Q Dear Miss Abigail:
I broke up with my boyfriend last week, and I regret it. I want to ask him out again, but I want it to be really special and romantic. What is a really romantic thing I could do? Keep in mind I am fifteen.
A Dear Confused:
Hmm… let me think. Something special. Well, from what I hear, most boys don’t have any interest in silly romantic stuff. But hey ~ I bet he’d find a little trip to a baseball game awfully wonderful! Since we all know that girls know nothing about sports (ha) here’s some advice from a book called Boys and Other Beasts, written by Barbara Lang. It should help us gals understand this mysterious game, and at the same time it may just help get your boyfriend back.
1965: Sports Illustrated
The day will come when you want to please some young man who passionately loves one of several dozen evocatively named teams ~ Red Sox, White Sox ~ they all make you think of Sweat Sox. To prepare you for those incomparable afternoons of sitting on hard benches eating cold hot dogs and warm ice cream, here are some pointers on the first game of the land ~ baseball.
1. Men use baseball as a means of proving that women are inferior and cannot understand a man’s world. They therefore speak about the game in code and try to make it sound as complicated as possible. Actually, it’s quite simple.
2. Baseball is a game played by a team of nice grown men who take turns swinging a club and trying to hit a ball out of an enclosed field. The club is called a bat, the team is called a club, and the field is called a park. Once you know that, the game is self-evident.
3. The key to baseball is that it’s a friendly game which the men play for relaxation when they’re not working in television commercials. In order to start things off, one man tosses the ball to another man at bat. A third man squats (so the spectators can see what’s going on) behind him to catch it and throw it back to the pitcher. Everyone tries to help the batter. When he doesn’t notice the ball go by, a fatherly type clad in dignified navy calls his attention to it by screaming ‘BALL.’ Sometimes this gentleman encourages a shy batter by urging ‘STRIKE, STRIKE.’
4. Sooner or later, the batter takes his advice and strikes the ball. Then the men stationed around the field fetch it while the batter runs around getting congratulated. It gives you a warm feeling all over.
5. Baseball is not only friendly, it’s a restful game, suitable for men of all ages. Frequently the men out in the field don’t do anything all afternoon except chew gum.
6. To be sure, there are a few other nuances to baseball, but you needn’t bother with them as long as you remember a few key things not to do at a ball game:
A. Do not take your knitting.
B. Do not ask where the bulls in the bull pen are.
C. Do not suggest the outfielders carry paperback novels.
D. Do not ask why the men in the stands are getting so excited.
E. Do not go home by mistake at the seventh inning stretch.
Source: Lang, Barbara. Boys and Other Beasts. New York: Pocket Books, 1965.
~ pp. 88-89 ~