Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Time Traveling through Baseball’s Present

When last we left this time and space we discussed certain key moments to visit in baseball’s past given the chance of time travel in honor of the return of Doctor Who.

Today, we will turn our attention on the present and what the ability to time travel within a single day would allow. Think of it as Groundhog Day meets Field of Dreams with a Ballpark view.

For several years I have thought that it would be fun to visit each of the 30 Major League Ballparks on consecutive days.

In developing my dream itinerary of the order of Ballparks to visit I learned that I was far from alone in this dream. In fact, there are countless sites dedicated to the 30 Ballparks in 30 days quest.

If I had a TARDIS, like the main character in Doctor Who I would travel through time and space checking out all of the key baseball moments. Photo R. Anderson

If I had a TARDIS, like the main character in Doctor Who I would travel through time and space checking out all of the key baseball moments.
Photo R. Anderson

The level of detail with each of these plans varies but if one is so inclined, and has the means to do so, there are resources available to plan the perfect month long baseball odyssey.

While visiting all 30 Ballparks in a month is the stuff of legend for many super fans, now consider that you did not need to leave home, job and family for a 12th of the year while taking out a loan to follow your dream.

What if you could see all of the games on a single day?

Okay granted there would not be more than 15 Ballparks hosting games on any given night making it impossible to visit all 30 in one night but one could at least see all 30 teams in action on the same night through the joys of time travel.

While the internet, and other media sources, makes it possible to watch all games on a given night from the comfort of one’s home there is certainly nothing like being in the Ballpark to see the games in person.

One could have dinner at home and then hop in their time machine and go from Ballpark to Ballpark. When one game ended simply set the time and destination to the start time at the next ballpark and away you go.

One could start on the east coast and work their way west or vice versa depending on their preference. With a time machine one need not be constrained by time zones for other factors in planning the perfect night of baseball watching.

Of course with an average game time in the two to three hour range, were one to go from game to game it would require them to be awake for 30 to 45 to catch all 15 games. This means that the souvenir cup size filled with Dr. Pepper is your best friend along the journey.

But after those 45 hours of watching baseball one could return home and sleep as long as they wanted since they could always just use the time machine to make sure they got to work on time.

As an aside with the average souvenir cup clocking in at 32 ounces, one would end up drinking 480 ounces of soda if they got a souvenir cup at each Ballpark. Add in the free refill option at some Ballparks and one is looking at downing a serious amount of cola during their night of Ballpark bliss. How serious of an amount of cola? Considering that there are 128 ounces in a gallon, one would consume around 3.75 gallons of soda if they went with the souvenir soda at each of the 15 Ballparks.

If one had the chance to visit 15 Ballparks in a single night, and got a cup to take home as a memento, they would have a lot of soda to drink. With the average souvenir cup clocking in at 32 ounces, one would end up drinking 480 ounces of soda if they got a souvenir cup at each Ballpark. Add in the free refill option at some Ballparks and one is looking at downing a serious amount of cola during their night of Ballpark bliss. How serious of an amount of color? Considering that there are 128 ounces in a gallon, one would consume around 3.75 gallons of soda if they went with the souvenir soda at each of the 15 Ballparks. Photo R. Anderson

If one had the chance to visit 15 Ballparks in a single night, and got a cup to take home as a memento at each one, they would have a lot of soda to drink. With the average souvenir cup clocking in at 32 ounces, one would end up drinking 480 ounces of soda if they got a souvenir cup at each Ballpark. Add in the free refill option at some Ballparks and one is looking at downing a serious amount of cola during their night of Ballpark bliss.
Photo R. Anderson

Realistically there will probably never be a way to simultaneously see every first pitch on a given night in person, nor should anyone drink that much soda in the course of a day, but it is certainly a nice thing to think about.

Another benefit of the traveling within the same day form of time travel would be the increased ability to catch balls in the ballpark.

There are people who try to catch as many foul balls, batting practice balls, and home run balls as possible when they attend a game.

Through the use of time travel these Ball Hawks could watch a game in advance and know exactly where the balls were going to land and then position themselves to catch them instead.

This of course would get into that grey area of changing the future and crushing someone else’s timeline that originally caught the ball. Surely changing the recipient of a foul ball would not start the process that dooms the entire planet, but then again that is the tricky thing about time travel.

How small of a change in the past does it take to totally ruin everything that follows?

Perhaps it is best just to watch the games without interfering. Of course that does not mean that one cannot have some fun with it along the way.

Since every game is televised these days, and with highlights living on the internet, one could make it their mission to be on camera in each of the games they visited on the same night.

