This week: three mini-columns.
UPDATE. US reader Daniel F. emails: “Shhh. Don’t blow our cover. We’re working on the secret plan to spring a humiliating cricket sweep on the rest of the world. The cover name for the project is ‘Guantanamo’.”
UPDATE II. A note from Bonney Lake’s Tim Smith: “I’m just finishing a biography of Babe Ruth (Leigh Montville’s The Big Bam). There’s an interesting story in there about Babe’s first exposure to cricket during his 1935 trip to London.” Extract follows:
He made a well-publicized trip to a cricket grounds on the banks of the Thames. Fitted with leg pads and handed a cricket bat, Ruth went to work. Two fast bowlers bounced the red ball at him off the green grass, and the Babe started swinging. He had trouble with the cricket stance, switched to his baseball stance, and did fine. The red balls started flying around the grounds.
“I wish I could have him a fortnight,” former Australian star Alan Fairfax said. “I could make one of the world’s greatest batsmen out of him.”
The Babe vetoed that idea when he learned that the top cricket players earned about $40 a week.
“At his prime, Babe was making about $80,000 per year.
“I just thought this was interesting and possibly relevant to the idea of US cricket being competitive anytime in our lifetimes. I believe the best US athletes would most likely be attracted to the higher salaries in baseball, etc. I think Australia’s dominance is in no danger, from the US at any rate.”