chapter iv: far from home
myeck's immigrant parents weren't the first of his ancestors to see America. In fact, his grandfather's uncle had his wedding on an ocean liner and spent his honeymoon meandering through New York State. 

That had not been his original plan, but he and his bride became separated at the train station and, confused by the alien depot, he spent the next week wandering around lost, while his wife arrived in Niagara Falls as planned and was shown around by "a very nice German gentleman" who also cooked "truly splendid" suppers of roasted passenger pigeon, which he claimed to have shot himself. 

Meanwhile, her new husband had wandered into picturesque Cooperstown, where he met Abner Doubleday and was introduced to the strange new game of Baseball. He was delighted with the game - so much so that when he and his bride were finally reunited, all he could talk about was teaching their friends back home how to play.


An early attempt to recreate baseball back in the old country. Having watched fielding practice as well as a game, he struggled over the number of balls to have in play at once. but he clearly remembered the player known as the "catcher."

As soon as they arrived back in the Old Country, he organized a semi-regular troupe of friends and relatives, and began trying to teach them the game as well as he could remember it, but there were problems. His grasp of the game after such a brief exposure was not helped by his poor memory, or by his near-total failure to understand team sports in general. 

In addition, many aspects of this new, foreign game were confusing to player and fan alike: there was a near riot the first time a pitcher was instructed to stand on the "mound", which looked exactly like a traditional burial mound, complete with ritual tobacco juice stains and a bag of ceremonial rosin; the umpire's gesture signifying "safe" meant "crucify him" to the people; and throwing a bag of peanuts at someone was considered an act of war by the Hill peoples, but was seen as payment for certain personal services by the Valley peoples, leading to much bloodshed and exchanging of phone numbers.

Worse still, by an astounding coincidence the "seventh inning stretch" anthem Take Me Out To The Ball Game had exactly the same melody as the hated song You Can Not Even Have Two Chickens, tauntingly sung by the residents of certain more prosperous regions.   
Confusion over the number of simultaneous batters led to many injuries.
The baseball pioneers never gave up though, and the new sport eventually evolved into a game very much like hacky-sack.