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THE GAME THAT TIME AND IOWA FORGOT
W.P. Kinsella
April 14, 1986
In this lyrical fantasy, the 1908 Cubs play the Iowa Baseball Confederacy All-Stars in an apocalyptic contest that lasts for 40 days and 2,614 innings, until death and the deluge at last lose out to sweetness and light
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April 14, 1986

The Game That Time And Iowa Forgot

In this lyrical fantasy, the 1908 Cubs play the Iowa Baseball Confederacy All-Stars in an apocalyptic contest that lasts for 40 days and 2,614 innings, until death and the deluge at last lose out to sweetness and light

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"Excellent! Excellent! So much better than giving in to me. Never ease up. Always deliver your best ball."

"Mr. President," says Klem, "we'd like you to have the ball as a memento of your visit here."

"I'd be delighted, sir. Delighted."

Midway through Day 28, a day when the clouds crowd close to the ground, there is a sudden hissing from the sky that causes us all to look up. The wicker gondola of a balloon is the first thing to become visible high over second base. The sibilance increases and the players on the field stare skyward as if trying to catch sight of a pop-up.

Then the balloon itself becomes visible, tall and tear-shaped, striped red, white and green silk. The gondola settles, softly as a feather, on the grass behind second. The fog swirls about the balloon and about the players as if the vehicle has drawn the sky closer to earth. There are two figures in the gondola, both wearing cowled cloaks of heavy woolen material. The balloon deflates softly, crumpling toward centerfield like a tower tipped over. We gather around the craft.

One man is the pilot, the other the passenger. The passenger, an older man with regal bearing, climbs from the gondola, stretches luxuriously and stares around with bright, all-seeing eyes. He is balding, with long white hair at the back and sides and a flowing white beard.

"May we be of service?" asks Klem.

"I have traveled a considerable distance," says the old man.

"This is one of my inventions," he adds, pointing to the balloon, "though I'm seldom given credit for it. I set down all the principles in 1505, but it took scientists nearly 300 years to realize the potential of my ideas. Cautious types, afraid of their own beakers...."

It is Mott, who, mopping his brow, speaks the words " Leonardo da Vinci?"

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