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Love and Baseball (Special MLB Opening Day Edition) – Boy Loves Girl #35

April 1, 2013

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Today is baseball’s opening day, a magical moment where all teams, whether their payrolls are Yankees high or Astros low, have dreams of Autumn success. Some squads are prohibitive longshots to make the World Series, but everyone starts with zeros in the win column. Everyone’s equal, and everyone can dare to hope — even Cubs fans, who wear their Wrigley ivy like a crown of thorns. This optimism is a feeling so well suited to the season, as the blossoming of flowers and the renewal of life surrounds us all.

And it’s a time for love, baby, when warmer weather makes men’s thoughts turn to those of fancy, not just Runs Batted In and Earned Run Averages. The shorts are getting shorter, and awkward parent-to-child talks about birds and bees suddenly have new relevance. Put love and baseball together, and you may very well have a chocolate and peanut butter sort of natural combo.

Hey, wait a second, The Natural had baseball and love (both false love that brought Roy Hobbs down and true love that lifted him up), and it was a classic. Maybe we’re onto something.

This particular issue of Boy Loves Girl has two sports-themed stories inside, but since we’ve already done some romance comic boxing action, we’ll steer clear of the pugilism and stick to the outfield amour. “Love on the Diamond” is set in spring training — doubling down on the season theme — as a squad in Florida gearing up for the big season. The skipper’s tomboy daughter, Bobby, has tagged along every year, and her skills have matured just as much as she has — which prompts some mild old-timey sexist talk:

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Bobby isn’t as interested in bats and balls as she was when she was younger, as her, how shall we say, tastes have evolved as well. Now she has her eyes not on the ball, but on Cliff, the team’s dashing star pitcher. Unfortunately for her, he doesn’t notice her, as she’s become just one of the guys, which is just fine by her grizzled, square-faced papa (who looks like a chainsaw sculpture):

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Bobby goes on a full-on charm offensive, doffing the cap and trousers and dressing in as alluring a manner as 1950s social norms will allow. (We should note that Bobby is of age, though while she’s on the field, shagging flies, she looks like a freckled young boy.) Still she has no luck — at least, not until another player puts unwanted moves on her (mashing, as the kids used to call it) and summons her knight in shining armor:

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KRAKATHOOM!

So begins their romance, but one that’s conducted on the down low, as the father/manager both disapproves of his daughter dating a ballplayer and a ballplayer dating at all. But it’s only when Cliff puts their relationship on hiatus (in favor of his career) that his arm gets rubbery:

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Bobby explains to her father just why it is that Cliff has lost his focus, and when Cliff shows up, it’s tears and reconciliation and love all around:

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And so begins their young life together, filled with hope and optimism and a limitless future. Like the 2013 MLB season. Play ball.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 3, 2013 11:36 pm

    It’s the best story in life, the one where the boy meets the girl. It can be a boring story but when you add baseball in, it’s awesome!

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