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Tracy Wuster <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 26 Mar 2005 17:29:43 -0800
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The full text of Mark Twain's speech on baseball and Hawaii was originally
printed in its entirety in the New York Sun on April 9, 1889 p1 c2.
Fatout's version follows this exactly.

The interesting point is that the baseball players on Spalding's world tour
never played baseball in Hawaii.  They arrived a day later than expected and
couldn't play because it was Sunday.  While missionary blue laws were given
as the reason, it is more likely that these laws were enforced by white
politicians as an act of political defiance against King Kalakaua, who
wanted the game to be played.  So a political conflict, masquerading as a
religious edict, interrupted the game of baseball, as happened in
Connecticut Yankee, published in December 1889.

One other point:  in baseball history, Mark Twain's quote from the speech
about baseball being "the very symbol ... of the raging, tearing, booming
nineteenth century!" is one of the main quotes brought up when talking about
the Spalding world tour or nineteenth century baseball in general.  The main
image of the tour, which Twain no doubt saw at the banquet, was of the
players arrayed on the Sphinx.  Shelley Fishkin pointed out to me that this
image is modified in an illustration from Tom Sawyer Abroad, which has Jim
standing on the Sphinx.

Tracy Wuster
American Studies--UT Austin