LAST EDITED ON Jun-18-01 AT 06:52 PM (EDT)
Before we begin, a moment of silence for Douglas Noel Adams, 1952-2001.
A sport of dubious and murky origins on the planet Earth, in which teams of nine people each (plus substitutes) attempt to hit a small ball with an oddly shaped stick, then round three bases and return to their starting point without being tagged with the ball, wile preventing the other team from doing the same. The team which has the most men complete the circuit of bases and the starting point at the end of nine alternations of play wins.
The sport, like many unusual aspects of Earth culture, has spawned an industry centered around people who get paid to play the game. It's good work if you can get it. The most well-known organization is "Major League Baseball," which operates not merely the 'major league' of its name but dozens of lesser leagues which serve as training camps and recruiting grounds for the elite teams.
The Major Leagues, like the sport itself, originated on Earth in the latter half of the 19th Century Standard Earth Calendar. These were originally organized into the National League (the sport being confined at the time to one nation-state on Earth) and the American League (the name of the nation in question). Upon Earth's entry into the galactic society, the sport of baseball, and the people who play it, caught people's attention. The overpriced bad food and beer, the inane organ music, and the obscene cost of admissions made it one of the most popular public entertainments of the galaxy.
After some false starts, rules on who can play professional baseball were set down. Pro players must be of a human or near-human race, between 1.5 and 3 meters tall, and possessed of no cyborg implants, esper abilities, or superhuman speed, strength, or reflexes. (This restriction was stretched to allow Vulcans to play.) Performance-enhancing drugs are strictly prohibited, and after the Berzerkerite Incident of 2008, in which a member of the Cincinnati Reds killed eight and wounded fourteen, the minimum penalty for using such drugs is lifetime expulsion from the sport. Ball players *despise* people who spike the punch at parties.
The American and National Leagues dominated pro baseball from its official
introduction to the Galactica in 2000 up to the Collapse of 2288. At that
point, the Galactic League (formerly a AAA-level league with only a
handful of teams owned by major league franchises) took over in the public eye, as the two senior leagues were unable to complete a season for six years due
to extended political unrest and warfare on Earth.
In 2346 the owners of the Galactic League voted to found a new league, the
Federation League. Their intention was to replace the 'World Series' with
the 'Galaxy Series' and permanently overshadow the elder, sputtering
Unfortunately, they underestimated the ability both of the newborn
Federation and of the Olympus Earth government to bring stability to the galaxy. As nostalgic fans continued to tune in to the resumed seasons of the American and National Leagues, the newest league struggled to gain a following with frequent game and even season cancellations.
Beginning in 2355, the Galaxy Series winner challenged the World Series
winner to a one-game Federation championship game; in 2358, the elder
leagues changed their championship to the 'Earth Championship Series' and
proposed a best-of-seven contest with the junior leagues as a true 'World
Finally, in 2361, the four leagues were formally unified into one
championship bracket, and the current leagues and divisions were set out.
Since then, aside from a handful of franchise moves and expansion teams
(notably New Avalon gaining not one but two major league franchises in the
same year, 2385), the situation has been pretty much stable.
Talk has begun about bringing all the various divisions up to six teams.
Although a majority of franchise owners have not yet expressed support for
this movement, already many potential 'host cities' have applied for
expansion teams (see below).
As set down in 2361, to accomodate the demands of galactic travel the
current regular season consists of 150 games, beginning April 1st and
ending September 30th. The division champions, plus one wild-card from
each league, play two best-of-three and then a best-of-five series to determine
league champions; American and National League champions played the Earth
Series; Galactic and Federation leagues played the Galaxy Series; and the
winners of the two series meet in the World Series, usually played in
mid-November, for the baseball championship of known space.
After 2385, when the Red Sox won the Earth Series but lost the 'World Series' (thus preserving their jinx), a number of fans disputed the validity of the World Series, holding that the American-National contest was the 'true' Series. Beginning in 2386, the rules were changed so that the American and Federated Leagues would meet in the semifinals, and the National and Galactic Leagues, making it possible for American and National league teams to meet in the World Series.
