Cosmic Baseball Game Report

Abbott & Costellos @ Pornographers

Breakfast of Champions Link When Kilgore Trout imagined a world when the affects of global warming had taken hold, the notion of pornography had become gastronomic. Trout's visiting astronaut from Earth, Don, is in a downtown movie house specializing in dirty films, and there is a description of a short subject film: "At first there wasn't any picture. There were slurps and moans...Then the picture itself appeared. It was a high quality film of a male humanoid eating what looked like a pear." After the short subject, the main feature film began: "It was about a male and a female and their two children, and their dog and their cat. They ate steadily for an hour and a half-- soup, meat, biscuits, butter, vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, fruit, candy, cake, pie..." --Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions (Chapter 5)

Click here here if you want to know more about the relationship between Wheaties, Baseball and Abbott & Costello.
Abbott & Costellos Win, 1-0


Box Score Link

Baseball HOF FAQ The relationship of Abbott & Costello to the sport of baseball is well known by many Americans living today. Their classic "Who's on First" comedy routine was enshrined in 1956 at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

(Abbott and Costello themselves were never inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, despite claims of published literature to the contrary. They are, however, since 2005, members of the Radio Hall of Fame.)

The relationship of pornography to baseball may be less examined although the intertwining of sexual metaphors in baseball are well established.

(A more cogent discussion about the relationship of sex to pornography would be useful. Regardless of the definition selected for pornography, and there is little consensus on definitions, the fact is that pornography is ubiquitous in the culture...and in baseball team locker rooms.)

The relationship between Abbott and Costello and pornography is now better understood thanks to the publication of documents originally created in the 1940s and 1950s by United States government organizations. According to memoranda generated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, both Abbott and Costello were significant fans of pornography.

Apparently, the FBI was concerned about one or both of the comedians and not just about their (illegal?) passion for pornography. According to the book Celebrity Secrets (2007), by journalist Nick Redfern, the FBI briefly investigated the comedy duo in 1943, before the focus on the team's pornography interests, to determine if the pair had some connection with espionage and covert communications. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover determined that they DID NOT. Redfern also reports that the FBI investigated alleged connections between Lou Costello and organized crime.

But the crime of pornography remained on the FBI's mind with regard to their interest in Abbott & Costello. In a 1958 memorandum (after the team had broken up, and exactly one year to the day before his partner Costello died from a heart attack in Los Angeles) the FBI generated another memorandum regarding Bud Abbott's habits.

FBI Memo at

The Crime of Pornography
This is John "Pornography" is a layperson's term, with no particular legal significance.

It does have significant ethical, political and sociological connotations. Perhaps because so many fields appropriate the word its meaning has become less clear.

For example, in January 2005 describing the method the Forbes Magazine editors use to calculate the annual list of the 400 richest Americans, author of Trump Nation, Timothy L. O'Brien, comments, "It's financial pornography of the most delicious and voyeuristic sort...I think for the people on the list, it's a scorecard. And in many ways it remains a very male scorecard. You know, who's the biggest?

Maybe pornography is a species of obscenity and obscenity does have a specific legal context in the United States. Pornography becomes a crime when it is considered obscene. Obscene material is so offensive it violates all standards of morality or decency. The production and sale of obscene material is a criminal offense. Law enforcement faces the problem of determining what is obscene in specific cases, since there is no concrete definition to guide them. What may be considered obscene to one person is not necessarily obscene to another.

The one type of pornography that is definitely criminal and a felony offense is child pornography. Child pornography involves minors under the age of eighteen and often very young children being sexually exploited by adults. The most common forms of sexual exploitation are photographing and videotaping nude children or children being sexually abused. The photos and videos are then sold to customers. The emergence of the internet has attracted and contributed to the issue of child pornography.

No concrete definitions. But there are many definitions and explanations waiting to dry and harden. It was an abhorrence to pornography that helped converge the social agenda(s) of the religious evangelicals with the politics of the anti-pornography wing of the feminist movement.

It was, pardon the pun, an unholy convergence. Which of these two particular participants in the debate lacked any real theology? Are those who defend morality, not by being moral, but by opposing perceived immorality, moral? And we have yet to introduce the artists and other intellectual collectives into this debate.

For example, one observer writes, "Writers and university professors feel quite heroic in taking the witness stand to avow that some outrageously immoral book is somehow supremely moral...No doubt if some avant-garde writer issued a book empty of everything save a cake of cow dung between its covers, scholars would not be lacking to interpret for a court what a profound and redeeming social commentary was at stake. (Rousas J. Rushdoony, The Politics of Pornography. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House,1974; p.37).

