopped."

Is Williams, who is already upside down, turning upside down in his metal tank over all of this unseemliness? According to Alcor officials, that is not possible.

Note: Cryonics is a small, controversial branch of cryobiology that specifically seeks to cryopreserve human beings for future revival. It is controversial because the procedure is currently irreversible, and can only work if sophisticated cell repair technologies capable of reversing freezing injury are developed in the future. Cryogenics is a branch of engineering physics that studies the production and effects of very low temperatures. Cryobiology is the science of how living things are affected by very low temperatures.

Note of November 2, 2000
"JHW, Claudia, and Dad all agree to be put into bio-stasis after we die. This is what we want, to be able to be together in the future, even if it is only a chance."
Related Links

Teams Announce Player Deactivations
December 20, 2002
Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp
Thirty-seven cosmic baseball players were deactivated by their respective teams today. The Telecity Superbas led all teams with the most deactivations (7). Fifteen of the the players deactivated were pitchers.

While it is a rare occurence, deactivated cosmic baseball players can be "reactivated" under certain circumstances.

Season 2002 Deactivated Cosmic Baseball Players
Cosmic Player Team League Position
1936 Dusenburg Cars Underleague Pitcher
Asanteewa, Nana Warriors Overleague IF
Baker, Vernon Warriors Overleague Pitcher
Barry, Marion Pisces Overleague Pitcher
Bowles, Paul Beats Overleague Pitcher
Brown, Ford Maddox PRB Underleague CF
Chase, David Superbas Middleleague IF/C
Cohen, William Warriors Overleague IF/OF
Davis, Angela Woodsox Middleleague LF
DiFranco, Annie Dragons Middleleague Pitcher
Earp, Wyatt Pisces Overleague Pitcher
Exu Tricksters Underleague cf
Flaubert, Gustave Bohemians Middleleague IF/C
Franco, Veronica Virgins Overleague 3B
Green, Tom Superbas Middleleague Pitcher
Grok B'Stormers Underleague Pitcher
Guevara, Che Warriors Overleague Pitcher
Ibsen, Henrik Pisces Overleague C
Iskra, Darlene Warriors Overleague Pitcher
Kuehl, Sheila Superbas Middleleague LF
Mahler, Gustav Dragons Middleleague Pitcher
Mann, Hermann Bohemians Middleleague OF
Maui Tricksters Underleague cf
Morris, William PRB Underleague 1B
Newton, Huey Woodsox Middleleague IF
North, Jay Superbas Middleleague OF
Oberth, Hermann Ionians Overleague Pitcher
O'Brien, Conan Superbas Middleleague IF
Respighi, Ottorino Dragons Middleleague Pitcher
Sales, Soupy Superbas Middleleague IF
Scher, Jeff Poetics Middleleague Pitcher
Thomson, Virgil Dragons Middleleague 3B
Tierney, Maura Superbas Middleleague IF/OF
Tojo, Hideki Warriors Overleague OF
Twiggy Woodsox Middleleague Pitcher
Vivaldi, Anton Pisces Overleague IF
Zeldo Rapunzeloids Underleague IF

December 16, 2002
Link to Pete Rose Hall of Fame Controversy Plate
Pete Rose & Bud Selig
I don't think there's anything I would do to change what Bart Giamatti did.

--Bud Selig
Tuesday July 13, 1999
Just before the 1999 All Star Game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig made it clear that despite Pete Rose's request for reinstatement, first made in September, 1997, there was little chance it was going to happen while he was in charge of Major League Baseball.

The Associated Press reported on July 13, 1999 that "with nearly two dozen Hall of Famers sitting beside him, Bud Selig said Tuesday that Pete Rose can pretty much forget about reinstatement to baseball as long as he's commissioner."

