Visitor Comment
Rick Klaw Blog Comments of November 2, 2007

The Cosmic Baseball Association began in 1981...[it] ponder[s] the glut of cultural, historical, and biographical factoids...How can anyone manage all that information? What's it all mean, anyway? Fifteen years later, [the CBA] might have used a database to make sense of it; fortunately, [they] hit upon a far more engaging structural metaphor.

The Association has achieved a cult-like status with a 2000 article in the New York Times and even a regularly produced online Journal of the Cosmic Baseball Association. I still don't understand exactly what they are doing, but it sure seems like a lot of fun.




Survey Respondent
CBA Survey Comment: January 10, 2007

What the hell is going on here? Why do I feel as though I fell through some kind of vortex into a wonderful dimension-baseball X?



Baseball Miscellany
Geoff Young @ knucklecurve.com: November 26, 2006

Geez, I remember stumbling across the Cosmic Baseball Association many years ago. It baffled me then, and it baffles me now. The 2006 season is complete. George W. Bush led the league in batting average, Ulysses S. Grant led in homers, Gregory Corso led in RBI, Jack Micheline led in wins and strikeouts, and Gary Snyder led in ERA. I have to confess that while I have no clue what's going on here, I'm pleased to see that Snyder won the ERA title, as he is one of my all-time favorite poets.



Opiniatrety Postings
Matt Weiner, Diana Buccafurni: January 1-2, 2005

While verifying that Bishop Berkeley was married, I ran across Cosmic Baseball, which--well, you'll just have to look. Here's Berkeley's stats. Here's an account of the recent 2-1 victory of Major League Baseball over the District of Columbia. I guess this is the team I root for. The Interweb is a very odd place...Posted by Matt Weiner at January 1, 2005 10:22 PM
*How is it that you find these things? Posted by: Diana Buccafurni at January 1, 2005 10:26 PM
*It was the #1 Google hit for "Bishop Berkeley"+married. Now the question is: How is it that things like this become the #1 Google hit for "Bishop Berkeley"+married?. Posted by: Matt Weiner at January 2, 2005 10:21 AM




Cup 'o Books
Review at Cup 'o Books Website: February 22, 2004

The CBA was founded in 1981 by a group of writers and artists who had a love of baseball, but were disturbed by the greed and commercialism of the game. I think the latest Yankee signing would show them how much baseball has changed. (Wink, wink). The number of CBA teams and games played has grown, and now three leagues (the Over, Middle, and Under) have 52 active and non-active teams. Each team is formed around a central idea. For example the official favorite team of the Cup O' Books Organization is named the Eden Bohemians. The Bohemians are made up of writers, poets, and playwrights. For example, Ernest Hemingway played right field for the team during the 2003 season and has been a member of the team since 1998. You can even check his stats. On August 23, 1999, against the Telecity Superbas (a team of television actors and actress that has Joey Bishop at right field), "Papa" went 2 for 5 with one homerun and five RBIs. If you visit the site, you will find that every one of these surreal games has a box score. On a side note, the word "surreal" has suffered from overuse, but it is not a cliché in this context. Each league has a team that wins the pennant.

So how weird and cool does this get? Well, let's have a look at some of the other teams. To be a member of the Paintland Vermeers, one must be a Vermeer painting. Another team, the Fictionals, is made up of fictional characters. For example, the shortstop position is played by Godot and Harold Hill (The Music Man) is the catcher. An interesting tidbit, the Fictionals have been locked in a perpetual game with The Biblicals (if you can't figure it out, I ain't tellin' you!) since 1999. After 752 innings the score stood tied at 14 runs each. While many games are played within the regular season, people can write in and request personal games. One of my favorite personal games is Money versus Emotions. The pitchers for the game were Silver Dollar and Apathy. Money won 8-5.

The site is very tongue in cheek. As one reads the history of the CBA, one wonders how much of it is really true. Deadpan and outrageous, this site is a winner. Check it out. You have to see it to understand.




18 Minute Gap- Baseball Archives
Mike Jones Post at 8minutegap.com, January 5, 2004

I'm not sure what to make of this. "Inspired" is the first word that comes to mind, but then I'm not sure what it would have been inspired by. But if you think "baseball is a metaphor for life" is much too limiting to baseball, check out the Cosmic Baseball Association. It's sort of two parts W.P. Kinsella, one part George Will, and one part Thomas Pynchon. All of whom I recommend. Except for Will. (Thanks to Zed at Meme Machine Go for pointing it out.)