The most recent controversy has been the narrow vote by American League owners to finally do away with the designated hitter (a player who takes the place of the pitcher in the batting lineup), beginning in the 2398 season. This left the Federated League as the only league of the four to permit the DH position.
For your standard hitchhiker, it is usually good policy to avoid going to games. Money can be made scalping tickets (although it is usually impossible to -give- away tickets for the Mets, Astros, or Knights) if you are lucky and unscrupulous enough. Temporary employment and a decent wage can be had selling beer and snacks in the stands, although it is recommended you be employed by the stadium owners to do this.
For more information on baseball, see GAMBLING, PROFESSIONAL SPORTS and PROSTITUTION.
APPENDIX: MAJOR LEAGUE TEAMS & ORGANIZATION OF LEAGUES
(Note: Under the rules of the American League, est. in the Unification
Charter 2361, all American League teams -must- be chartered and play all
home games on Earth.)
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox
Orlando Mice (nee Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
Chicago White Sox
Santa Fe Pioneers (nee Kansas City Royals)
Oakland Athletics (A's)
(Olympus Thunder- defunct due to destruction of Olympus in 2388)
New Japan (nee New York) Mets
Babel (nee Montreal) Expos
Havana (nee Florida) Marlins
New Austin (nee Houston) Astros
Moscow (nee Cincinnati) Reds
St. Louis Cardinals
Nar Shadda (nee Pittsburgh) Pirates
San Francisco Giants
Mexico (San Diego) Padres
Brooklyn (Los Angeles) Dodgers
Galactic League (est. 2011)
Corellia Raiders *
Kane's World (nee Boston) Bats
Hipsville (Funkotron) Groove
Centauri Prime Ducks (meow)
New Paris Trappers
(* In 2403 (after this article was written) the Raiders' owners, the Corellian Engineering Corporation, and in particular its CEO and chief shareholder, Grom Tarantella, were indicted for various counts of fraud and racketeering. The CEC barely managed to transfer all their assets to Earth, including the Raiders franchise, which ended up in the only city willing to share facilities until a new stadium could be rebuilt- Toronto. Despite the turmoil of the move and the extreme circumstances, the Raiders were in their own stadium before the season ended, and played in the World Series in 2404, as documented elsewhere in the chronicles. - the Editors)
New Avalon (nee Saenar) Knights
Mega City One Judges
New Palnu Cooks (nee Paris Legion)
Mega Tokyo Boomers*
(* originally referred to the rapid growth of New Japan's first colony,
founded 2001; their mascot is NOT a Buma- the Editors)
shi'Kahr (Vulcan) Smiths
Federated League (est. 2346)
Chira (Corellia) Biscuits
Mars Saucers (aka 'the Little Green Men')
Nal Hutta Peasants
Beta Colony Gypsies
Vulcan Academy Sehlats
Landing (Manticore) Treecats
Vidua (Centauri) Jets
New Avalon Monarchs
Deneb Slime Devils
Bryar (Corellia) Musketeers
New Osaka (New Japan) Typhoons
As of 2400, the following locations have applied to the League for expansion franchises. There are, at present, a maximum planned number of eleven slots for the 25th Century, although there is already discussion of shifting to four divisions per league before 2500.
! = currently favored for expansion
*Saenar, Salusia (Barons)
*Berlin, Niogi (Stormtroopers)
*CFA New Orleans, Confederate Freespacer Alliance (Starfighters)
!*Kronos, Klingon Republic (Bat'leths)
!*Port City, Zardon (Tanks)
!*Nekomi, Tomodachi (Ninja)
*Jyurai, Kingdom of Jyurai (Ohmu)
*Vorbarr Sultana, Barrayaran Star Empire (Lords)
*Tiure, Nal Hutta (Teamsters)
!*Rome, Earth (Gladiators)
*Chor, Minbar (Grey Sox)
*Elanor City, Meizuri (mascot not chosen)
*Chiisai Zardon, Zardon (Wheels)
*Irvine, Republic of California (a subsidiary of GENOM) (Cougars)
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