By Emma Span
Yogi Berra as soon as acknowledged: “If you come back to a fork within the highway, take it.” yet for lifelong baseball aficionado Emma Span, it hasn’t continually been that easy. Now, during this profitable number of essays, Span chronicles her love of the game, from early life pastime to full-blown obsession, from great holiday (becoming The Village Voice’s first employees activities reporter in years) to heartbreak (getting a crimson slip inside a year). She recounts elbowing her option to get a quote from Yankees captain Derek Jeter and looking forward to Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez to place a few pants on for an interview. She actually offers her lifeblood to work out the Mets and hops a aircraft to Taiwan, domestic to might be the biggest focus of Yankees lovers outdoors of the 5 boroughs. yet upon getting laid off and being pressured to depart her press move in the back of, Span wonders if her ardour for the game will fade. hugely not going. Baseball helped Span forge a long-lasting bond along with her father, connect to overall strangers, and undergo even the hardest occasions. With a clean voice, a devastating wit, and an alarmingly encyclopedic wisdom of the game, Span deals 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
Looking back, this was a pretty fair introduction to Mets fandom. The YES Network (that’s Yankees Entertainment and Sports, for the uninitiated) debuted in the spring semester of my junior year. I remember it clearly because I kept calling the cable provider to double-and triple-check that I’d be able to get it. I was fascinated from the very beginning, even though it launched several weeks before the season, with limited and therefore extremely repetitive programming. ) Presumably because it was so new, it featured about five ads, all local and apparently on a budget similar to the one I worked with in film class, which were aired over and over again.
And the way news didn’t really feel like news until you’d heard their reaction to it. I remember first hearing them on the car radio when my dad picked me up from middle school, and I kept listening until the pair finally split up in 2008. Given how severely they seemed to annoy each other, it’s a miracle they lasted that long. 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.
Winner of ten World Series, catcher of Don Larsen’s perfect game, notable quotable. Yogi in the flesh was a bit of an anticlimax—he was a small, sturdy, gnomelike man who looked quite a bit like my grandpa Murray. He was pleasant but clearly going through a long, tiring routine, understandably on autopilot. My boss introduced me at one point, when I brought Yogi a glass of water, but I had no illusions that he’d taken any notice of me. “Ninety percent of the game is half mental” is of course a famous Yogiism, though there’s some debate as to whether he ever said those exact words.
90% of the Game Is Half Mental. And Other Tales From the Edge of Baseball Fandom by Emma Span