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Elysian Fields Quarterly - Summer 2004

  • Issue Number: Volume 21 Number 3
  • Published Date: Summer 2004

Imagine being able to put into words the feeling of a home run on a summer night and you’ll have the All-Star issue of Elysian Fields Quarterly, a unique and unabashedly ardent literary magazine devoted solely to America’s once (and future—well, we can dream, can’t we?) favorite sport, baseball. What are the Elysian Fields? According to EFQ, they were “the grounds in Hoboken, New Jersey, where the old Knickerbocker Base Ball Club developed the game of baseball and played the first match game according to Knickerbocker Rules (the “New York game”) on June 19, 1846.” (Also, in Greek mythology, the name for paradise.) “The Baseball Review,” as EFQ bills itself, features expert commentary (Neil deMause on the fall in attendance despite {because of?} all the new stadium-building, and Tom Faulkner [who, his bio tells us, has a cat named Fungo Marie] on living through a losing season with the team you love: “it can always get worse”); history (Chuck Nan’s and Richard Leutzinger’s respective pieces on past tours of Japan by the Giants and the Seals); nostalgia (John P. Frey’s poignant “Memories of the Shibe”); reviews of baseball books both new and not so (Michael Sokolove on Darryl Strawberry, Charles Einstein’s reissued classic on the Say Hey Kid, Willie’s Time); and yes, even fiction and poetry. In addition, you’ll find quizzes (on trivia and trades) and ads for genuine big league baseball mud (individual booklets only one dollar each) and “Can the Commish!” t-shirts sporting the slogan “FIX BASEBALL: Contract Bud. (And do something about that hair, too).” If you’re a fan (and you aren’t Bud Selig), you’ll find yourself doing the wave (yes, right there in your chair, all by yourself) for this smart and quirky insider’s look at the game its contributors write about the same way many of them once played—just for the love.

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Review Posted on August 31, 2004

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