By Emma Span
Yogi Berra as soon as acknowledged: “If you return to a fork within the street, take it.” yet for lifelong baseball aficionado Emma Span, it hasn’t regularly been that easy. Now, during this profitable number of essays, Span chronicles her love of the game, from adolescence pastime to full-blown obsession, from titanic holiday (becoming The Village Voice’s first employees activities reporter in years) to heartbreak (getting a purple slip inside of a year). She recounts elbowing her solution to get a quote from Yankees captain Derek Jeter and expecting Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez to place a few pants on for an interview. She actually provides her lifeblood to determine the Mets and hops a aircraft to Taiwan, domestic to probably the most important focus of Yankees fanatics outdoor of the 5 boroughs. yet once you have laid off and being compelled to depart her press go at the back of, Span wonders if her ardour for the game will fade. hugely not going. Baseball helped Span forge an enduring bond along with her father, hook up with overall strangers, and suffer even the hardest occasions. With a clean voice, a devastating wit, and an alarmingly encyclopedic wisdom of the game, Span bargains a brand new point of view on America’s favourite pasttime—as a journalist, a baseball nerd, a daughter, and a fervent stay-until-the-last-out fan.
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Extra info for 90% of the Game Is Half Mental. And Other Tales From the Edge of Baseball Fandom
Maybe it was “Ninety percent of this game is mental and the other half is physical,” or “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical”—or maybe it was actually Phillies manager Danny Ozark who said whatever was said. I don’t think it really matters, though. Someone said it, or something like it, and if it wasn’t Yogi then it should have been. With old baseball stories, I’m of the “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend” school of thought. About nine years after that book signing, I saw Yogi again, in the Legends Field locker room in Tampa, when he was a spring training advisor to the Yankees and I was a fledgling sportswriter.
Anyway, the Yankees traded for Raul Mondesi and the Dog flipped his shit. I’m not sure why this move in particular so irked him; I suppose because it was so much money for a merely okay player, and because the Yankees at the time didn’t have a burning need for another outfielder. The Dog was spluttering and yelling, which wasn’t unusual for him, but with such passion and force that at least one caller expressed concerns about his health. It made for an entertaining afternoon, and it’s probably one reason Mondesi stands out to me among a sea of other players who’ve come and gone over the years.
But it’s not limited by gender. My dad and I were always fairly close, but we had our fights like anyone, and once in a while they were real blowouts. Nobody on earth has the ability to piss me off faster under the right circumstances, and vice versa. Perhaps our biggest and longest brawl came in my seventh-grade year—heading into the strike-shortened 1994 season, when Paul O’Neill totally would have won the batting title if he’d had more time, I will always believe—when, after a few miserable and learning-lite years at the public middle school, my dad decided I would transfer to a private school, whether I wanted to or not.