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Baseball and Immortality (Kind Of)
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When I was a kid I thought it was strange and ghoulish how my grandmother would turn first to the newspaper's obituary page. Now that I'm older it doesn't seem so weird. Web news doesn't come in pages, but the obituaries always catch my eye. The other day, for instance, I saw that Dick Radatz, who pitched for the Red Sox in the early sixties, had died. He was a towering relief pitcher who had more strikouts on his Strat-O-Matic card than anyone else. Woe to the poor hitter when the roll of the dice left him at the mercy of "The Monster's" pitcher's card. That whole set of Strat-O players is dying off. The last time I wrote about baseball it was Rod Kanehl who'd passed into the realm of pure statistics.

I was reminded of the fate of Ted Williams who became the most famous cryogenically "preserved" person outside Walt Disney (if you believe the rumors...). I'm not sure how preserved one can be when the head is residing separately from the body. I know...I know...the brilliant folks in the future won't have any problem dealing with a little thing like that. Then again, who's to say they'll see any use for one guy that made cartoons and theme parks and another who played baseball? Who's to say there'll be any baseball by the time thawing out corpses and reattaching the heads is a minor matter?

I understand the sf writer Charles Platt is a big proponent of cryogenics. I like his chances even less than Ted's or Walt's. Heck, those reanimaters of the far future won't need our science fiction, they'll be our science fiction.

It takes some hubris to figure someone is going to want to go to all the trouble and expense to bring you back to life centuries from now. I figure a lot of the cryogenically inclined might end up with their heads being used for doorstops and paperweights. If they have doors and paper by then.

Come to think of it, there's your next bestselling mystery -- Ted Williams and Walt Disney are thawed out two hundred years from now and...are your ready for this...they team up to solve a murder.

Unfortunately I won't have time to write this masterpiece since baseball season is starting soon and I will have to be studying box scores. I suppose those numbers will be preserved long after all of us are gone and/or frozen.

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