Take me out to the ballgame, or possibly a lecture about the ballgame

Given that the only sports more American than baseball are truck-pulls and war, come spring, it's once again time to turn our attention to that most grueling contest of standing around with occasional bursts of activity. These days, actually, there are a lot of sports more in-line with the American character than baseball -- like anything involving a group of assholes competing for money on reality TV, for example -- and the old ball game is more or less grandfathered into the "great American pastime" distinction owing to its rich history; if not the most American sport, it's at least the oldest. It's a long and complicated history full of obscure characters and esoteric terminology, but it's also full of some really great stories.

Stories like that of the Chicago Black Sox, when eight members of the Chicago White Sox were banned from the game for life for throwing the World Series in 1919 against the Cincinnati Reds, for example, right up to the contemporary saga of Barry Bonds' steroid use and giant head.

Those stories and more will serve as the focus for "America's Pastime: Baseball," today's lecture from Active Minds. Admittedly, Active Minds lectures are mostly for older folks, since they generally happen when other people are working -- but they're also free, which makes them great for the unemployed! Today's lecture starts at 3 p.m. at the Koelbel Library in Centennial, and it ain't over 'til it's over. Seriously, though, it's over at 4.

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