Kerouacs @ Tombstoners

McLaury Field on March 12, 2000
Celebrating the 78th Anniversary of Jack Kerouac's Birth

The Jack Kerouac Memorial Cosmic Baseball Game is played each year on the birthday of the American writer Jack Kerouac. Had he not died in 1969, Kerouac would be celebrating his 78th birthday today. For this game, members of the Kerouac Family traveled to Arizona to play a team made up of individuals involved, directly or indirectly, with the infamous 1881 shoot out near the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

On the surface it does not seem like the Kerouac family of New England bears much congruence with the nexus of families present at the shootout near the OK Corral in downtown Tombstone, Arizona. We were hoping some obvious evidence of morphic resonance would come to light. We had anticipated that an unruly group of Tombstone cowboys would take the field at McLaury Field (itself several clicks out of town and away from the OK Corral.) We didn't think the Tombstoners could get organized enough to win a cosmic baseball game. Not that the Kerouacs are paradigms of self-discipline but we anticipated that the Kerouacs would make short order of the Tombstoners.

Despite having been on opposite sides of the gun barrels during the 30-second shootout on October 26, 1881 the brothers Earp and the brothers McLaury and Clanton demonstrated some first-rate teamwork and talent on the cosmic baseball field. The fact that this historically unruly bunch was managed by the sniveling two-faced collaborator Johnnie Behan suggests that moral fecundity is not related to baseball team management prowess (real or imagined).

There are words of Jack Kerouac written in a letter to his friend Neal Cassady which make you think that Jack idealized the wild west of Earp and associates. He thought that Cassady was in spirit a latter-day wrangler. "I was saying that there were two kinds of western youths, the wranglers and the city boys..." (Kerouac letter to Cassady, January 10, 1951.)

The face-off at the OK Corral in 1881 has also been looked at as a battle between the more urban people of Tombstone and the rural wranglers and cowboys. With the coming of the silver prospecting business, Tombstone and the Arizona Territory began to grow at a phenomenal rate. Over five thousand souls lived in the Tombstone area at the time. Wyatt Earp and kin represented the urban faction. The more rural-based ranchers like the McLaury's had political sympathies with the former confederate fighters and southern farmers and they were politically opposed to the Northern folk. Families like the McLaurys and the Clantons made money by stealing Mexican cattle and selling it to the U.S. Army. Facing off at the OK Corral were the ranchers and the city-folk...the Town and the City. The Town and the City happens to be the name of Kerouac's first novel, published in 1950. Of course, Kerouac's novel has not a thing to do with the events in the Tombstone of 1881.

But this cosmic game attempts to mix the Kerouac family with the Earps and Clantons and McLaurys, at least on the morphological field of cosmic baseball. Here, Tom McLaury is a cosmic hero and not a dead victim of Doc Holliday's bullets. In this game nineteen year-old Billy Clanton and Wyatt Earp work together to win.

In real life Jack Kerouac was something of a power hitter when he played the game. He also invented his own unique fantasy baseball league which he supplemented with detailed records (an apparent obsession with great American writers). But on this day and in this game Kerouac was 0-for-3 and only his father Leo showed any pop off the old bat. His third wife, Stella, did bop a single in the ninth to keep things momentarily alive but nothing came of it. On this 78th anniversary of his birth, Jack Kerouac and his relatives suffered through a drought of offense. Even so, we are delighted to honor Jack Kerouac's disembodied spirit with this cosmic baseball game.

The Kerouacs

(L-R) TOP : Leo Kerouac, Stella Kerouac, Jan Kerouac, Edie Kerouac, Joan Kerouac
BOTTOM: Jean-Baptiste Kerouac, Jack Kerouac, Gabrielle Kerouac, Carolyn Kerouac, MKerouac

Batting Player Position Description
1 Leo Kerouac Rightfield Jack Kerouac's father
2 Stella Sampas Kerouac Shortstop Jack Kerouac's third wife
3 Jan Kerouac Thirdbase Jack Kerouac's daughter
4 Edie Parker Kerouac Centerfield Jack Kerouac's first wife
5 Joan Haverty Kerouac Catcher Jack Kerouac's second wife
6 Jean-Baptiste Kerouac Firstbase Jack Kerouac's grandfather
7 Jack Kerouac Leftfield American writer, 1922-1969
8 Gabrielle Kerouac Secondbase Jack Kerouac's mother
9 Carolyn Kerouac Pitcher Jack Kerouac's sister
Mgr Maurice Keroack Manager First North American Kerouac
The first North American Kerouac, Maurice-Louis Alexandre Le Bris de Keroack arrived from France in 1730. Jack Kerouac's paternal grandfather, Jean Baptiste was Maurice's great-great-great-grandson. Leo Alcide Kerouac, Jack's father married Gabrielle Levesque in Nashua, New Hampshire on October 15, 1915. Carolyn Kerouac, Jack's older sister was born October 25, 1918 (almost 37 years after the shootout at the OK Corral.) Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on Sunday March 12, 1922. On August 22, 1944 in New York City Jack Kerouac married Edie Parker (in 1946 the marriage was annulled.) Joan Haverty married Jack Kerouac in New York on November 17, 1950 (by April 1951 Joan and Jack had separated.) On February 16, 1952 Joan gave birth to Jan Kerouac who will, despite having been ignored by her father, follow in his footsteps as a writer. On November 18, 1966 Jack Kerouac married Stella Sampas in Hyannis, Massachusetts. None of the people on this team are alive. Jack Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday October 22, 1969.