It could be a fun sort of Where’s Waldo moment to scan the crowd shots and find yourself. Extra points could be given for wearing a hat from the home team at each of the games. Although I guess in true Waldo fashion the same outfit would be best.

So there are just a few of the things one could do on any given night of the baseball season if they had all of time and space at their disposal.

A Groundhog Day full of baseball games certainly seems more exciting than waiting to find out if a furry rodent can see his shadow or not.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to tweak my plan to visit all 30 Ballparks in 30 days in case I ever win the lottery.

Copyright 2014 R. Anderson

Time Traveling through Baseball’s Past

For fans of a certain British television show about a guy and his companions who travel around in a bigger on the inside blue police box, today marks the start of a very important week.

The week is important for fans of Doctor Who in that it marks the final countdown to the new season of time traveling adventures Saturday night.

In honor of the countdown to the new season of the show I thought it would be fun to focus on time travel here as well.

In particular the focus this week will be on time travel as it relates to baseball in the past, present and future.

If I had a TARDIS, like the main character in Doctor Who I would travel through time and space checking out all of the key baseball moments. Photo R. Anderson

If I had a TARDIS, like the main character in Doctor Who I would travel through time and space checking out all of the key baseball moments.
Photo R. Anderson

Today we will start our journey through baseball time and space in the past.

Consider if you will, all of the historic moments that have occurred in baseball.

From Babe Ruth, to Shoeless Joe Jackson, to Jackie Robinson, and every player in between, baseball is full of larger than life players who for many baseball fans exist only as black and white news reel images or statistics on a page.

With Babe Ruth having made his professional debut 100 years ago, there are few people still around who were alive then, let alone old enough to have been there to witness it.

Now consider that time travel was possible and you had the means to visit any past moment in baseball history, including the Bambino’s first game. What moments would you visit?

I have often pondered that very question and have come up with some definitive moments that given the chance I would love to see in person.

The moments are divided up into the categories of Ballparks, Ballplayers, and Ballgames.

First let us focus on the Ballparks.

Many books are dedicated to the must see sights in baseball. But what if time travel was a reality and one could visit events as they occurred instead of reading about them afterwards? Photo R. Anderson

Many books are dedicated to the must see sights in baseball. But what if time travel was a reality and one could visit events as they occurred instead of reading about them afterwards?
Photo R. Anderson

While I have had the pleasure and opportunity to visit many Ballparks, including several that have since been torn down, there are a few of the classic Ballparks that were torn down before I had the chance to see them that I would have loved to catch a game in.

With the ability to travel back to the golden age of baseball and visit any Ballpark I would visit the Polo Grounds, Ebbett’s Field, and the first Yankee Stadium.

While many new Ballparks such as Oriole Park at Camden Yards have brought back a piece of that classic Ballpark feel, there would be nothing quite like traveling to see the ones that started it all.

It would also be fun to travel to an era where people dressed up in their Sunday best to catch a game although I could probably go without the grandstands full of cigarette smoke since I am allergic.

While visiting Ballparks from the golden age would be fun, another Ballpark that I would love to visit is technically still standing but no longer hosts baseball, or much of anything else for that matter. That Ballpark is the Astrodome.

Although I covered a high school football game in the Astrodome, by the time I moved to Houston the Astros had moved to Minute Maid Park (technically Enron Field at the time) and the days of baseball in the Dome were done.

Granted the Astrodome begat many carbon copy domed stadiums that hosted baseball in Seattle, Minnesota, and St. Petersburg but there would be something hard to miss about being at the very first indoor baseball game under a dome.

Whenever I find myself at Tropicana Field I often try to picture what a culture shock it most have been for those first Houston fans to see a game without knowing what the weather was like outside or being able to see the sky.

After Ballparks the next item to travel through time to see would be Ballplayers.

I would need to use my time machine to travel to see Babe Ruth play a game along with Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and Shoeless Joe Jackson to name a few.

Speaking of Shoeless Joe, an interesting time traveler’s paradox comes into play. Would one warn Shoeless Joe and his Black Sox teammates about being banned for life for the World Series fixing scandal, or just let history go on as predicated.

While time travel in science fiction books and films often show negative results to the future through the butterfly effect whenever the past is changed it does pose an interesting question of what one would do in that situation.

There are of course people who would use time travel to their benefit through betting on games when they know the outcome but for our purposes here let us go with the belief that all who travel back are merely going as fly on the wall observers to soak in the events without altering the outcomes or fattening their wallets.

