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Checklist of the Parasites of Fishes of Latvia

Not really about Latvian fishes

All white and all right

For this week’s installment, we go back in time to a simpler era: the nineteenth century. Baseball was getting into full “swing”, haha, and just starting up professional clubs. The Brown Stockings (prelude to the Cardinals, not the Browns, who were named after the old Brown Stockings…oh never mind) were St. Louis’s pride and joy. Most of all, they gave St. Louisans a new entertainment outlet. St. Louis, at that time, was the Chicago of the Midwest, being the fourth-largest city in the country. And Chicago was the St. Louis of the Midwest, playing second-fiddle. Rubbish the history lesson. Let’s get started!

The uniforms: considered forward-thinking at the time. Made of a combination of cotton and Chinese cadavers. Browns owner Barnaby J. Custard thought the wide necks made his players look fearsome, and the Caesar’s Palace collars made the boys instantly recognizable. The skin-tight fit was a prelude to baseball styles in the 1970s and 1980s. The billowy pants and knickers remained. For the footwear, Mr. Custard ordered special editions of buffalo-hyde leather shoes with passenger pigeon feathers as a cushioning agent.

The facial hair code: Mr. Custard thought the mustache a pious instrument, and ordered his players to grow and maintain them. Pork chops and neck beards were also acceptable, but only for the star players Billy Dillinger, Ezekiel McCabe, and Randolph “Sturdy” McWhorty. Excessive “chest-fur” was also to be removed so that it did not show itself above the collar.

The head hair code: Oiled and parted down the middle like any other self-respecting Christian man.

The moral code: Mr. Custard orders all players to be married, or virgins. They must limit their whiskey to one gallon per week. No horse-bets or fraternizing with Catholics or Negroes. Every Sunday the team must attend Reverend William Icarus Beveley’s fiery sermon.

The wellness code: All players are on a strict diet of beefsteak, bacon, and onions. They must work out on the medicine ball at least one hour per day. A phrenologist will be on duty to monitor players’ well-being. Enemas will be administered regularly throughout the week. Bilious players will be given a one-week reprieve.

Players’ ethnicities: While Mr. Custard would take a look at any talented baller, there was to be absolutely no Negroes, no Catholics, no Hebrews or Semites of any kind, no Mongoloids nor Mohammedans, and no Republicans. Protestants of German or Anglo-Saxon extraction were preferred.

On road trips: the Browns were quartered in a typical way, that is, overnighting at a saloon, boxcar, or, if pressed, a hayloft.

Sportsmanship: No racial taunts of an opposing player unless there is solid hearsay demonstrating that he is a descendant of a Negress. No spiking, ramming, or horse-collaring while running the bases. Pitchers must abstain from throwing the spit-ball, piss-ball, Turk-ball, or the unhittable Buster’s Bile-Ball. Otherwise, after a loss you must tip your cap and shout “Bully!”.

If any of these rules are broken: Mr. Custard will terminate your contract and send you packing. You hereafter will not be welcome in any Western League, Great Lakes League, Mason-Dixon League, or Horse ‘n Plow League.

PICTURED – BACK ROW STANDING FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Moses Aloicious Standifer, Carson Canyon Goodspeed, Billy Dillinger.

SITTING ROW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Alexander “Back Door” Ribus, Ezekiel McCabe, Jack “The Ottoman” Moore, George Lazarus “Shorty” Lipscomb, Fear-of-God Lansing, Ernst “Kaiser” Schuller.

PRONE ON THE FLOOR: The catcher Randolph “Sturdy” McWhorty.

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