The recently departed Reverend Jerry Falwell claimed "pornography hurts anyone who reads it."

from the 2004 Cornography Exhibit Falwell, a national spokesman on behalf of public morality, might have ended up on a Major League Baseball field. He turned down an offer to play with the St. Louis Cardinals. Coincidentally, it is a current St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, Jeff Suppan, (throws right-handed, career ERA through 2006: 4.60 with 106 wins and 101 losses) who has spoken of the prevalence of pornography in the professional baseball environment. Suppan, a deeply religious Catholic (he met Pope Benedict XVI in 2005), went straight to his baseball career after graduating the all-boys Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, California. It was his first time away from family and friends. Drugs, promiscuity, sex and pornography were readily available. He turned to God for help. (Source: Catholic Online).

Defining pornography as the "graphic depiction of whores", Andrea Dworkin made the provocative and controversial case that pornography, an almost exclusively male domain, was used to confine and suppress the other half of the human race. (Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women. New York, New York: Putnam's/Perigee, 1981) The subtle and not so subtle arguments notwithstanding, many feminists in opposition to the Dworkin brigade decided that if pornography is bad, censorship is worse. Writing just before Dworkin in an equally provocative manner, Angela Carter points out, "The pornographer as terrorist may not think of himself as a friend of women; that may be the last thing on his mind. But he will always be our unconscious ally because he begins to approach some kind of emblematic truth, whereas the lackey pornographer, like the devious fellows who write love stories for women's magazines, that softest of all forms of pornography, can only do harm. (Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman. New York, New York: Pantheon, 1978; p. 22).

Rowlandson Art Historians have interpreted pornography in contextual, relativistic terms. In the early nineteenth century pornography was viewed as a means of exposing the perceived corruption in the ruling class and was a weapon in the war for reform.

18th century British artist and printmaker Thomas Rowlandson created sexually explicit prints and one observer notes that Rowlandson's "obscene satire was inextricably rooted in the aesthetic debates of his day and that his so-called "pornographic" prints and drawings participate in a carefully delineated rejection of elite culture." ("Romanticism, Materialism, and the Origins of Modern Pornography" by Bradford K. Mudge. August 2001.)

Pornography used as a political weapon against the dominant class. This reverses the dynamic suggested by some feminists and leaves us where we began, at the beginning of the yellow-brick road watching the scarecrow point in both directions when we ask which way to the front.

Even Kansas farm girl Dorothy is unable to escape the torrent of the pornography cyclone. As detailed in Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie, Dorothy did have sexual encounters with Hunk, Zeke and Hickory, the farms hands who transform into the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man respectively. College professor Daniel Dervin thinks Dorothy accidentally walked in on Auntie Em and Uncle Henry having sex. The trauma of the vision created a tornado which Devlin thinks might be a metaphor for a penis.


Abbott & Costellos Pornographers Roster

Two important comments are necessary with regard to the Abbott & Costello team.

1). It is likely that Abbott and Costello performed the "Who's On First?" [comedy routine] a thousand times in their careers, including several times at the request of President [Franklin D.] Roosevelt. There were presumably slight variations but we only know of one small modification with respect to the name of a player. The player at the short stop position has variously been called "I Don't Give a Damn" and "I Don't Give a Darn." The roster for this game is based on a reading by Stella Garcia from a transcript received on the internet.

2). In all the versions of the dialog the position of right field is left unaccounted for. We assigned a team of Cosmic Baseball Research Alliance interns to see if they could find someone or something that might reasonably play the position for this cosmic game. The recommendation of the interns was that Hank Aaron should be placed on the roster as the penultimate right fielder in the history of Major League Baseball. The interns' arguments included the fact that in 1999 the commissioner of Major League Baseball created the Hank Aaron Award to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron's breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record. However there are unofficial ratings that take a different view regarding who is the all time best right fielder. One list suggests Mel Ott and Babe Ruth in the "win" and "place" positions with Aaron in the "show" spot.. Baseball enthusiasts can never agree on anything letting emotions and numbers, not to mention influences, subvert such debates as who is the best this or best that. In any case, all three options were rejected by the Personal Cosmic Games Committee. On the roster, please note that the right fielder and the clean-up batter spot is being simulated by the player "Yesterday." ("Day After Tomorrow" was in uniform but not needed. Costello was also in uniform in case another catcher was needed.)

