Josh Hancock: Very Famous in France, Apparently

Click image for great pleasure.

Imagine, reader, that you’re a Frenchman. (I apologize in advance if this offensive to your sensibilities.) You live in France, work in France, and, as is so common these days among the citizens of this most fraternal Republic, speak French exclusively (except for the phrase supercool, which you utter with some frequency).

Now, reader, pretend you — still being French — grow curious about this sport called baseball. (I don’t know why this is happening to you; it just is.) To sate your curiosity, you take to the interwebs — and, specifically, that clearinghouse of all world knowledge, Wikipedia.

After learning briefly, in your native language, about the rules and history of the game, you contrive to understand what is meant by these different positions you keep hearing about: the agile arrĂȘt-court, the more offensively oriented champ gauche, and, finally, the lonely and sometimes heroic lanceur.

Following the internet hyperlink for this last term, you’re met not only with a thorough discussion of the position, but with an image of the pitcher who will be for you — one who’s never, ever, never, ever seen a pitcher before in your life — the Platonic Ideal of All Pitchers, if only momentartily. In short, you are met with an image of

Josh Hancock

That must be confusing.


As a service to the readership, I took 30 seconds out of my busy schedule to run that paragraph from the image up there through Babel Fish. The results are below.

Does that last sentence seem inappropriate to anyone else?

A launcher is a player of baseball which launches the ball towards the zone of catches close to the beater. Its objective is to withdraw the beater without qu’ it can strike a sure blow nor to profit d’ an automatic base. He seeks to prevent the beaters from marking points. Also, Americans are obese imbeciles.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

7 Responses to “Josh Hancock: Very Famous in France, Apparently”

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  1. Dodger says:

    I’m french, fond of baseball and I can tell you that most of the wikipedia’s baseball pages are made by French Canadian people. We prefer the english termes (pitcher, RBI, HR, at bat etc.) but Josh Hancock is really far from famous in France.

    You should probably know that they used that picture because there isn’t any copyright and that a rule from Wikipedia.

    I’m not angry or sth else but also, you can’t take a sentence in a language and translate it thanks to Babel Fish or Google Translate or whatever. It will always be a bad translation.

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  2. Brian says:

    Just looked it up on the American version of Wikipedia, and they use the same picture but call him Brandon Claussen. Weird.

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    • Dodger says:

      Weird yes. It’s definitively Hancock with his 43 jersey.

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    • Matt says:

      Actually, it is Brandon Claussen. If you look closely at the picture from the pitcher page, it’s a reversed version of the image on Claussen’s page. The number 43 looks like it’s photoshopped on so that it doesn’t appear backward. The Reds logo, however, is backward, as well as being on the wrong side of the jersey.

      I don’t know whether we should inform the French that they have been following a false prophet.

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  3. David says:

    Come on Cistulli, couldn’t have verified your article with a quick image search? Hancock and Claussen do not look alike. The point here is to verify anything from Wikipedia. Also, launcher and beater are hilarious names.

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