So with that philosophy of observe, but don’t interfere in mind, the Chicago White Sox would still throw the World Series just as Pete Rose decades later would still be banned from baseball.

As a certain British time traveler would say, some points in history are fixed points in time.

The third area of our journey to baseball’s past would be specific Ballgames.

From the first World Series game, to Lou Gehrig’s luckiest man alive speech, there are countless moments in Ballgames that would be worth traveling to.

For me some of the games I would need to see in person would be when Hank Aaron broke the home run record and when Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken Jr. played their first games.

To see the start of the two longest consecutive games played streaks and to see a home run record fall would be truly historic events.

There are of course more Ballparks, Ballplayers and Ballgames that could be revisited given the ability to travel to any point in time. Each historic moment in baseball would be at the time traveler’s disposal to visit time and time again.

While realistically time travel to that degree will remain a mere wish and the stuff of film, television and literature, it is certainly fun to consider the big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff now and then.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get ready for travels through the present.

Copyright 2014 R. Anderson

 

Commuting with the Doctor

A couple weeks back I spent a week carpooling with English actor Tom Baker.

Baker, best known as the fourth actor to portray the “doctor” on Doctor Who, was a very entertaining passenger and made my time in the car go by very quickly.

Okay, in fairness Baker was there in CD form narrating a Doctor Who story but it was still a very entertaining week and certainly felt like he was right there in the car with me.

The week started at a local used book store by my house which happened to have a rather impressive Doctor Who display. Among the books and other Whovian wares were some audio CD’s of various episodes.

Tom Baker provided the soundtrack for a week during my commute with his dramatic reading of a classic Doctor Who story. Photo R. Anderson

Tom Baker provided the soundtrack for a week during my commute with his dramatic reading of a classic Doctor Who story.
Photo R. Anderson

Usually I prefer my books to be in page turning paper form which is why I am slow to adopt the E-reader craze.

But the idea of audio books has often intrigued me since it adds a certain performance element to the tale.

There is a certain appeal to an audio only performance that harkens back to the old radio serial days when listeners had to paint the pictures in their minds without the aid of a television picture showing them what was happening.

Often times a radio broadcast of a sporting event will be much more vivid than the television counterpart as well.

So as I was looking at the selection of audio Who, one episode in particular caught my eye because it was narrated by the Doctor himself.

Tom Baker was the first Doctor I ever recall watching. And while I have also enjoyed David Tennant and Matt Smith as the Doctor there is just something that always seems to draw me back to the Tom Baker stories.

The same thing happens in the James Bond world with Roger Moore. While I enjoy movies from each of the actors who portrayed Bond, James Bond, it is the Roger Moore movies that were my first exposure to the franchise and tend to be the ones that are the most enjoyable.

While not as exciting as the Tom Baker version I was able to take care of some commute withdrawal symptoms with another classic Doctor Who story. Photo R. Anderson

While not as exciting as the Tom Baker version I was able to take care of some commute withdrawal symptoms with another classic Doctor Who story.
Photo R. Anderson

With it being well established that Tom Baker as the Doctor holds a special place in my Whovian heart I figured what could be better than having him take a car ride with me?

The episode was three hours spaced out over four CD’s and it took me a week to get through them despite having the CD running every time I was in the car.

Of course the sum of my driving during the week would be about 20 miles a day so there really was not a lot of time in the car on a daily basis which helped stretch out the story.

Now I know that there are many people reading this who have a commute that would allow them to listen to a three-hour story in a couple of days but I have been fortunate to have short commutes for most of my professional life.

Each time I drive to Minute Maid Park and see the southbound cars at a rush hour standstill I am thankful that I am not one of those cars trapped in the bumper to bumper traffic.

Of course if I were ever forced to be one of those commuting cars I can always take Tom Baker along with me and I am sure that the ride would seem to go just a little bit faster.

When the day finally came when the end of the story was reached I found myself going through serious withdrawal as my car transitioned from the adventures of the Doctor back to the sounds of music and sports radio.

I knew that my commute with Tom Baker would be finite but I guess I did not know how much I would miss that long scarf wearing thespian.

I went back to the book store to see if perhaps there was another Tom Baker episode that I had missed the first time I was there.

While I did not find any more Tom Baker I did find another Doctor Who episode that helped me stay calm and carry one for a few more days until the time when the commute will be filled with the sounds of Major League Baseball once again.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to the book store to see who I can “commute” with next.

Copyright 2014 R. Anderson

A Day that Changed Both Space and Time

Today marks the 50th anniversary of two things that changed the world.

On this date a half century ago events on two continents made the world seem both larger and smaller at the same time.