I Don't Know Third Base
Who First Base
Because Center Field
[Y]esterday Right Field
I Don't Give a Damn Short Stop
Why Left Field
Today Catcher
What Second Base
Tomorrow Pitcher

Pornographers Abbott & Costellos Roster

The players for the Pornographers team are individuals associated with the production of pornography in one capacity or another. There are graphic artists, writers and film/video performers on the team.

Pietro Aretino
Pietro Aretino (1492-1556). Some regard Aretino as the first modern pornographer. He created and distributed I modi (The Ways) which includes sixteen sexual sonnets and sixteen engravings of couples having sex. An example of the political use of pornography is associated with this first baseman who antagonized the Vatican authorities.
First Base
Vanessa Helman
Vanessa Helman (b. May 30, 1985). The younger (by one minute) half of a pair of pornographic twin models (they are fraternal twins). Based on an unverified copy of Vanessa's resume it looks like she and her sister Victoria did some "fashion, glamour, lingeries and artistic nude" modeling for the Mr. Dagger Photography studio in Cleveland, Ohio. By 2005 they were known as the "Milton Twins" (Vanessa was "Melissa Milton") and she and her sister generated a variety of internet-based pornography, much of it lesbian-related (however the twins did not have direct sex with each other.) Another woman or another set of twins was common in their work. Vanessa is described as having longer hair, a rounder face and blue-yellow eyes. She is also known in pornographic circles as "Cali Marie".
Second Base
Jenna Jameson
Jenna Jameson (b. April 9, 1974). Jenna Marie Massoli. Became a pornography actress in 1993 after working as a stripper and "glamour" model. She has already been inducted into the X-Rated Critics Organization's Hall of Fame and the Adult Video News Hall of Fame. Founded Club Jenna, a pornographic entertainment business in 2000. By 2005 Club Jenna was generating revenues of $30 million according to Forbes Magazine.
Third Base
Victoria Helman
Victoria Helman (b. May 30, 1985). The older (by one minute) half of a pair of pornographic twin models (they are fraternal twins). Based on an unverified copy of her sister's resume it looks like the twins did "fashion, glamour, lingeries and artistic nude" modeling for the Mr. Dagger Photography studio in Cleveland, Ohio. By 2005 they were known as the "Milton Twins" (Victoria was "Marissa Milton") and she and her sister generated a variety of internet-based pornography, much of it lesbian-related (however the twins did not have direct sex with each other.) Another woman or another set of twins was common in their work. Victoria is described as having shorter hair, a longer face and blue-green eyes. She is also known in pornographic circles as "Cherish".
Short Stop
Marquis de Sade
de Sade (1740-1814). "He was unusual for his period for claiming rights of free sexuality for women, and in installing women as beings of power in his imaginary worlds. This sets him apart from all other pornographers at all times and most other writers of his period." (Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman. Pantheon Books/Random House, New York: 1978. p. 36)
Left Field
Thomas Rowlandson
Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827). Considered a well-known but under-appreciated British artist and printmaker, art and social historians have examined his life with the hope that his remarkable career might shed light upon the emergence of the pornographic imagination. He of the first British artists to mass produce sexually explicit material whose intent appears more to amuse and titillate than to instruct, illustrate, vilify, or satirize. Historians of the Victorian era consider this shift significant because it breaks with the tradition of using pornographic or obscene imagery in the service of satirical polemics aimed at political leaders.
Center Field
Hillary Scott
Hillary Scott (b. February 3, 1983). Became a pornographic actress in 2004. On April 20, 2006 the X-Rated Critics Organization awarded Scott the "Orgasmic Oralist" award. A fan, in an "appreciation" wrote in January 2007 that , "Scott has appeared in dozens of movies that demonstrate her range as an actor (for her role in this year's Best Picture winner "Corruption" she cried on cue) and the elasticity of her anus." In 2006 Scott won several Adult Video News awards including "Best Oral Sex Scene- Film" and "Best Group Sex Scene- Film". On April 23, 2007 Scott announced that she had signed a four year contract worth $1 million which she claimed was the "largest porn contract in history."
Right Field
Larry Flynt
Larry Flynt (b. November 1, 1942). After serving in the United States Navy as a radar operator Flynt went to work in a General Motors automobile factory in Dayton, Ohio. He opened up a strip club in Cincinnati in 1970 (it was called the Hustler Club, others followed in Columbus, Toledo, Akron and Cleveland. In 1974 he started the pornographic magazine, Hustler. A well known political activist and social gadfly he was shot by Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist serial killer outside a Georgia courtroom on March 6, 1978. As a result Flynt is paralyzed from the waist down. In 2001 Flynt stated his net worth was $400 million.
Linda Boreman
Linda Boreman (1949-2002) Also known as Linda Lovelace. She was the star of the 1972 landmark film Deep Throat. Deep Throat opened to the raincoat crowd in June, 1972, at the New World Theater on 49th Street in New York City...Over the next few months, millions of Americans for the first time watched explicit sex. Boreman would publish four autobiographies before her death on April 22, 2002 from injuries sustained in a car crash on April 3 in Colorado. The self-told stories of her life all vary significantly making it difficult to determine what her life as a pornography star was really like. In any event she joined ranks with the anti-pornography movement and testified about its evils to the Meese Commission in 1986.


