Baseball Jane Austen style

Filed under: Fun,News — marcia at 7:53 pm on Friday, November 14, 2008

The book “Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please” asserts that the British invented baseball, and cites the opening pages of Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey” as proof.

On the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert did a great riff on what Austen baseball would be like. Here is an excerpt: (The video is also below, with the Austen bit as the second segment)

“Austen wasn’t writing about American baseball. It was a Jane Austen version, where the ball is not hurled about rudely, but introduced to the bat through proper channels at a society function. And one does not steal bases like a commoner; one sends word ahead to the next base by messenger, requesting permission to approach at the base’s leisure. Of course, what the bat cannot reveal is that though he loves the ball desperately, he has sworn an oath of loyalty to the glove to whom the ball was promised. So the bat must pretend he hates the ball, swatting at it, though he wishes nothing more than to profess his undying affection, but he can’t, he mustn’t, he shan’t! And so, the bat must retreat to the gardens of his estate and… pine.”

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