Member/Guestbook Entry
Comments by Sundardas Brown on Dec 7, 2003. [Sun Dec 07 23:40:39]

Would someone please send me the de-coder ring that I may understand just what the f**k this site is about? I know you all are communicating something.... does it have to do with insider trading and that guy in Santa Barbara who got busted? Coyote/Tiegs made money from the guy....or is this the new revolution? Is this where the real underground is now? I know this ain't about baseball....or poetry....it's about sending messages in code that you don't want others to understand....am i right? VidarcapturesFenrir



Member/Guestbook Entry
Comments by Alicia on December 20, 2002. [Fri Dec 20 21:28:48 2002]

A supreme example of the delight that is given when the fantastic transcends the actual.



STLToday.com
In Pop Life (Column)
Best of: Rooting outside of the box--one fan's take on "Fantasy Baseball" by Chris King
. September 30, 2001

[T]he Cosmic Baseball Association does justice to both fantasy and baseball. CBA takes baseball as "a metaphor for the life of the mind," with a focus "more poetic than athletic." Imaginary baseball teams composed of Beat poets and insects may not be for everyone, but it does honor baseball's ability to spark the imagination.



British Broadcasting Company Online
"Jack Kerouac- On the Road to Desolation: Links". July, 2001

We just don't understand this site at all, but there's obviously some strange logic at work: "Dharma Beats" (a selection of major Beat figures) have been one of the teams in The Cosmic Baseball Association since 1982. Burroughs, Cassady, Kerouac, Ginsberg - they're all in there. Mind you, other teams feature Chelsea Clinton, Mick Jagger and Frank Zappa's Lumpy Gravy - all for no obviously explained reason...Nurse!



Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal
"Faith in Play" Column by Bethany Bradsher. April 20, 2001

"an intricate ideological network"

No other sport inspires such flights of fancy, and only America's Game could birth something as esoteric as the Cosmic Baseball Association, which for 20 years has created match-ups between teams like the Nirvanaville Yogis and the Franklinton Zappas.

With 26 active teams and 27 others that have competed in the past, the CBA uses baseball as a vehicle to provide enlightenment and intellectual debate in areas like the arts, science, history and philosophy. Do you admire millionaires? Jump on the bandwagon of the Heartland Capitalists, whose roster includes Paul Allen, Warren Buffett and Michael Eisner. Are you steeped in presidential trivia? You might be a fan of the Washington Presidents, which is comprised entirely of former commanders in chief. For those wanting to combine their favorite sport with the Word of God, there's the Biblicals, a team that features Ezekiel on the mound and Miriam in right field.

Other rosters in the CBA pay homage to pianists, anarchists, explorers and insects. And the players don't necessarily have to be human. The aforementioned Zappas squad is made up of the first 30 albums released by musician Frank Zappa. The Paintland Vermeers' lineup consists of famous works of Dutch painter Jan Vermeer.




NBCi
Top Site Reviews- March 1, 2001

This isn't so much a site about baseball as it is a site about free ideas and deep thinkers thrown into the baseball arena. We could explain more, but it would probably be better for you to see for yourself. You won't be sorry.



ContentMail
Cool Site of the Day- November 9, 2000

The perfect theory of life for this post-World Series, post-election haze has to be "Cosmic Baseball" -- the belief that everything in this world can be understood in terms of baseball. Someone (with a little too much time on his hands, if you ask me) has actually created a slew of bizarre Cosmic Baseball teams (representing major universal-type forces) with rosters full of players alive and dead, human and inanimate. In recent regular league play, the Woodsox (1960's personalities) beat the Vanguards (world-famous painters), 8-4. In non-league play, Food topped Medicine, thanks to their star pitcher and game MCP (Most Cosmic Player), Almond. Money also beat Emotion and the homerun derby between Bush and Gore has turned out to be a real nail-biter.

I told you it was weird.




New York Times
Article: "A Heady 'Cosmic Baseball' by Matthew Mirapaul. October 26, 2000.

The Cosmic Baseball Association [is] a fantasy-baseball site for those who favor intellectual pursuits over actual baseball...Compared with typical fantasy- baseball leagues, in which a virtual team's success in the standings depends on its major league players' real-world performance, the C.B.A. is purely imaginary. A computer program is used to simulate games between teams of the famous and infamous, fictional characters, interesting numbers, popular songs and other thematically related rosters...[The C.B.A.] asserts that baseball, with its vast network of people and events, fanatically kept histories and human dramas, functions as a metaphor for the life of the mind. After visiting the site, Mr.[Robert] Coover [author of the novel 1968 novel,The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.], said he had been entertained by the C.B.A.'s ability to refract the world's weirdness "through the sane prism of baseball."



