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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: May ::
Baseball/Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0433  Thursday, 11 May 2006

From: 		Elihu Pearlman <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 10 May 2006 06:54:20 -0600
Subject: 	Baseball/Shakespeare

An unusual baseball-Shakespeare confluence is reported in Howard 
Bryant's earnest history of baseball in the 1990s called Juicing the 
Game (Viking, 2005).  Scholars of a certain age will remember that Jim 
Bouton's Ball Four (1970) was a very good baseball book.  It was written 
from the player's perspective, and, if memory serves, neither 
sensationalized nor glamorized professional athletics.  But Ball Four 
did not make Bouton's colleagues happy.  "Bouton revealed to the world 
what most everyone in baseball already knew, and what most people 
outside it suspected:  Players took amphetamines....  They had girls in 
different cities."  Ball Four sold two million copies but Bouton himself 
was ostracized and eventually harassed out of baseball.  Juicing the 
Game recalls  that sometime after Ball Four appeared, Bouton was "on the 
mound against Cincinnati... when he heard the voice of Pete Rose 
bellowing from the top step of the dugout, "Fuck you, Shakespeare" 
(195).  Literary criticism is only rarely so explicit.

Are there other instances in which the epithet "Shakespeare" has been 
employed as a term of derogation?

E. Pearlman

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