Thursday, February 25, 2010

Despite all meteorological indications . . .

.. baseball season is upon us. It’s not even ten degrees here and, with two feet of snow on the ground, I don’t think I’ll be shelving my skis anytime soon, but nonetheless, it’s definitely baseball season. The shadow of the new Minnesota Twins ballpark looms just beyond the view from my office window, ready, despite common sense, to bring outdoor major league baseball back to Minnesota. In Florida and Arizona, pitchers and catcher have been in spring training for a week, and now the position players are reporting. A certain aging shortstop from near my hometown and young catcher from my current city are both in need of new contracts. If all that isn’t enough to make you crave peanuts and crackerjacks, then I have this for you:

Dino-Baseball is the third installment in Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott’s dino-sports franchise, and, though I’m not really impartial, I think it’s hilarious.

When I was working with Barry on spec’ing out the illustrations, I had a lot of fun looking at various YouTube highlights so that we could make sure die-hard baseball geeks would recognize a few iconic moments and gestures. As much as I wanted to, we didn’t have enough space for a detailed illustration of the infield fly rule (really, you can’t learn it early enough), but there’s a lot of good baseball stuff here. For example, the raptor shortstop ought to bear some resemblance to a certain SS from Kalamazoo, Michigan. The managerial freak-out owes a lot to the best manager tantrum ever captured on film. And finally, anyone who’s ever worshipped in the pews of the cathedral at 1060 West Addison ought to recognize this scene:


(Free copy of the book to the first commenter to explain what’s going on here and why it’s heartbreaking.)


Anonymous said...

Yikes! I think it references that moment in the 2003 World Series when fan Steve Bartman reached out to try to catch a foul ball that Cubs outfielder Moises Alou was stretching for...

What a terrible "oh,No!" moment! The Cubs hadn't been in the World Series since the forties, they were up by 3 runs to 0, and they were playing in Chicago's own Wrigley Field! This incident destroyed the Cubs' composure -- they lost the game 3-8 to the Marlins (who went on to win the Series).

Biggest bummer? Steve Bartman was a CUBS fan! He had to go into hiding as result of the Bartman Incident.


Andrew Karre said...

Thanks, Tammy. You're right (though it was the NLCS, not the World Series). A Facebook commenter already claimed the free book, but thanks again for the comment.

Hazel Mitchell said...

Lisa Wheeler is awesome!

Anonymous said...

(shakes fist) SOME DAY, fiendishly fast Facebook aficionado! Some day!

(Great perspective, drama, and humor in Gott's illustration of the Bartman Incident!)

Anonymous said...

Gah. Forgot to sign. That was my fist shaking above.

Manners of a wounded water buffalo.