Fred Camper Film & Art Links
Comments by Fred Camper. May, 2000

One of the strangest and most obsessive sites on the 'Net, the Cosmic Baseball Association, has a lot of material on avant-garde film. If you can figure the site out, please let me know!



Member/Guestbook Entry
Comments by Jill Rotunno. March 14, 2000

I have always been a baseball fan, and I do a unit each spring for my junior high English classes. I came upon your site while searching for internet resources to use in this unit. I enjoyed the insight you shared into both baseball and teaching. It's always nice to know others feel as you, and it's not just dementia!



Site du Jour of the Day
Site of the Day for January 12, 2000
review by Edward J. Pelegrino

The Cosmic Baseball Association could initially be confused for another Fantasy Baseball League, enough so to put off even the most dedicated fans of the real game. There's a certain poetic justice in all of that though. The Cosmic Baseball Association is about personalities to be sure, but not the people you'd normally associate with baseball. Rather than follow every strike and scratch from guys making millions of dollars a year, players and management are folks you would never put together, especially in a thought that included baseball. The Cosmic Baseball Association has been pitting teams such as the Delta Dragons and the Paradise Pisces against each other since 1981. To give an idea of the diversity here, the transfer of ownership of the Delta Dragons from the Muse Euterpe to John Lee Hooker on December 16, 1999 and the fact that former Paradise Pisces pitcher Chelsea Clinton started as General Manager of the team last season sort of sums it all up. This is true spectator sport where visitors can read biographical data about the individuals involved, find pointers to outside resources and with the Winter Rookie Draft coming up on January 26th, pick the team to watch when the 2000 season opens with the Alphatown Ionians at Paradise Pisces on the Ides of March. This site is wonderful.



Bulletin of the Trans-orbital Lobotomy Association
Websites: "A Baseball Team of Brain Scientists" January 3, 2000
review by Sally Rainier, Bulletin Editor

The World Wide Web is getting stranger and stranger. One of the strangest pockets is this place called the Cosmic Baseball Association. I'm not going to describe it, you will just have to visit the place for yourself. One of the so-called teams in this weird universe is the Mindland Brains a team of brain scientists including the notorious psychosurgeon Dr. Walter Freeman. I spoke briefly on the telephone with the creator of this website and when asked what the inspiration for it was, he replied, "My inspiration came from the artist James Hampton." For those who do not know, James Hampton created the eccentric Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millenium General Assembly which is on display in Washington, D.C. at one of the Smithsonian museums. I'm not exactly sure of the connection but check out this site and see if it makes sense to you.



Seattle Weekly
Features: "Plating Sylvia Plath" July 15-21, 1999 by Angela Gunn

The teams may seem whimsical, but this is serious ball: Recent debate over dropping the DH rule was lively, and player interactions include intra-club conflict and entrenched rivalries. "Commemorative plates" (Web pages devoted to one player, giving biographical information, links, and CBA stats) are also serious business for team creators. The beautiful part happens when you believe, when you can hold in your mind's eye both Hillary Rodham Clinton the First Lady and Hillary Rodham Clinton the starting second baseman for the Vestal Virgins--not to mention husband Bill, suspended from the CBA's Washington Presidents team for unethical behavior. Baseball is life, and art apotheosizes it.



Email Message
Email Message from Karen S. received May 22, 1999

What kind of an asshole are you????????? My son was searching your site for Pete Rose information and clicked on "Pete Rose Records" and was brought to not one, not two, but three consecutive Porno sites!!!!! As soon as I find the higher authority to report this to, I will. This is a child who is under 21 and what you are doing is illegal. You'd better had a good explanation for this, and give it to me quickly before you are reported.



Member/Guest Book Entry
Comments by Aaron Falvey on February 3, 1999

Found you while I was looking for A.C. Swinburne, the poet. He might be too frail to be catcher, but perhaps he would throw a tantrum if he heard me say any such thing. I have enjoyed all the teams I've looked at so far. Some because there is some semi-private joke, and others because I genuinely learned something. The Barsoomtown Explorers roster was fascinating to me. I like this sight because I found it looking for a Pre-Raphael poet, and I learned something about Mars. This seems to me the best example of what the internet is.



