"Baseball is my longest-lasting theme, and I think I'll always do it."
Today is Opening Day of Major League Baseball's 2014 season. Various sports were featured in Peanuts comic strips and tv specials over the years. But baseball loomed larger than anything else in Charlie Brown's universe. Which makes sense, since baseball was America's National Pastime during the 20th Century, while Peanuts was the quintessential American comic strip of its day.
"Charlie Brown can never be a winner. He can never win a baseball game because it would destroy the foundation of the strip"
-Schulz, in Peanuts Jubilee,1975.Some of the most famous editions of the comic strip revolve around baseball. Charlie Brown often gets hit by a line drive, knocking off his shirt and shoes. His team never wins, losing sometimes by more than 100 runs.
When Charlie Brown competed in a Spelling Bee, his baseball fandom caused him to spell the word "maze" incorrectly. He spelled it m-a-y-s, as in Willie Mays. This made Chuck a "loser" in baseball and spelling!
"Winning is happy, but happy isn't funny"
-Schulz, interviewed in Sports Illustrated, December 23, 1985.
But despite his team's lack of success, Charlie Brown always believes the next game will be different. During the early days of baseball season, every team has dreams of winning the Pennant and World Series. By the end of the month, wins and losses will separate the contenders from the pretenders. So today, you might say that on Opening Day, every player and manager is Charlie Brown!
There were several tv specials that were built around baseball. Over the next few days, I will be reviewing them here. Check back later for the first of these reviews. Until then,