Friday, April 2, 2010


“That's right, you too can be the proud owner
Of the quality goes in before the name goes on . . .”


It’s pretty simple really, and quite obvious if you ask me. The great symbol of the United States of America is not the bald eagle, nor is it the Statue of Liberty. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with those things, they have their place an’ all. I’ve never eaten bald eagle but I imagine it tastes like chicken. And heck, I’ve been to see Lady Liberty – even climbed up to her crown and looked out through the windows at the world beyond.

But let’s face it, if we’re looking for the most suitable symbol to represent America to the rest of the world, you can’t do better than the classic Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Ask yourself, “What’s America’s pastime?” Go ahead, ask yourself – I’ll wait.

La-dee-dah, La-dee-dah . . .

OK, what answer did you come up with? That’s right! Everyone knows that “Baseball is America’s pastime.” And baseball gave us some of America’s greatest heroes like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams and Hank Aaron. Now did you ever stop to think where those three giants - well, not giants in the team sense as they played for the Yankees and the Red Sox and the Braves respectively, but giants of the baseball diamond – did you ever stop to think where they would have been without baseball bats? That’s right, they’d have been used car salesmen and America would have been a poorer country for it.

History tells us that when he was a boy, George Washington chopped down a cherry tree. But Mr. History, as usual, has it all wrong – he could never pass a real history test. The truth is that when he was a boy, Washington cut down a White Ash tree, a.k.a. an American Biltmore, from which he fashioned America’s first baseball bat. Many years later, while leading the fight in the Revolutionary War, The Father Of His Country lost his teeth due to poor dental hygiene (Ben Franklin hadn't invented the toothbrush yet). He wasn’t too old to command troops, but since he was now too old to play baseball, Washington recarved his baseball bat into a set of wooden false teeth. I’ll bet you didn’t know that Washington’s wooden teeth had hit 127 home runs, did you?

I’ll bet you also didn’t know that Charlie McCarthy was once Babe Ruth’s 73 inch, 142 ounce bat.
The best baseball bats have always come from Louisville, Kentucky, and really, what’s more American Heartlandish than Kentucky?

These bats have always expressed violence pretty well as well. Remember that scene in the first 'Rocky' movie, when Paulie, liquored up on good ol’ Kentucky bourbon, takes a Louisville bat and starts to dismantle a dresser top with it? Not even Rocky Balboa wanted to tangle with him then! And wasn’t there a scene in 'Scarface', when Al Pacino, playing the part of Tony Montana, uses a Louisville Slugger to nearly decapitate some dude? We generally associate machine guns with gangster violence, but a baseball bat is so much more personal, don’tcha think?

Just last weekend, I was watching a 1993 movie called ‘Falling Down.’ In one scene, the out-of-work protagonist, went into a little convenience market and, armed with nothing but a baseball bat, single-handedly rolled prices back to 1965. Now THAT’S how you deal with inflation, baby – with a baseball bat!

America was born and raised on violence. I mean, seriously, take the violence out of America and what have you got left? Winooski, Vermont.

My dear friend the Flying Aardvark lives in an apartment in West Hollywood, California. That area is just loaded with unemployed dancers and those fellas can get pretty territorial about the colors they wear. If they think someone is muscling in on their claim to, say, purple or hot pink, it can get pretty nasty. So, the last time I was out there to visit the Flyin’ Aard, I gave her a sawed-off baseball bat to protect herself with. It may not be quite as intimidating as a sawed-off shotgun, but nevertheless, now she doesn’t have to live in such fear of some deranged dancer breaking into her apartment to feed his lavender habit. Still, she needs to be careful walking the streets at night as she never knows when she’ll inadvertently stray into the crossfire of a gangland turf war between the Teals and the Fuchsias.

Any way you look at it, the Louisville Slugger baseball bat is the symbol that, overall, best represents the United States of America.

"Batter up! Play ball!"
"Kill the umpire!"