GQ Magazine
Books: "Classic Content Providers." Article by David L. Ulin
September, 1998

The Cosmic Baseball Association is inscrutable and indefinable, a vast interactive network in which the so-called players exist both as themselves and as projections of the site...What's fascinating about this is the tension it evokes between what we know to be true and what we might be willing to accept. In such a context, Cosmic Baseball players drift across our screens as part of a long, speculative fiction in which their lives are reframed somehow by the way they play the game...Immersing myself in Cosmic Baseball reminds me of the affinities I first sought when I began reading, the attention I paid to creating a framework in which all my favorite writers might make sense...Of course , no site on the Internet can fulfill you like a well-wrought piece of writing-- although the Cosmic Baseball Association comes close.



Baseball on the Web
Book by Rob Edelman
Published by IDG Books Worldwide. April, 1998.

COSMIC BASEBALL ASSOCIATION (pg. 230): This intriguing and creative Web site begins with the premise that "the game of baseball is really a metaphor for the life of the mind."



Fastball
April 8, 1998
Fastball Fansite of the Week Review

In our neverending search for the consummate fan site, we became mystically pulled toward The Cosmic Baseball Association. This site reads like a museum that captivates the intellectual side of the baseball fan. Simply put, a concise summary of this site cannot be written.

For starters, check out the team rosters. Here you will discover that President Clinton has a 3.59 ERA in six seasons. Malcolm X, a third basemen, only has a .248 batting average over his nine seasons in the league. Then there's Marge Schott, appropriately (or not) a coach on the Vestal Virgins.

For those interested in the written word, take time to peruse the Special Plates. Here you will find a collection of Anna Marie Kersade poetry, an editorial on Pete Rose's quest for the Hall of Fame, and an ancient look at the game in Robert Kelly's, "A Pastoral Dialogue on the Game of the Quadrature." While you're in the neighborhood, stop in and check out "Presidential Baseball Names," an in-depth analysis of presidential namesakes in the game of baseball.

When you set off to examine this site, prepare to stay a while. There's a lot here to examine and a whole lot more to ponder.




Toronto Mail & Globe.
Article: Cuff Links: Web can kick-start baseball excitement by John Haslett Cuff. February 28, 1998

[F]or my money the best site of all is the Cosmic Baseball Association. Perhaps inspired by Monty Python's "philosophers' football" skit or Robert Coover's novel The Universal Baseball Association, it is a self-described "baseball league of the imagination." There is hot news (Drucker Fires Marx, Names Himself Field Manager) and preseason notes, player rosters (the poet Christina Rossetti pitching) and accounts of games between teams (24 in all), such as the Dharma Beats and the Black Mountain Mountains. It's charming, witty stuff...



Member/Guest Book Entry
Comments by Simmon Iff. February 9, 1998

You all are truly a bunch of try hards. Give me a break Waite was as big a try hard as there was for an authority on the tarot, he bumbled,bluffed & staggered through most of what he wrote & when he wasn't babbling he'd stolen it from Mathers .& now you fools think your helping?? . You Know where to find me on Saturdays . .



Member/Guest Book Entry
Comments by Jørgen Madsen. February 2, 1998

Boring...



Inside Sports Magazine
Article: "Sports on the Web" by Jamie Tecker. January, 1998

One of the things that makes the Web so charming is the way completely incongruent subjects can be melded into something new and bizarre. No sports web site captures that spirit better than the Cosmic Baseball Association, a fantasy league with a surreal twist...The site clearly requires an open mind and a healthy sense of humor, but you've got to admit, any league where Beat poet Allen Ginsberg is a lifetime .268 hitter is pretty cool.




Member/Guest Book
Comments by Judy Hakola. December 5, 1997

I was checking postings on the Sport Literature Association (SLA) discussion on a snowy, late Friday afternoon when a UMaine faculty colleague stuck his head in my office door and threw a snowball at me. I caught it and tagged him out. A minute later I found the link to this site in a message on SLA from Chipper Martin, a grad student at NC State who is a great baseball fan. When I found the "Casey at the Pen" poem, I scribbled down the address, raced down the hall to the snowball thrower's office, and had him call it up on his screen. He was as delighted with it as I was. Now we will walk to our respective homes with snow on our clothes and basebll in our hearts. Thank you.




