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Step Into 2012 From Way Back

Happy New Year! We look forward to an exciting 2012 here at Faith and Fear, even if we have to create the excitement ourselves. But isn’t that what Mets fans do when the Mets don’t necessarily contribute as much fun as they could?

And while you’re waiting for pitchers, catchers and trustees to report to Spring Training, may I suggest a few well-chosen steps into baseball to get this year started briskly? Our friend Peter Laskowich, New York and baseball historian [1] par excellence is conducting one of his all-absorbing walking tours of Brooklyn on Monday morning, 10 o’clock. The subject is our National Pastime and its deep Kings County roots.

“Most of baseball comes from Brooklyn,” Peter writes. “The borough devoted itself to baseball from the start, fostering all three of the great early teams, inventing the curveball and the bunt, and establishing the craft of pitching. For Brooklyn, a proud city absorbed into New York in 1898, a baseball team became essential in gaining attention and respect. Said one civic leader in the 1930s, ‘we exist again as [independent] Brooklyn every time the Dodgers take the field.’ The same factors that led to the borough’s unparalleled allegiance to its team would one day make the Brooklyn Dodgers central to the cause of American racial integration.”

I took this tour [2] in 2009 (and went on two of Peter’s Manhattan sojourns) and can vouch for the vibrancy of the presentation. Peter knows his stuff and tells it so it becomes your stuff. It’s a great time for any New York baseball fan who likes to learn a little more every day. Spent part of your Monday with Peter, and you’ll have learned plenty.

If you’re interested, please get in touch with Peter via e-mail at peterlaskowich@earthlink.net or call him at 862/226-1244. Reservations are required.

Also recommended, albeit with regrets, is Matt Silverman’s beautiful tribute to his friend Greg Spira, who passed away a few days ago at the age of 44. Read it here [3].