Line Score link


 Inn. 1:  Abbott & Costellos
[Starter] Boreman
Dont Know         BB         . . X
Who               5          . . X
*SB:Dont Know     SB         . X .
Because           7          . X .
[Y]esterday       BB         . X X
Dont Give a Damn  5UN F      . X X
     Inn. 1:  Pornographers
[Starter] Tomorrow
Aretino           9          . . .
HelmanVa          6          . . .
Jameson           5-3        . . .
     Inn. 2:  Abbott & Costellos
Why               6-3        . . .
Today             3UN        . . .
What              5-3        . . .
     Inn. 2:  Pornographers
HelmanVi          7          . . .
Sade              5-3        . . .
Rowlandson        8          . . .
     Inn. 3:  Abbott & Costellos
Tomorrow          5-3        . . .
Dont Know         1B         . . X
X@2:Dont Know     CS 2-4     . . .
Who               4-3        . . .
     Inn. 3:  Pornographers
Scott             1-3        . . .
Flynt             7          . . .
Boreman           7          . . .
     Inn. 4:  Abbott & Costellos
Because           6-3        . . .
[Y]esterday       7          . . .
Dont Give a Damn  BB         . . X
*SB:Dont Give a DaSB         . X .
Why               6-3        . X .
     Inn. 4:  Pornographers
Aretino           4-3        . . .
HelmanVa          8          . . .
Jameson           5          . . .
     Inn. 5:  Abbott & Costellos
Today             4-3        . . .
What              7          . . .
Tomorrow          7          . . .
     Inn. 5:  Pornographers
HelmanVi          5-3        . . .
Sade              4-3        . . .
Rowlandson        6-3        . . .
     Inn. 6:  Abbott & Costellos
Dont Know         9          . . .
Who               K-DTS PB   . . X
Because           K          . . X
*SB:Who           SB         . X .
[Y]esterday       7          . X .
     Inn. 6:  Pornographers
Scott             4-3        . . .
Flynt             5-3        . . .
Boreman           8          . . .
     Inn. 7:  Abbott & Costellos
Dont Give a Damn  5-3        . . .
Why               6-3        . . .
Today             1B         . . X
What              5/E-4      . X X
Tomorrow          7          . X X
     Inn. 7:  Pornographers
Aretino           3-1        . . .
HelmanVa          5-3        . . .
Jameson           1B         . . X
X@2:Jameson       CS 2-4     . . .
     Inn. 8:  Abbott & Costellos
Dont Know         9          . . .
Who               7          . . .
Because           5-3        . . .
     Inn. 8:  Pornographers
HelmanVi          6-3        . . .
Sade              6-3        . . .
Rowlandson        7          . . .
     Inn. 9:  Abbott & Costellos
[Y]esterday       BB         . . X
Dont Give a Damn  1B         . X X
Why               5-3 SAC    X X .
Today             9 SACF     X . . 1
What              6-3        X . .
     Inn. 9:  Pornographers
Scott             K          . . .
Flynt             8          . . .
Boreman           6-3        . . .

1. The Abbott & Costellos stranded two base runners right from the start.

This was a superbly pitched game by Tomorrow.

Unusually, the Pornographers did not leave one player on base during this game. In the seventh inning Jenna Jameson got a two-out single and then got thrown out trying to steal second.

3. I Don't Know gets a single up the middle and on the first pitch to the next batter he tries to steal a base. Larry Flynt guns him down with time to spare.

4. I Don't Give a Damn draw a walk and steals second where he's stranded.

6. A dropped third strike but another stolen base goes for naught.

7v. The Abbott & Costellos had a chance here with two men on (thanks in part to Vanessa Helman's fielding error.) But nobody crossed the plate.