Rose was banned from Major League Baseball on August 24, 1989 by then-commissioner Bart Giamatti. Rose was banished because in Giamatti's opinion, "Charlie Hustle" had gambled on Major League Baseball games, including games the Cincinnati Reds played while Rose was their field manager. According to the agreement Rose signed with MLB, he did not admit to gambling on baseball games but he did accept the commissioner's punishment. A few days after banning Rose, Giamatti died and Fay Vincent succeeded him. Vincent made it clear that Rose would not be reinstated during the Vincent stewardship of baseball.

Vincent, who resigned under pressure as Baseball's commissioner in September 1992, is today withholding judgment on the Rose matter until he sees what kind of deal Selig and Rose agree to. He also said Selig should proceed "very carefully." Vincent noted that Selig "has to be careful not to take Pete's word. We know that word is no good that's something that has to be factored in."

After rumors of a late November, 2002 meeting between Pete Rose and Bud Selig surfaced early this December, Major League Baseball in the person of Robert DuPuy, the chief operating officer said,

"There have been a number of stories reporting alleged conversations or meetings between commissioner Selig and Pete Rose. Pete Rose applied for reinstatement to commissioner Selig several years ago and that application has been pending since that time. Given the pendency [sic] of the application for reinstatement, neither the commissioner or anyone in our office will comment on the Pete Rose matter further."

Link to Pete Rose Hall of Fame Controversy Plate
Bart Giamatti & Fay Vincent
While some of the Pete Rose reinstatement stories got lost during the Trent Lott Affair (Senator Lott, Republican of Mississippi made remarks offensive to Civil Rights activists and integrationists) there seems to be a groundswell of support for Rose's resurrection and eventual election to the Hall of Fame. Polls are appearing that indicate baseball fans support Rose's reinstatement.

There is a sense that Pete Rose is about to become the first banished baseball player to become unbanished. While there are plenty of folks who think that honor should go to Joe Jackson, there are just as many that think Rose is by now deserving of a reprieve. Republican Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio believes Pete Rose belongs in the baseball Hall of Fame and called commissioner Bud Selig on December 12 to discuss the talks that could lead to reinstatement.

Sabermetrician and noted baseball scholar Bill James wrote in 1994 that Rose was railroaded by baseball. Speaking of the Dowd Report (compiled by John Dowd for Giamatti) James wrote, ""John Dowd's investigation of Rose's behavior, which claimed to be fair and impartial, was a mockery of those words. Dowd leapt to the conclusion that Rose was guilty, and twisted and bent the facts to support that conclusion."

Others, either relying on the mostly circumstantial evidence produced by Dowd or because they are just likely to believe Rose bet on baseball believe that if Rose would come clean, baseball would forgive.

At the moment, nothing specific has changed. There are no new facts either condemning or exonerating Rose regarding the charges that he bet on baseball. Rose denies he ever bet on baseball games. In a Playboy interview in 2000 Rose commented on the biggest misperception about his lifetime ban: "In the agreement I signed, it says [there is] no finding that Pete Rose bet on baseball. What is so hard to understand about that? It means I didn't do it." (Playboy: May, 2000.)

One of the conditions of reinstatement being floated in the news accounts is that Rose will have to perform a mea culpa and admit to gambling on baseball games.

Is Rose about to admit to something that he steadfastly says he did not do? Would he do such a thing if it meant access to the Hall of Fame? Getting into the Hall of Fame is one of Rose's most important dreams.

Years ago we offered our own advice: Put Rose physically into the Hall of Fame and don't let him out (see The Pete Rose Hall of Fame Controversy Plate.) We still think that is an adequate resolution.

A final question: Is Bud Selig on the verge of reinstating Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Shuffler Phil Douglas?

