As the new season approaches it behoves us to look back at some of the great figures from the game of baseball, both on the field and off. And surely there has been no greater,or braver, writer on the game than Lewis Carroll. As we all know at the time of his greatest work baseball was banned in England due to the belief that Americans were “loud and stupid” (this was later proven to be true by intensive scientific research, but at the time it was mere supposition) thus Carroll was forced to disguise his love for the game in a series of allegories that still, to this day, incite debate and controversy in locker rooms across the country.
No mere blog can do justice to his wide range of subjects, but below are just a few quotes that resonate through the ages;
“Sentence first, verdict afterwards.” Carroll felt that the Mitchell report was a travesty of justice.
“If you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.” Carroll also had little time for players who took steroids.
“Begin at the beginning and go on until you come to the end;then stop” This was Carroll’s rather simplified version of the rules of baseball that he submitted during his testimony of “The Great Baseball Trial of 1856”
“His answer trickled through my head like water through a sieve” Carroll hated interviewing Barry Bonds.
“I have proved by actual trial that a letter that takes an hour to write,takes only about three minutes to read” Carroll foresaw the lot of the MLB Blogger with startling accuracy.
“Twinkle twinkle little bat, how I wonder where you’re at! Up above the world you fly, like a tea-tray in the sky” Carroll’s stint as hitting coach for the Kansas City Royals’ lasted less than three hours.
“No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise” Carroll’s idea of an overweight male dance group for the Marlin’s was derided at the time.
Curtsey whilst you’re thinking what to say.It saves time” Tim McCarver was baffled by Carroll’s answer to what he had learned during his time in the game.
“I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then” The famous opening sentence to Carroll’s searing expose of opium use in baseball (later made into the hit film “Freaky Friday”).
“….if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you’d be? You’d be nowhere! Why, you’re only a sort of thing in his dream.” Carroll’s belief that MLB will cease to exist once Bud Selig “wakes up” is now widely accepted to be true.