Whatís in a name?

(a variation upon an old theme)

Excerpts from an imaginary dictionary of baseball terms:

affton - an embarrassing field error resulting from dizzying psychological pressure, an obstreperous ball refusing to move in the direction of a fielder's glove or an attention guzzling blonde combing her hair down in the front row.

ascalon - a lofty detachment which Cardsí fans bestow upon any creature associated with the Chicago Cubs; similar to the air with which Japanese princesses regard their retired deputy shoelace attendants

ballwin - the act of winning a ball that flew into the stands; mostly effected by diving for it with the insouciance of an inebriated crocodile and often followed by fending off other ballwin hopefuls; among many fans, a ballwin is considered a major life achievement

bel-nor - an undying allegiance to a baseball team which can only be acquired through years of suffering, through painful recovery from close losses and through hours of practicing roller skating on a beach

charlack - a popular central Missourian religion, whose doctrine involves belief in a supreme being responsible for rain and an annual renewal of the Baseball Weekly; the supreme being itself, the chief of the Baseball Gods

creve coeur - the faintly tragic feeling that the World Series is slipping away; usually punches in in the fifth inning of the last game, when the chances of turning the score around are going on Jenny Craig fast

des peres - a period of acute mourning; somber days immediately following a loss in the World Series

dupo - a wild swing at the oncoming pitch which misses and results in a strike

fenton - a pungent spell of exuberance engulfing the mind after a long-awaited homerun, unexpected news of promotion or a well-aimed shot of whiskey;

florissant - a memory of a special play, one which each baseball fan keeps indelibly etched onto her permanent retina memory; it is to be colorfully narrated every Thanksgiving dinner till all the grandchildren know it by heart

hine - a truculent stare with which a pitcher tries to intimidate the man at bat; often requited for a bout of mental jousting

kin loch - a seriously botched first inning which casts a psychological umbrage on the rest of the game

ladue - a firm hope that the 9th inning will usher in an era in which the laws of physics will be conveniently suspended so as to reverse the direction in which the unflattering score is pig-headedly growing

sappington - a dewy look with which female fans grace Scott Rolenís prowess

wilkie - a pitch that aims deliberately at the area just outside of the plate, quite popular among pitchers on 0:2 count; a "wilkie" is often followed by a "dupo"

© 2005† Jan Rehacek

The Book of Cardinals 2004

Part II.

Inning: 1

This text is a variation on "The Meaning of Liff", a book by Douglas Adams in which geographical names are paired up with concepts we don't have words for. If you haven't read the book, I strongly recommend it.
The Meaning of Liff

Prologue

Part I. Namesakes
1. Cardinal Stritch University
2. Cardinal, Virginia
3. Cardinal Systems
4. Vatican Cardinals
5. Tantoo Cardinal
6. Arizona Cardinals
7. Cardinal Numbers
8. Cardinal Bar
9. Cardinal Fish

Part II. 7th Inning Stretch of Imagination
1. What's In A Name?
2. Nine Amendments For Extreme Motorists
3. Better Butter For Bitter Batter
4. Infield Fly Rule For Dummies
5. How To Wash Red Socks Properly
6. My Kingdom For A Pitcher!
7. East St Louis Vacations Inc
8. Are You A Cardinals Fan?
9. Banbury Cross

Part III. Three Dreams
1. Dodgers: The Robbery
2. Dodgers: The Handshake
3. Dodgers: The Shower
4. Astros: The Flight
5. Astros: The Homer
6. Astros: The Ritual
7. Red Sox: The Comedy
8. Red Sox: The Drama
9. Red Sox: The Heartbreak

Epilogue