Lowenfish: On the solace baseball provided American film genius Buster Keaton

From SABR member Lee Lowenfish at The National Pastime Museum on April 26, 2017:

Buster Keaton rocketed to national fame in the 1920s in the heyday of silent film comedy. Except for Charlie Chaplin, there was no greater star in the comedic movie firmament.

Born on October 28, 1895, to carnival-entertainer parents who were traveling through the small Kansas town of Piqua, by the age of three Buster became the most talented part of a family act now known as The Three Keatons. Dubbed the Human Mop because of a handle sewn into the back of his costume, young Buster was thrown all over the stage by his father as his mother blithely played the violin.

In the summer of 1908, the young teenager found himself at the Bluffton artist colony in Muskegon on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. It was somewhat of a forced vacation because the Gerry Society, an anti-child labor organization, had convinced authorities that the young comic was performing work too dangerous for someone under the age of 16.

The Bluffton sojourn proved a wonderful experience because, when not performing, Buster spent almost all his spare time playing baseball. As Matt Phelan wrote in his lovely 2012 graphic novel Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, “Buster would play baseball day and night if he could.”

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/nothing-baseball-take-your-mind-your-troubles-solace-baseball-provided-american-film-genius

Originally published: April 26, 2017. Last Updated: April 26, 2017.