I’ve decided what my final project will be for the Digital Humanities course. It’s call the Baseball VFW Project.
From World War I through Vietnam, Major League Baseball players left their chosen profession to serve their country. The Baseball VFW Project chronicles the lives of those players: the units they served in, their baseball careers, and what they did afterward.
There will be a website with a searchable database, individual profiles, photo gallery, links to news stories, historical information regarding the players’ units. Perhaps more.
But that’s not all. One of the burning questions among baseball fans is “what if?” What if Ted Williams hadn’t served in both WWII and Korea? What if DiMaggio hadn’t missed three full years in his prime? What would Major League Baseball have looked like if not for all the players who served in from 1941-1945, the period in which the largest percentage of them were way from the game.
The Baseball VFW Project will endeavor to offer a possibility. Using the baseball simulation program Out of the Park Baseball, we will run as many sims as possible to generate such a picture. We’ll feature statistical and sociological analysis. Of course, we can’t actually divorce history from the things that were historical—much of America’s later success and identity came out of WWII. But we’ll take a peak at what America’s game could have been.
Although the project will focus on baseball-playing veterans of all eras, since our simulation focus is on the early 1940’s, this week’s cocktail is a variation on one of the decade’s most popular drinks, the Sidecar.
Like the decade it comes from, the Sidecar is straightforward, consisting of three elements: cognac, orange liquer, and lemon juice. The glass is rimmed with sugar and the drink garnished with a lemon peel. My exploration involved going all-in on the orange route and adding an element of spice. I call this forward-looking version the Hovercar.
3 oz. cognac
1.5 oz. Grand Marinier
1.5 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
2 drops Cat in Heat Chairman Meow’s Revenge Scorpion Pepper hot sauce
Cinnamon sugar for rim
Basil leaf for garnish
Rim the glass with cinnamon sugar. Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice; shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with basil.