Thorn: Buy me some Peanuts and Charlie Brown

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on October 1, 2018:

In baseball for all but a lucky few the resignation of September is a stark contrast with April, when everyone had dared to hope. In the fifty years of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, through 17,897 comic strips — so many of them touching upon the game he loved — he and we have oscillated between optimism and despair, daily emerging with a rueful smile. Yes, we say, the panels through which Charlie Brown passes are just like our lives, in which we act today much as we did yesterday, as if our story had no end.

If baseball is a lot like life, as pundits declare, it is because life is more about losing than winning. Peanuts is about losing, too — hundreds of baseball games lost in ways more improbable than the 1962 Mets might have plotted. Today’s comic strip or ballgame resembles those that have come before, yet there may be a surprise, a punchline that we have not heard before. And so we return, anticipating the comfort that comes with repetition and the chance of a twist in the tale.

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Originally published: October 4, 2018. Last Updated: October 4, 2018.