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Brian Schwartz

A FAN’S NOTES, The Rumpus Sports Column #36: Manny Ramirez’s Final Performance

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The biggest news of this young baseball season is that Manny Ramirez is hanging up his batting gloves and saying goodbye to the Major Leagues. This is sad because Ramirez was one of the game’s great natural hitters and because he was (probably without meaning to be, but occasionally I wasn’t really sure) one of the most compelling performance artists in pro sports.

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A FAN’S NOTES, The Rumpus Sports Column #29: My Elevator Ride With Captain America

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In July, two nights after my daughter was born, I took the subway home from the hospital in the very early morning and spilled water all over the floor of the N train. The water poured out of a vase of celebratory roses sent by my parents, which I had put in a paper bag and nestled between my tired feet; when I fell asleep the vase toppled over in the bag and slowly seeped its lifeblood out through the brown paper.

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A FAN’S NOTES, The Rumpus Sports Column #25: The Angelic Name

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In 1994, David Foster Wallace published an essay about the difficult-to-pin-down pleasure of watching great athletes during their most intense moments of competition. The essay, “How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart,” looks simple on the surface: it is “unaccompanied,” by which I mean there are no numbered footnotes, no preambles, no subtitles and no flow charts framing or attached to the text.

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A FAN’S NOTES, The Rumpus Sports Column #23: Underdog Tattoo

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One time I was in the checkout line at the grocery store, standing behind a dark-haired woman whose left arm was covered in tattoos. Another shopper—a young man wearing a summery straw hat—approached the woman and asked, “Do you mind if I take a picture of your heart tattoo to show my cardiologist stepfather?”

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