Member/Guest Book
Comments by Eric J. Stanley. December 4, 1997

I found your site mentioned in Inside Sports. It made me chuckle. I use to play strat-o-matic baseball when I was a kid. I used to assign different names (mostly of friends) to the players statistical cards. I was always Carl Yastrzemski. I love stats, I love baseball, I love using the imagination. I love your site. And you get a lot of education to boot. Totally cosmic. Thanks.




Member/Guest Book
Comments by Amy Sue Martin. December 3, 1997

I was looking for the text of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own for a research paper. I am a huge baseball fan, and when I found this site I thought I was hallucinating!




Member/Guest Book
Comments by Ian the Terrible. October 19, 1997

i was looking up through a net search for anything on Luis Bunuel when i saw your link. very impressive....the metaphor of baseball in the world...the balance of individual versus collective achievement. Artists and philosophers like Bunuel,Zappa, and the vestal virgins keep society moving with new daring ideas........may i suggest David Cronenberg or the group of 7 painters as rookies for next season?




Atlanta Journal
Article: "Personal Technology: Cyberscene- Don't Be Reluctant to Let The Web Entertain You; Sure It's A Tool For Research, But It Can Be Fun" by Bill Husted. July 6, 1997

You'll be safe, but perhaps confused ---in a pleasant way, I think -- -by the Cosmic Baseball Association. It's a beautifully designed site dedicated to baseball. After all, as the site explains: "Our national life might have been poorer without baseball." You'll find statistics and prose about baseball packaged in a way that makes navigating this site a lot like walking through a dream. Not all the links are obvious, and not all the information is what you'd expect. And that's half the fun.




Los Angeles Times
Article: "Postcard from Cyberspace: The Cutting Edge: Cyberculture- Baseball's Web Sites Bring Home Hit After Hit" by Terry Schwadron. May 25, 1997

Among the more unusual [web sites is] the Cosmic Baseball Assn. home page which argues that baseball "is really just a metaphor for the life of the mind" and offers member-generated reports on real or imagined issues and games. Reports on the Paradise Pisces teams, for example, show lineup cards listing Al Capone (LF), Mick Jagger (3B) and Allen Ginsberg (1B), and there is as much attention to Ginsberg's poetry as to his fantasized baseball acumen.




Newsday
Article: "Plug & Play: Cruising the Entertainment Highway- Cyberscene: Stars of the Diamond" by Kevin McDonough. July 6, 1997

Who says baseball and poetry don't mix? The Cosmic Baseball Association's [Dharma Beats] site is a baseball roster of beat poets, hipsters and surrealists. Not quite sure what this has to do with baseball, but they field a team of pitchers including William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Ken Kesey and others, with Kurt Cobain, Jack Kerouac and Kenneth Rexroth in the outfield. They play in a stadium called the Dharma Dome! A nice, playful, surreal site.




Syracuse Post Standard
Article: ""Way Out In Left Field, Cosmic Stars Warm Up." by Hart Seely. April 24, 1997

Last season he batted .252 and had 16 home runs as the Pisces' starting first baseman. Allen Ginsberg's mortal death is not expected to have any impact on his cosmic baseball career. Allen Ginsberg is dead, of course...But if there is a hereafter, the poet just might spend it with the Paradise Pisces. And if none exists, at least there is cyberspace- home to the Cosmic Baseball Association...Ginsberg couldn't be reached for this story. But April 7, the poet went three for four with two doubles and an RBI, in the Pisces' victory. From now on, he'll write no poetry. His bat will do the talking




Dallas Morning News
Article: "A Baseball League In Cyberspace Brings History of Science to Life." by Tom Siegfried. April 1, 1996

When baseball season begins, the world shifts its attention from stock markets and government shutdowns to slugging percentages and bullpen collapses. And so there's less time spent browsing the World Wide Web. Unless, of course, your favorite team is in cyberspace, where there's a fantasy baseball league for "individuals interested in the life of the mind." It's the cyberspace league known as the Cosmic Baseball Association. It's a league where information about the cosmic players and teams is just as important as the cosmic games and statistics that are played and generated...The CBA is something of a work of art in progress, a lively example of the value of the World Wide Web as an entertaining educational tool for science, history and the arts.












top
CBA menu


What Others Think CBA Is
URL: http://www.cosmicbaseball.com/others.html
Published: May 18, 1998
Updates: January 3, 2005, January 21, 2007; November 5, 2007
email: editor@cosmicbaseball.com

637

18