OGDEN NASH AND BASEBALL HISTORY. One reason that being part of a league with a history is appealing is that baseball fans generally love the history of baseball. As an example of the interest in baseball history of fans who grew up on computer games, from time to time, Nick plays in simulation games where teams are made up of players from the past. The scoring uses the actual historical performance of the players, usually in a particular year.
The Ogden Nash poem was written in 1949 about the first 50 years of the sport. Many of the players featured in the poem played between 1900 and 1920 and yet were familiar to fans in 1949 as they are now. Football and basketball don’t have the same kind of history. There is also a humor to baseball stories about the legends of the past that football and basketball don’t have.
Nash celebrates Dizzy Dean’s grammar:
(“D is for Dean,
The grammatical Diz,
When they asked, Whoâ€™s the tops?
Said correctly, I is.”)
This wikipedia entry cites perhaps Dean’s most famous line, saying that a player “slud” into third base.
Nash also includes Bobo Newsom in his poem, an example of the journeyman players who were the backbone of the game. This wikipedia entry points out that with 211 wins, Bobo is still one of the 100 winningest pitchers of all time. Yet he lost more games than he won. At a time when there were only 16 teams, Bobo in his career played for 9 of them. Like Dizzy Dean, Bobo had his own dialect. The wikipedia entry says that Bobo typically referred to everyone in the third person, including referring to himself as “Bobo”. Wikipedia notes that Bobo is the only player in the Nash poem who did not make the Hall of Fame.