Babb: Here’s how sports fans are coping with no games

From Kent Babb at the Washington Post on March 19, 2020, with mention of SABR member Laura H. Peebles:

The games ended, teams disbanded, and fans tried to make sense of a March without Americans’ favorite weekday sports distraction.

The novel coronavirus outbreak and widespread social distancing have pushed us inside for the foreseeable future as the world faces down health and economic crises. Fear, anxiety and loneliness are pervasive at a time when many are accustomed to dodging work and tying their senses of community to packed arenas and buzzer-beaters, sports bars and busted brackets, a magical three-week bridge to the unmistakable hum of Opening Day and, shortly thereafter, Augusta National on Sunday.


A few years ago, [Laura H.] Peebles began funneling her love of and frustrations with the Washington Nationals into poetry. Each nine-inning game could be distilled into a four- or six-line verse, though that certainly wasn’t true of all of them.

When Max Scherzer threw two no-hitters in 2015, those rhymes swelled to 12 or so lines long. She recently condensed the one about the Nats’ thrilling wild-card victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, the first step in Washington’s march to the World Series championship.

Peebles, a writer and editor for the Society for American Baseball Research and a Nats season ticket holder, keeps a spreadsheet for games she has classified as historically significant. With spring training suspended and no first pitch in sight, Laura has considered expanding her compendium to include all teams, all eras, all seasons. Soon she might pen a few lines about Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series or George Brett’s infamous “Pine Tar Game” in 1983.

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Originally published: March 24, 2020. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.