Neyer: The oral history of baseball on ‘Seinfeld’

From SABR member Rob Neyer at Complex on October 18, 2016:

When you think of Seinfeld, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Right: abject misanthropy. Or maybe, just maybe, Superman. But somewhere pretty high on the list, there’s gotta be baseball. There was baseball in the little-seen pilot, there was baseball in the universally viewed finale, and there was lots and lots of baseball in between.

In the pilot—at that point, in the summer of 1989, the show was called The Seinfeld Chronicles—Jerry’s apartment was packed with baseball: a catcher’s mask hanging from the coat rack next to the door; nearby, a couple of wood bats, a batting helmet, a fielder’s glove; a large Mets poster on the wall behind Jerry’s couch, with a baseball in a plastic cube just below. Before we meet Kramer for the first time, it’s 1 in the morning and Jerry’s just sitting down to watch the Mets game he taped. Of course, Kramer tells him what happened in the game: the Mets stunk.

So they redressed the set for the show’s first season (of only four episodes), but there were still tons of baseball Easter eggs: a Yankees jacket next to the door; a Mets cap atop Jerry’s computer; above the computer, what looks like an old baseball glove encased in Lucite; and on top of the refrigerator, a whole box of Donruss baseball cards! (Jerry’s bats are still in the apartment; they’ve just been moved to a little-seen corner of the set.)

Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld famously wanted to make a show about nothing. But it would also be a show with a lot of baseball, thanks to its co-creators.

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Originally published: October 18, 2016. Last Updated: October 18, 2016.