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17 September 2008

the excellent game without any rules

certainly click

Camden Yards baseball stadium,
Baltimore, Maryland USA

professional baseball players stay in hotels while they are on the road, and the hotel lobbies are packed with baseball fans who just want to be near the players as the players come in and out of the lobby

as near as they can get. sometimes the fan gets very lucky and a couple of baseball players invite him or her to sit in on a game of tegwar, which everyone knows is the favorite card game of baseball players.

tegwar is an acronym for The Excellent Game Without Any Rules. the thrilled and honored fan sits down with the baseball players, and quickly tries to comprehend the new game, which is played for money, to make it more exciting.

"No, when we just played a hand without any jacks, then a six and a four beat four aces," explains an experienced tegwar player, and hoses in the pot with the fan's money. However many hands are played, and however well and quickly the fan learns the rules that have arisen so far, the flow of money always seems to be entirely from fan to baseball players.

the card game tegwar is described in a baseball novel, "Bang the Drum Slowly," by Mark Harris, who died last year. It was made into a very fine and funny movie with Michael Moriarty and Robert De Niro, very much worth seeing. i don't think you have to know much or anything about baseball to enjoy the film. i don't know much or anything about baseball, except how far it is from the pitcher's mound to first base, because my brother asked me.

Another very interesting novel -- I don't think anyone ever tried to make a movie of it -- is
"The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop." by Robert Coover. Guy rolls dice to play season after season of an imaginary baseball league with dozens of teams and hundreds of players in his head.

Everything Robert Coover writes is interesting. Coover is a professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island USA, and is still vertical, moving forward, and, I imagine, writing.

Oh, here is something else I know about baseball. You can take a train to Baltimore and see a game at Camden Yards, and have more fucking fun than you ever imagined it was possible to have at a baseball game. Camden Yards is an outdoor stadium made of red brick, a relatively new stadium designed in the style of the first baseball stadiums circa 1900. The Baltimore Orioles play at Camden Yards, and they play a very fine quality of baseball as far as I can tell. But mainly the entire experience is just totally pleasant and totally entertaining and fun.

After the game you can go to Inner Harbor and eat the world's finest seafood, crabs, oysters, clams, shrimp, prepared Chesapeake Bay style. And then you take a train home.

Camden Yards was designed by the HOK sports architecture firm.

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