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Jeff Polman
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Jeff Polman is a baseball journalist, screenwriter, and author of the historical baseball blogs "1924 and You Are There!" and "Play That Funky Baseball". He lives in Culver City, CA.

Entries by Jeff Polman

In Praise of Timeless Bears

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 4:34 PM

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One of the greatest baseball movies and American comedies of all time has been largely laying low in tall outfield grass for 38 years. Despite its commercial success, The Bad News Bears is rarely mentioned on critics' lists of classic movies.

It's high...

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Two Thumbs Down on Air Nonsense

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 2:45 PM

Face it: No one likes to sit through a dull but necessary airline safety video. Your plane's about to depart and it's already been an ordeal getting to the airport, getting through security checkpoints, getting onto the plane, getting your bulging carry-on bag wedged into the overhead compartment and climbing...

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Being Christy Mathewson

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 11:50 AM

Catching Up With Eddie Frierson After a Thousand One-Man Shows

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It's a cold and drizzly night in L.A., and I have to meet Christy Mathewson at the Coffee Bean in 10 minutes. I mean, I know it isn't really him -- Matty, Big...

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Breaking Brilliant: Notes From the 'Bad' Writers' Room

(6) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 2:21 PM

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The tweets have ended. The message boards and chat rooms have closed down. The water coolers are less crowded. And now I'm free to step back, examine and comment on the utter marvel of television art that was Breaking Bad.

I...

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On SABR, Strikers and Deep Research

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 6:04 PM

Ryan "Hurleigh" Burley, a few dollops of mustache sweat gleaming beneath his floppy, 1860s Philadelphia Athletic cap, paused before arcing his next underhand pitch to the formidable Harrisburg Keystone striker. The soft, hard-shell sized vintage baseball made a loud WHUMP sound and soared into the blustery Philadelphia sky. Two hairy-faced...

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My Daily Old West Vacation

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 12:33 PM

Got home from work after a long day last week. Dropped my wallet and car keys by the front door, went down the hall and took off my shoes. Poured myself a cold drink, went into the TV room.

Five minutes later I was getting off my bed in...

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42: You Saw the Movie, Now Read the Book

(2) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 8:52 AM

I'm thrilled that 42 is smashing baseball movie box office records like so many weak sliders, and seems poised to bypass Moneyball soon as the all-time champ. If anything, it may help pave the way for more (and better) baseball films, a genre decidedly lacking in unforgettable classics. This isn't...

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Paste-Up Days at the Old Phoenix

(1) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 4:19 PM

I learned of the death of the Boston Phoenix on Twitter today. It seemed fitting, coming just a few months after a morbid e-mail exchange I had with Peter Kadzis, one of the Boston alternative weekly paper's final editors. Earlier, I had Googled John Ferguson, a great editor and wonderful...

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Why Dodger Fans Leave Early

(49) Comments | Posted August 30, 2012 | 11:10 AM

Adrian Gonzalez, his new home Dodger whites practically glowing against the brilliant green turf, jogged back to the dugout after clubbing a pitch from Miami's Josh Johnson deep into the right field stands. It was his very first at bat in LA, and only the second pitch he saw. Coming...

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SABR 42: Right on Target

(1) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 2:56 PM

The conventioneer was in his 60s, wearing a ball cap, glasses and trim little white beard. Like me, he was at the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis last week to attend the yearly gathering of SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research. Barry Bengtsson of St. Paul was...

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Veeck -- As in Maverick

(3) Comments | Posted May 22, 2012 | 12:29 PM

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Arcadia is a pleasant little town at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, just east of Pasadena. Inside the Arcadia Public Library, around the corner from the main desk and just before the children's section, a host of very rare items are on...

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The Top 25 Baseball Books for Your Desert Island

(10) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 4:01 PM

Baseball lends itself to book form so effortlessly because day and in and year out, the game wears fantastic drama on its sleeve. In the mood for a sprawling Russian novel? Let's go with a history of the Cubs. Fast-paced action thriller? Any book on the 1967 American League race...

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My Hall of Fame Ballot for 2037

(2) Comments | Posted January 6, 2012 | 5:22 PM

Nothing gets the baseball blogosphere more riled up than a good old annual debate over players' Hall of Fame credentials, so to save time down the road, I thought I would jump ahead 25 years. Look for the following piece in the January 2037 issue of Baseball Kindle Digest ...

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Take My Leg, Please!

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 5:11 PM

Having just endured six days in a hospital, I've been moved to write something about how far our medical profession has advanced since the bygone days. Luckily the recent discovery of a long-buried diary of Confederate General John Bell Hood illuminates this for us. Having survived an arm wound battling...

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The Great Red Sox Collapse, in 140 Characters or Less

(9) Comments | Posted September 29, 2011 | 11:53 AM

As a lifelong Red Sox fan, their swan dive from the top of the American League East in 1978 is still the most devastating baseball event for me. They recovered beautifully in the final week, winning their last eight games to tie New York on the final day, so when...

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What I Did on My SABR Vacation

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2011 | 3:29 PM

Well, let's see...

Heard notorious sports agent Scott Boras address (and actually charm) a packed ballroom of baseball fans and media about his early playing days. Heard a presentation called Fielder Jones, the Offensive Efficiency Paradox of His Hitless Wonders, and How They Stunned the Cubs in the 1906 World...

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Time Travel Now Possible

(2) Comments | Posted June 28, 2011 | 2:49 PM

Late the other night I drove a Nash coupe about five miles to my old Hollywood apartment, to see if the 1947 version of me was home. Sadly, Sunset Boulevard ended at a roadblock, because Formosa Avenue wasn't mapped out by the game developers who created L.A. Noire.

No matter....

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Tales From the Haunted Dodger Ravine

(5) Comments | Posted June 3, 2011 | 11:40 AM

With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe...

During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless evening in the early summer of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone in my Saturn, through a singularly dreary tract of L.A. county; and at...

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For a Rite of Spring, Give Me Hockey

(25) Comments | Posted May 5, 2011 | 1:04 PM

In today's overly crowded world of TV sports viewing, April and May are my favorite months. The baseball season is dusting off its cleats and swinging to life, while hockey and basketball are filling our plates with non-stop playoff games. It's hard to know what to watch.

Thankfully, one of...

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To Live With Unreality in L.A

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2011 | 3:56 PM

I spent a good two hours at Santa Monica Beach this weekend, but, weirdly enough, didn't have to endure alien meteor showers.

It's also strange that I've been up to the Griffith Park Observatory about a dozen times since I've lived out here and not once did I experience...

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