Bizarre Baseball Culture: Captain Marvel teaches baseball… to Martians

Baseball has an unusual relationship with the rest of popular culture. There are more baseball movies than basically any other kind of sports movie (with the exception of boxing, which is very easy to stage), Charlie Brown’s ineptness on the mound lasted fifty years, and almost every TV series ends up having at least one casual mention of the game at point or another.

But with this, sometimes popular culture about baseball can get, well… weird. Bizarre!

This is part of a series about those times. Sometimes it’ll be short stories (like that old tale about 2044 baseball), other times comic books, occasionally a movie clip or advertisement. No matter what, it’ll be weird, it probably won’t be very good, and I’ll give it far more attention than it really deserves.

So, for the first edition of BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE (I’ll consider the 2044 baseball story as something of a prologue), I bring to you this:

Captain Marvel. Playing baseball. On the planet Mars. In a story that is about how Captain Marvel taught the Martians baseball. Fittingly, this has been set to go up on a Saturday morning. More underneath the jump.

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Baseball in the Year 2044: A look at “Rockets on the Mound”

The internet is a great place. Really, it is. And one of the reasons it is great is that you can find practically anything on it. Take, for example, short stories. There are countless stories that are in the public domain, either because they are really old, or because nobody bothered to renew the copyrights on things from cheap pulp publications. It’s from one of those that “Rockets on the Mound” comes from. First printed in 1954 in Super Sports magazine, and written by one Jim Moore, it is the tale of a baseball team in 2044 and it’s star, Rockets Rigby, who is in a horrible hit-and-run flying car accident. Seriously.

But before all of that, check out this picture that goes with it:

First, let’s note the field itself. It has a lot of space, almost circular in appearance. I mean, look at all of those players practicing to the left of the diamond, where they are conducting warmups as the umpires descend with their jet-packs from the stratojet. As this huge amount of foul territory can show, Moore was foreseeing the rise of multi-use facilities, and the Oakland Coliseum in particular. Either that, or whoever was hired to do this image hadn’t seen a baseball field in their lives. Also notice how the fans are dressed. Apparently, in the 2040s, women will all wear pointed witches’ hats and gigantic collars, while all of the men will wear space-cadet helmets. Nobody wears plain-old baseball caps, nor even the hats men wore in public before President Kennedy made them go out of style. Also, the “stratojet” used to bring the umpires in seems to be powered by a rocket and has swept wings. An F-16 flyover it isn’t…

Anyway, a few things to keep in mind before we start:

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