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AS I COMPOSE THIS, IT’S THE END OF JUNE 2022. UKRAINE IS STILL VALIANTLY FIGHTING RUSSIA.
I’D LIKE TO WRITE ABOUT THAT. BUT BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS IN SEPTEMBER, WILL UKRAINE
STILL EXIST? HOW CAN I WRITE ABOUT IT WITHOUT A WINDOW INTO THE FUTURE?
The Supreme Court has just issued Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, erasing the right
to abortion that has been recognized for more than five decades. I’d like to write about
that. But the author of that opinion, and the Justices who joined it, are all now or
will soon be Fellows of the College. I suspect that we have many Fellows who are tho-
roughly elated, and an equal number who are utterly appalled, by the opinion. So how
can I, in the Journal, express my personal opinion without trampling our core value of
collegiality? The Court has also just issued New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc.,
et al. v. Bruen, overturning a century-old law requiring a license to carry a handgun in
public in Manhattan. Boy, I’d like to write about that. But nothing screams “POLITICAL”
quite like guns and gun rights. So how can I, in the Journal, express my personal al opinion
without trampling our core value of being non-political?
What can I write about? Hmm, how about baseball? Can I write about
baseball without offending all that is dear to the College? Let me try.
I just finished reading The Baseball 100 by Joe Posnanski, in which Posnanski
ranks the 100 greatest ball players of all time. If you like baseball, simply like good writing, and if you need a break from fretting over constitutional controversies, I commend it to you. Sportswriters are always best writers. They have to be, since their job is to make a game played yesterday
or if you
come explosively alive today. And Posnanski is an exceptional sportswriter.
By Posnanski’s reckoning, the 100th best player of all time was Ichiro Suzuki;ki; and
the Number One player was Willie Mays. Ruth was number 2. Musial was 9. Ted
Williams 6. Satchel Paige 10. Number 5 – Oscar Charleston. Wait, who? Oscar car never
played a day in the Major Leagues. Oscar and Babe Ruth both started playing pro
ball in 1914. Babe played in Boston and New York in the American League. Oscar
was black and thus not allowed in that league at that time; he played in the Negro
FALL 2022 JOURNAL 2