To the Editor:

It’s time to settle once and for all the debate over the first references in print to the game of baseball. The earliest references to baseball occur in the plays of William Shakespeare and include the following:

“And so I shall catch the fly” (“Henry V,” Act V, scene ii).

“I’ll catch it ere it come to ground” (“Macbeth,” III, v).

“A hit, a very palpable hit!” (“Hamlet,” V, ii).

“You may go walk” (“Taming of the Shrew,” II, i).

“Strike!” (“Richard III,” I, iv).

“For this relief much thanks” (“Hamlet,” I, i).

“You have scarce time to steal” (“Henry VIII,” III, ii).

“O hateful error” (“Julius Caesar,” V, i).

“Run, run, O run!” (“King Lear,” V, iii).

“Fair is foul and foul is fair” (“Macbeth,” I, i).

“My arm is sore” (“Antony and Cleopatra,” II, v).

“I have no joy in this contract” (“Romeo and Juliet,” II, ii).

I trust that the question of who first wrote about baseball is now finally settled.

EARL L. DACHSLAGER, The Woodlands, Tex., Nov. 10, 1990


Thank you, Earl L. Dachslager, wherever you now may be. And thank you, Tom Hunter, for bringing this mighty unifying Shakespeare and Baseball connection to our ontological notice. We shall leave you and this subject with a favorite of our own:

to-be-or-not-to-beTo be, or not to be, that is the question in Wrigleyville:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune we have suffered since 1908,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of new troubles from Los Angeles, Cleveland, or Toronto,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

And whatever those dreams may be, let them have nothing to do with 1908 foul play repercussions or the later channeled Billy Goat Curse of 1945 or the Steve Bartman Reacher Rough Night of 2003.

…. William Shakespeare


 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas