It's the time of year when grills grace backyards with fragrant charcoal smoke, chins drip with fresh watermelon juice, and the gentle drone of neighborhood lawnmowers beat back that evergrowing green tide. Every day pushes sunset a little later into the edge of night, and in the morning you can smell the dew steaming off from the tips of grass. Summer is here... and it's brought baseball along.
One of the things I look forward to in the middle of the year is setting aside the latter half of a day, soaking in the ambience of a ballpark while trying to avoid mustard stains on my pants, and adding a new scorecard to my collection. I first started keeping score on a whim several years ago at a Durham Bulls game on the 4th of July, the first baseball game I had been to in about a decade. I'm a pretty obsessive notetaker, so when I gave it a shot...
I was totally hooked. As my poor pregnant wife completely roasted in her outfield seat next to mine (and eventually took solace in the shade near the concessions... sorry Ashley!), I watched the game—no, took part in the game—with an awareness so keen it almost felt like I had picked up several new senses.
From Roy Hobbs' “Wonderboy” in The Natural to Tom Cruise’ thinking bat in A Few Good Men, baseball bats hold a special place in the American masculine consciousness. A versatile weapon on the field, the baseball bat embodies an element of the American dream wherever it goes. The lone batter, a man himself against an entire team, hoping to hit it big.
It seems strange to say it, but the process of creating baseballs that conform to Major League Baseballs standards is actually a pretty secretative process. Certainly, anyone whose played with a ball to deconstruction can admit that it's a leather exterior wrapped around a bunch of string and a bouncy ball in the center. But it's the precision cutting, curved stitching, and precise size
Earlier this month, the New Jersey Nets moved to the new Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, New York, and got a brand new logo by partial owner, Jay-Z. The logo is a basic black-and-white treatment, with the shield motif, basketball, and team name from the previous incarnation reduced to a two-dimensional plane inspired by old public transporation signs. It wasn't super well-recieved by professional designers, who explain, "the logo family is technically worthless and embarrassing.
As a kid, I tried to collect baseball cards. And by tried I meant, pretend like I knew what I was talking about when all the other kids and the neighborhood were going on about their collections, and then getting a .79 chewing gum pack once every six months in hopes there were some gems in there. (There weren't)
So, of course, I can't speak with any authority on these funny finds from modernman.com, but they're plenty good for a laugh.
Last week was opening day in major league baseball, so I'm digging this little graphic gem. Design student Russ Machmeyer created the "Die Hard Index" a visual representation of fan commitment, as determined by cost of ticket vs. income, game attendance, and winning/losing record.