7h. The Pornographers get a base runner but to no avail.

9v. Neither team has scored in eight innings. Playing baseball the old way (a walk, a single and sacrifices) the Abbott & Costellos manufacture the game's winning run.

9h. For the eighth time this game the Pornographers go down in order...and lose the game, 1-0.

Game Notes

Time 3 hours, 18 minutes
Weather Cloudy & Hot, 93o F
Attendance undisclosed
Umpires* Anthony Peraino
Joseph Peraino, Sr.
Louis Peraino
Scorer Veronica Zuraw

*Additional Note

Before the start of the game, there was some concern, articulated by the Abbott & Costellos, that the umpiring crew might be biased in favor of the Pornographers. The concern was unfounded. The umpiring crew did a good job and most observers considered Anthony Peraino's work behind the plate to have been consistent during the game. The source of the visiting team's concern has to do with the intermingled history of pornography and organized crime in the United States.

The Peraino family was an early player in the pornography business game. For the organized business of organized crime, pornography added a third and related revenue stream to augment the money earned from prostitution and drug dealing. Anthony Peraino jumped in at the start of the burgeoning pornography business, which became organized crime's biggest new moneymaker since drugs...In the late 1960s, Peraino and the Colombo family led the Mafia into sex movies. Anthony Peraino and Michael Zaffarano dominated distribution of porno loops to Mafia-controlled outlets in New York City. They worked with John "Sonny" Franzese, a Colombo member, supplying 8-millimeter hardcore stag movies to the coin-operated peep show machines in sex shops around New York's Time Square. The Colombo family soon controlled its own plant for processing 8mm movies - All-State Film Labs in Brooklyn.The official owner of the lab was Anthony Peraino's 26-year old son, Louis "Butchie" Peraino.. "Butchie" Peraino (also known as "Lou Perry") reportedly had a "deep interest in cinema techniques." By 1971 Butchie Peraino was partners with Gerard Damiano, a Brooklyn hairdresser-turned-pornography filmmaker. Two-thirds of Gerard Damiano Film Productions was owned by Butchie Peraino. Linda Lovelace was a pornography actress Damiano was using when she met Butchie Peraino in 1971. Louis "Butchie" Peraino financed the production of "Deep Throat" (originally titled "The Doctor Makes a Housecall") for $22,000.

That brings us to the night of January 4, 1982. Veronica Zuraw, 53, is in her new home (purchased 10 weeks earlier) tending to the laundry as her husband, Louis, an accountant, sits watching television. The couple had been married approximately eight years. Veronica was 45 when she married Louis. Prior to her marriage she had been a nun, known as Sister Mary Adelaide, and she worked for the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese. Suddenly there was commotion at 431 Lake Street in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn. Joseph Peraino, Sr. and his son, Joseph, Jr. were running from two hit men associated with the Colombo organized crime family. A brief fire fight broke out as the two hit men fired rounds from sawed off shotguns. Suddenly, Joseph Peraino, Jr. lay dead and his father was wounded. Also, by accident, Veronica Zuraw was dead, a victim of buckshot gone awry.

Salvatore Miciotta, one of the hit men, tried and convicted of the crime, "told the FBI that the Perainos were targeted as a result of a Mafia fight over the profits from Deep Throat, the notorious porno movie ("The Wiseguy and the Nun" by William Bastone. February, 1999).

Breakfast of Champions Note

Vonnegut's seventh novel, Breakfast of Champions, published in 1973, is not about Wheaties cereal, despite the title. The well-known cereal slogan has been intertwined with baseball at least since 1933 when the Washburn Crosby Company in Minnesota signed a radio advertising deal with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association. The Millers played in Nicollet Field which is where Wheaties unveiled its "Breakfast of Champions" slogan created by advertising agent Knox Reeves.

In 1939, 46 of the 51 Major League Baseball All-Stars had endorsed Wheaties at one time or another. By 1939 Bud Abbot and Lou Costello had already begun perfecting their "Who's on First" comedy routine. Developed from a vaudeville routine the humor in the dialog was all about the complexities of language. On December 1, 1952 the CBS television network aired the first episode of the Abbott & Costello television series. At one point Wheaties was a sponsor. The television show's theme music was based on the famous Wheaties jingle, "Have you tried Wheaties?" first introduced on December 24, 1926. The jingle itself is adapted from "Jazz Baby", a popular song originally published in 1919. When appropriated by General Mills for their cereal in 1926, it became the first "singing radio commercial" using a jingle.