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Monday, April 2, 2007

Captain John Smith's journal entry about baseball.

Okay, baseball fans, here's a great moment in parody for Opening Day from Jill Lepore's New Yorker article about Jamestown's famous diarist, Captain John Smith:

Two historians, James West Davidson and Mark Hamilton Lytle, once tried to imagine how Smith might have reported a July afternoon spent at Yankee Stadium:

Being assembled about a great field of open grass, a score of their greatest men ran out upon the field, adorned each in brightly hued jackets and breeches, with letters cunningly woven upon their Chestes, and wearinge caps . . . upon their heades, of a sort I know not what. One of their chiefs stood in the midst and would at his pleasure hurl a white ball at another chief, whose attire was of a different colour, and whether by chance or artifyce I know not the ball flew exceeding close to the man yet never injured him, but sometimes he would strike att it with a wooden club and so giveing it a hard blow would throw down his club and run away.

In other words, you can count on Smith for abundant detail, and admirable accuracy, but he's fairly likely to leave out what you most want to know: "Yankees 10, Red Sox 3."

("Our Town: Four centuries on, the battles over John Smith and Jamestown still rage," Jill Lepore, New Yorker 4.2.07; article not available online)

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 2 April 2007 at 7:58 AM

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