I am referring to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the premiere of the British television show Doctor Who.

One this day 50 years ago America lost a president and perhaps some of its innocence as well. Photo R. Anderson

One this day 50 years ago America lost a president and perhaps some of its innocence as well.
Photo R. Anderson

Now, to be fair I was not alive 50 years ago on the day that changed everything; having arrived on the scene a little bit after that.

But, as a student of history and an avid Whovian I feel fairly confident in assessing the impact that both events had on the world in general.

And one does not need to have been alive on that fateful November day to feel the impacts of those two events.

So let us start with President Kennedy whose assassination on a Dallas street around four hours from where I am writing this changed the face of politics and gave breath to a whole industry of conspiracy theories as to what happened.

While I suppose one can argue for both the lone gunmen theory of a single shooter versus multiple shooters that does not really change the fact that a President of the United States was slain and with it a part of the innocence of the nation was slain with it.

President Kennedy was not the first president to be assassinated. In fact William McKinley, the 25th U.S. President, was killed in 1901. So it stands to reason that there were people alive in 1963 who were alive the last time a president was killed.

But for many younger Americans they had never witnessed the death of a president, let alone one as popular as JFK.

Individuals tried to assassinate both Presidents Ford and Reagan and I would like to believe that lessons learned from the Kennedy assassination helped protect both of those men from being killed.

The Warren Report sought to explain the Assassination of Presidnet John F. Keneedy although there are still many theories about what really happened. Photo R. Anderson

The Warren Report sought to explain the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy although there are still many theories about what really happened.
Photo R. Anderson

While I was not alive to have the “where were you when you heard that JFK was dead? moment I do know where I was when Ronald Reagan was shot so I can relate to having a memory forever linked in time.

The shock of John F. Kennedy’s assassination as well as the events to follow helped shape the world I was born into one completely different from the world my parents were born into.

In the same way people born after the 2001 terrorist attacks entered a world that is a far different place than the way the world was when I first experienced it.

Every generation there are events that shape the world view for the generations to follow.

Shaping the world view throughout the course of time of course brings us to the second event that we are remembering today.

Doctor Who started as a humble television program and turned into a phenomenon that changed the face of science fiction television. One could argue that without Doctor Who there would not be Star Trek, or Star Wars.

While America was dealing with the killing of its president across the pond Doctor Who was taking his first flight in the TARDIS. A half century, and a few coats of paint later the Doctor and the TARDIS are still having adventures and inspiring the minds of generations. Photo R. Anderson

While America was dealing with the killing of its president across the pond Doctor Who was taking his first flight in the TARDIS. A half century, and a few coats of paint later the Doctor and the TARDIS are still having adventures and inspiring the minds of generations.
Photo R. Anderson

Of course one could also argue that the worlds of Star Trek and Star Wars would have existed even without the birth of Doctor Who which shows that much like people failing to agree on the details of the Kennedy assassination there can be multiple schools of thought on the impact of the good Doctor.

But what one cannot ignore is that Doctor Who helped shape countless programs that came after it.

Time travel is a central element of Doctor Who that helps people yearn for a way to go back and fix things that went wrong or prevent future missteps.

With his trusty “it’s bigger on the inside” TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) and companions Doctor Who goes from one end of time and space to the other stopping various events in human and alien history from occurring.

Whenever time travel is placed in the equation there are always those who come up with the what if we could have gone back and stopped so and so scenarios.

What if we could have stopped Hitler?

What if we could have stopped the Titanic from sinking?

The list goes on and one regarding events in history that many would change if they could.

Of course not all events regarding time travel are global in nature. There are the more personal goals as well such as going back in time and telling your earlier self to take a different job or not get a certain haircut, etc.

There are about as many theories about the ability to time travel as there are about who killed President Kennedy.

A few years back Steven King wrote a book about someone going back in time to prevent the Kennedy assassination. There was even an episode of the television show Quantum Leap that dealt with the topic. And yes even Doctor Who addressed the assassination.

With mankind fascinated by the ability to right what once went wrong Doctor Who comes with a built in following. Of course the strong writing and acting help keep the Whovians coming back year after year going on 50 years.

Through the tragedy of the death of an American President and the hope of a British television show that sought to show that all of time and space could be explored people were led to think, explore and find ways to make the world a better place.

Who’s to say what will happen in the next 50 years, or even if the world will still be around. But if there is still a world in 50 years I would make a pretty strong wager that it will be a world full of time travel even if that time travel is only done through the magic of the Doctor and his companion.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get ready for a Doctor Who Marathon.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson