A sketch by Emerson of Max Scherzer’s changeup.
The NotGraphs Archival Research Team, in conjunction with the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, has uncovered today the following — what appears (unbelievably) to be a scouting report, from Emerson’s notebooks, of Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer.
Improbably, the report seems to have been written in the early 1830s — not only ca. 150 years before Scherzer’s birth, but also about 10-15 years before Alexander Cartwright published the rules of what has become the modern game.
The language used by Emerson bears a close resemblance to that which he would use a short time later, in his first and long essay Nature.
Note that, as no specific pitch types had been developed yet, the present author has been compelled to derive same from context. (Although, it should be noted that we would likely benefit as a society from adopting Emerson’s own pitch-type monikers.)
Envoy of Beauty (Fastball)
One might think it was made to give man the perpetual presence of the sublime. If he threw it just every thousand years, men would preserve for many generations the remembrance of it! Instead, he throws it about 50-60% of the time, and lights the universe up.
Cordial of Incredible Virtue (Slider)
A tribute to delight. Breaks, on the clockface, from breathless noon to grimmest midnight. Makes spectactors glad to the brink of fear. Inspires in opposing hitters a kind of contempt typically reserved for one who’s just lost by death a dear friend. More effective against right- than left-handers, probably.
Transparent Eye-Ball (Changeup)
It is nothing; it sees all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through it; it’s a part or particle of God; a perennial festival. Plus-plus depth and fade.
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