BEST OF 2015: BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE- The Time That Bullseye had a 2-issue Baseball Miniseries

Originally published May 16, 2015.
In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

One of the things you realize when you think about superhero fiction too hard is that a lot of the criminals could probably become rich using their technology or skills in more legal pursuits. For example, find the right quiz show for the Riddler, and he’s rolling in dough. Captain Cold or Mister Freeze could easily make a mint if they applied their freeze-weapons toward something like refrigeration. Heck, even the people who write the comics know this, and in the 1980s they turned Lex Luthor from a supergenius with lots of high-tech inventions into a corrupt supergenius billionaire superexecutive who had made his money from his many high-tech inventions.

Which leads me to Bullseye. Bullseye’s a Daredevil villain, created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita Sr. in the 1976 and perfected by Frank Miller in his run on Daredevil’s comic book. Bullseye’s entire shtick is that he basically has perfect killer accuracy with basically everything, even harmless stuff like playing cards. He’s arguably Daredevil’s second-greatest foe (after the Kingpin), and is directly or indirectly responsible for the death of at least two of Daredevil’s girlfriends (only one of whom got better).

But, still, that shtick with the accuracy, wouldn’t you think he could make a great pitcher?

Well, there was a 2-part miniseries at the turn of this decade that basically grabbed a hold of that idea and ran with it… Bullseye: Perfect Game.

It’s a surprisingly good short look at obsession and perfection, with some nice easter eggs for fans of baseball and of comics and a great ending that I’m sort of bummed out I’ll spoil in my summary…. BELOW THE JUMP:

Continue reading

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BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE- The Time That Bullseye had a 2-issue Baseball Miniseries

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

One of the things you realize when you think about superhero fiction too hard is that a lot of the criminals could probably become rich using their technology or skills in more legal pursuits. For example, find the right quiz show for the Riddler, and he’s rolling in dough. Captain Cold or Mister Freeze could easily make a mint if they applied their freeze-weapons toward something like refrigeration. Heck, even the people who write the comics know this, and in the 1980s they turned Lex Luthor from a supergenius with lots of high-tech inventions into a corrupt supergenius billionaire superexecutive who had made his money from his many high-tech inventions.

Which leads me to Bullseye. Bullseye’s a Daredevil villain, created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita Sr. in the 1976 and perfected by Frank Miller in his run on Daredevil’s comic book. Bullseye’s entire shtick is that he basically has perfect killer accuracy with basically everything, even harmless stuff like playing cards. He’s arguably Daredevil’s second-greatest foe (after the Kingpin), and is directly or indirectly responsible for the death of at least two of Daredevil’s girlfriends (only one of whom got better).

But, still, that shtick with the accuracy, wouldn’t you think he could make a great pitcher?

Well, there was a 2-part miniseries at the turn of this decade that basically grabbed a hold of that idea and ran with it… Bullseye: Perfect Game.

It’s a surprisingly good short look at obsession and perfection, with some nice easter eggs for fans of baseball and of comics and a great ending that I’m sort of bummed out I’ll spoil in my summary…. BELOW THE JUMP:

Continue reading

Images of 2012: Perfection

Images from 2012…

There were three perfect games this season, a record, but perhaps the most unexpected was the first one, by Phil Humber. He no-hit the Mariners in April. He’s somewhere underneath his teammates in the picture below.

(Photo by Blake Handley, used under a Creative Commons license.)

What’s amazing about this, despite the fact that every perfect game is unexpected, was that both before this game and after it, Humber had been unexceptional. In fact, by the end of the season, he was an afterthought with a 6.44 ERA who was let go by the White Sox at season’s end. Sports Illustrated noted that this made him the pitcher with the worst ERA in the league with at least 100 IP this season.
He’ll try to resurrect his career next season in Houston. But no matter what happens, he will always have that April day against Seattle, where he saw 27 come up, and sent all 27 down.

Further Thoughts on Melky Cabrera’s Steroid Suspens— HOLY COW, ANOTHER PERFECT GAME!

Well, as I said yesterday, Melky Cabrera, having a career year that seemed too good to be true, apparently… was too good to be true. He was busted for PEDs- increases testosterone, to be more exact. His suspension severely hurts the Giants and casts a serious pall upon his season thus far, including his All-Star MVP.

But, lucky for Melky Cabrera, Felix Hernandez proceeded to throw a perfect game, totally distracting everybody from the fact that, well, Melky Cabrera had been busted for PEDs. And not only did he throw a perfect game, he struck out 12 doing it! That’s almost in Cain/Koufax territory! I mean, just look at what the AA Mariners in Jackson, Tennessee (including Felix Hernandez’s brother) did when they saw it. There is nothing that gets baseball to come together quite like a good perfect game. Perfect games to baseball fans are what NASA landings are to space geeks, what a 3-overtime playoff game is to NHL fans, and what the Winter Olympics are to fans of curling. It instantly gets our attention, all of our attention.

So, well, Melky Cabrera is one lucky person. Well, other than having his free agent stock plummeting and missing the rest of the season. But at least he wasn’t the biggest story of the day. So, uh, good for him.

Perfect Perfection

Matt Cain did not just throw a perfect game last night. No, he threw one of the most perfect perfect games. One of the greatest games in history, in fact. It had everything: drama, close plays, a legendary catch and the final out, where, as always, there is that one second of worry that somebody is going to screw it up.

Oh, sure, Don Larsen’s perfect game came on the sport’s greatest stage, against a team of future Hall-of-Famers, but statistically, the greatest perfect game has long been Sandy Koufax’s brilliant game in 1965. It’s game score was 101 (out of a possible 114), second only to Kerry Wood’s 20-K one-hitter (105).

Cain has tied Koufax. Let that sink in: Matt Cain’s game was, statistically speaking, as good as Koufax’s magnum opus.

In other words, Giants and Dodgers fans now have another thing to argue about.

In short, there have been perfect games, and no-hitters. But of the many recent ones, this one is perhaps the one that is the most… perfect.