The Tombstoners

(L-R) TOP : Billy Clanton, Morgan Earp, Frank Mclaury, Wyatt Earp, Josie Earp
BOTTOM: Virgil Earp, Tom McLaury, Ike Clanton, Doc Holliday, John Behan

Batting Player Position Description
1 Billy Clanton Shortstop Ike Clanton's brother
2 Morgan Earp Thirdbase Wyatt Earp's brother
3 Tom McLaury Rightfield Frank McLaury's brother
4 Wyatt Earp Pitcher Lawman, 1848-1929
5 Josie Earp Leftfield Wyatt Earp's third wife
6 Virgil Earp Firstbase Wyatt Earp's brother
7 Frank McLaury Secondbase Tom McLaury's brother
8 Ike Clanton Centerfield Billy Clanton's brother
9 Doc Holliday Catcher Wyatt Earp's friend
MGR John Behan Field Manager Tombstone Sheriff
The members of this team were involved in the famous shootout near the OK Corral on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona. Billy Clanton, the youngest member of the Clanton family brothers was mortally wounded during the shootout. Tom and Frank McLaury, nearby ranch owners and associates of the Clanton family also died on the overcast Wednesday afternoon. These three men were shot by Wyatt Earp, his two brothers Virgil and Morgan, and their friend, Doc Holliday. Billy Clanton's older brother, Ike Clanton, escaped injury by running for cover after the shooting began. (Who actually took the first shot that day remains an open question.) Team Manager Johnnie Behan, as Cochise County sheriff was nearby and may have even been a catalyst to the shootout. For both personal and political reasons Behan would not have missed the removal of the Earp brothers in Tombstone. Josie Earp was not at the scene of the shooting. However her indirect involvement is clear. While not yet married to Wyatt, Josie had already left the arms of Johnnie Behan for the embraces of Wyatt Earp.

Kerouacs, 1 @ Tombstoners, 4

Scoring Summary

1st Inning Tombstoners. Billy Clanton leads off trhe bottom of the first with a towering homerun over the centerfield fence. Tombstoners lead 1-0..

2nd Inning Tombstoners. Doc Holliday hits a 2-out solo homerun. Tombstoners lead 2-0.

5th Inning Tombstoners. Doc Holliday, Morgan and Wyatt Earp manufacture a run with three singles. Tombstoners lead 3-0.

8th Inning Tombstoners. Tom McLaury hits a lead-off homerun. Tombstoners lead 4-0.

9th Inning Kerouacs. Leo Kerouac hits a lead-off homerun. Tombstoners Win Game, 4-1.

Kerouacs, 1 @ Tombstoners, 4

Scoresheet Abbreviations & Symbols
- single   = double   FO flyout   GO ground out   LO lineout   W walk   K strikeout   HR homerun   DP doubleplay   E error
1B Firstbase   2B Secondbase   3B Thirdbase   SS Shortstop   LF Leftfield   CF Centerfield   RF Rightfield   C Catcher   P Pitcher


Boxscore Abbreviations
AB At Bat    H Hit    HR Homerun    RBI Run Batted In    B AVE Batting Average


Pitching Abbreviations
IP Innings Pitched    H Hits    R Runs    ER Earned Runs    BB Walks    K Strikeouts;     W Won    L Lost

Errors Gabrielle Kerouac (throwing)  Double Plays Kerouacs-1; Tombstoners-0

Left-on-Base Kerouacs-4; Tombstoners-5

Homeruns Leo Kerouac; Billy Clanton; Doc Holliday; Tom McLaury

Triples none  Doubles Tom McLaury

Stolen Bases none Caught Stealing none

Game Most Cosmic Player Tom McLaury

Time 2 hours 39 minutes
Attendance 6,035
Umpires Marty McSorely; Dennis Rodman; John Rocker

Tom McLaury
Game MCP

Jack Kerouac at Bat

Jack Kerouac Memorial Game 2000
Published: March 12, 2000
Copyright 2000 by the Cosmic Baseball Association