February 13, 2007
The King Is Dead
Sometimes you have to read lots of obituaries in The New York Times to mine the little gems there. For example, in 2004 the famous (but little published) philosopher at Columbia, Sidney Morgenbesser, died. One of Morganbesser's quips reported in his obituary came in a talk by the famous philosopher J.L. Austin, who contended that although a double negative in English implies a positive, a double positive does not imply a negative. Morgenbesser drawled from the audience, "Yeah, yeah."
Today's Times has an obituary of the famous (to people of my generation) fireballing softballer, Eddie Feigner, who died yesterday in Huntsville, Alabama, at the age of 81. Feigner used to tour the country with three other people under the name "The King and His Court," taking on professional teams of 9 people in softball and clobbering them. He would throw strikes blindfolded. He would throw them behind his back, between his legs, and from his knees on second base. He once struck out Willie Mays. In 2002 ESPN listed him, along with Walter Johnson and Sandy Koufax, as one of the 10 greatest pitchers ever. A great but little-appreciated talent, Feigner said, "I'm a pipsqueak because I'm caught in a nothing game. It's like being a world-champion nose blower."
February 13, 2007 | Permalink
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