Virgins Win 2002 Cosmic Universal Series
December 8, 2002
2002 Cosmic Universal Series Main Plate
At one point it felt as if all the mometum was with the upstart players on the CBA's newest team, the Chopintown Preluders. But then suddenly it all turned around and the veteran Vestal Virgins prevailed as they won the Cosmic Universal Series for the second time (in three appearances.) Famed dancer and Virgin rightfielder Isadora Duncan was named the Series' Most Cosmic Player on the strength of her .393 batting average, 8 runs batted in and her sterling smash 3-run homerun in the third inning of the seventh game securing the victory for her team. Other outstanding Series performances were offered up by Virgin firstbasewoman and feminist activist Valeries Solanas, (.308; 3 homeruns, 11 RBIs)and Virgin shortstop and conservative political activist Lissa Roche (.367, 7 RBI). G Major was one of the shining offensive stars for the Preluders (.357, 5 home runs, 9 RBIs). The Preluders did not commit one error in the seven games...remarkable for a rookie team (the veteran Virgins committed four fielding errors.) B Major was the outstanding pitcher for the Preluders. As usual, Lila Brik, Zelda Fitzgerald and June Miller kept the Virgins in the game (poet Sylvia Plath, expected to have a super star series did not fare too well: she lost 2 games and compiled a poor earned run average of 10.38).

2002 Cosmic Universal Series- Game 7
December 7, 2002
2002 Cosmic Universal Series Main Plate
Virgins Win, 9-2.
Virgins Win Series, 4-3

After a three day unscheduled delay the seventh and decisive game of the Series was played. The issue of who was going to win the game and the Series was decided in the top of the third inning when the Vestal Virgins scored five runs, three off a stunning home run by dancer Isadora Duncan.

Game 7 Linescore
Link to Game Report

2002 Cosmic Universal Series- Game 6
December 3, 2002
2002 Cosmic Universal Series Main Plate
Virgins Win, 10-4.
Series Tied, 3-3

Vestal Virgin Valerie Solanas went 4-for-5 with 5 RBIs and hit her third Series homerun as the Virgins tie the Series forcing a decisive Game 7.

Game 6 Linescore
Link to Game Report

2002 Cosmic Universal Series- Game 5
December 2, 2002
2002 Cosmic Universal Series Main Plate
Preluders Win, 7-1.
Preluders Lead Series, 3-2.

Preluder G Major hit his fourth Series home run as the Chopintown Preluders come within one game of winning the Series. B Major won his second Series game as Vestal Virgin poet Sylvia Plath lost her second game, despite pitching much better this time around.

Game 5 Linescore
Link to Game Report

2002 Cosmic Universal Series- Game 4
December 1, 2002
2002 Cosmic Universal Series Main Plate
Preluders Win, 7-6.
Series Tied, 2-2.

Another pinch-hit home run, this one hit in the ninth inning by Preluder C Minor and worth three runs won the game . The visiting Chopintown Preluders reaped the victory and tied the series at 2 games apiece.

Game 4 Linescore
Link to Game Report

2002 Cosmic Universal Series- Game 3
November 30, 2002
2002 Cosmic Universal Series Main Plate
Virgins Win, 6-4.
Virgins Lead Series, 2-1.

Vestal Virgin pinch-hitter and actress Uma Thurman's 2-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning secured the game for the hometown women.

Game 3 Linescore
Link to Game Report

2002 Cosmic Universal Series- Game 2
November 29, 2002
2002 Cosmic Universal Series Main Plate
Virgins Rout Preluders, 11-6.
Series tied, 1-1.

Ten pitchers appeared in the game. There were 23 combined hits. Preluder G Major hit two homeruns for a series total of three.

Game 2 Linescore
Link to Game Report

2002 Cosmic Universal Series- Game 1
November 28, 2002
2002 CUS Game 1 Report
Preluders Rout Virgins, 7-3.
Preluders Lead Series, 1-0.

Vestal Virgin starter and poet Sylvia Plath did not last 2 innings. Chopintown Preluder pitcher B Major pitched a complete game. A Major and G Major hit homeruns.

Game 1 Linescore
Link to Game Report

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Archived: December 31, 2002
Copyright © 2002 by the Cosmic Baseball Association