I’m perhaps the least finicky eater God ever created. In all honesty, I like the taste of just about everything. I mean, within reason. I’m excluding those ridiculous unfood dishes like Rocky Mountain Oysters, Cricket Cacciatore, or any stew made from what’s left of a diseased animal after a jackal pack attack.

But of the “real” foods, I like everything in varying degrees, with only three exceptions. And one of those exceptions is beets. First of all, don’t even tell me that those things grow naturally. That horrendous red color could not have been created by Mother Nature; it was clearly invented in some laboratory by some wicked, mad scientist who intends to stain the world and take it over someday. God doesn't even recognize the color of beets!

I own a 1986 NFL films VHS tape titled, “Crunch Time: Highlights Of The NFL’s Hardest Hitters.” There’s a segment in the program on Howie “Caveman” Long who, in his time, was considered professional football’s “most menacing defensive presence.” And yet, Howie hated violence. He says: “I appall violence, it just makes me ill. It’s right up there with beets. Yech!”

I’m tempted to say that all of the most manly men – like Howie and me – hate beets. But then I get to thinking that I best not make such a bold statement. For all I know, Rosie O’Donnell might love beets and might take exception to a statement like that, and he might come over here and kick the crap outta me.

When I see beets on my plate I just start singing like Michael Jackson, “It doesn't matter who's wrong or right, just beat it! Beat it! Beat it! Beat it!”

As I said, there are only three legitimate foods that I hate. Beets are one. To the first person who can correctly guess the other two, I will send 10,000 cases of creamed corn and 10,000 bushels of cucumbers.

Drat! I think I may have said too much.

Le McQuote Du Jour:
It is well to remember that evil is a pretty bad thing!
~ Batman (the 1960’s version)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in Burgville, Buenos Aires

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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.



Hi, I just adored your 2 "B" post.
I can well understand about the baseball bat as over here in the UK soccer is THE GAME.My youngest son became a pro soccer player when he was younger but had a series of injuries so had to give it up.
I wish I was more adventurous with food, I like plain rather than all these fancy dishes they seem to show on TV,

Thanks for sharing,
Take care.

arlee bird said...

StMcBuddy-- another winning post. I mean any post that mentions one of my favorite movies, FALLING DOWN, has to be good (I keep forgetting to add that one to my profile). I think you hit a home run with that baseball bat symbol.

But the beets aren't that bad. Not in moderation. A little bit from the salad bar on your salad isn't that bad, although I am a little paranoid about salad bars or buffets, but no need to get into that here.

Once I bought some real beets--the ones pulled out of the ground and found in the produce department. I was going to fix them fresh. Have you ever tried to cut up a raw beet. If they were big enough, you could make baseball bats out of beets.

Liked it, yes, I did-- your bit not the beet.


Marjorie said...

I like beets, but maybe it's 'cause I'm a girl.

Great post. You made me chuckle several times.

mousiemarc said...

My dad hated beets too. I didn't care for them growing up but stomached them just for the sake of nauseating him. Can't remember the last time I ate a beet.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Thanks, YVONNE!
Your son must have been quite an athlete to go pro. The only reason baseball is better than soccer is because you can't beat a man senseless with a soccer ball - need a bat for dat!

rLEE-b ~
I dunno brother... if "Caveman" Howie says "Yech!" to beets, I ain't inclined to argue with him. Have you seen the size of that man? But then again, if Rosie says "Yum!" to beets, I guess I'd have to change my tune. I mean, she might be even bigger than Howie. And if not bigger, certainly tougher and meaner. ;o)

Glad ya enjoyed it! Thanks for checkin' in.

>>I didn't care for them growing up but stomached them just for the sake of nauseating him.<<
Now THAT'S a rebellious son. Ha!-Ha!
Hey, Happy Easter, Brother. I need to find time to Email ya about sumpin'.


~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."

~ Proverbs 26:11>

ModernDayDrifter said...

Gotta love a blog about baseball, especially one that breaks down the history like you did. You are definitely right. When we think of American Heroes, baseball stars are right up on the top of the list! Very good post! Thanks for stopping by my blog!