Damon Rutherford Should Have Ducked


I recently re-read the “Universal Baseball Association, Inc.” in recent days. I didn’t grasp the book totally at first and the darkness that surrounded it, but now I have a better grasp of it.

With computer technology being what it is today, the book is kind of obsolete in a sense, but for me, it’s understandable subject matter. And for 1968, the story was something that was ahead of its time.

Author Robert Coover writes about fictional character J. Henry Waugh, accountant by day, consumed by a dice-created baseball league of his and the rules and fictional characters of his creation when not working. One of his such created players, Damon Rutherford, throws a perfect game in one such game, retiring 27 batters in a row. It proves to be a curse in disguise as it causes him to hone his attention on the UBA even more than he had. As fate and the dice would have it, Damon’s fate is “sealed” in the very next game when he’s killed by a pitch that hits him in the head from an opposing pitcher.

That sends Waugh’s personal life in a tail spin, as the facts and events of his life and the fiction he creates are mashed into an unrecognizable blur. The moral of the story: keep your hobbies just that: your hobbies. Don’t let them consume you.


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