Moon - baseball

Bruce N H

Active Member
Hey all,

It strikes me as curious that Loonies, or at the very least Mannie, are really into baseball. Very early we get Mannie and Prof placing wagers and Mike chimes in on the odds. We get a few updates on the Yankees' performance that season. When Mannie goes down to Terra he gets to attend a game. But we also get various baseball imagery. Mannie compares throwing rocks at the earth to pitching - fastball, curveball, etc - and wishes Mike had pitched for the Yankees. Later in the latter stages of the war he says the game has gone into extra innings. Baseball just seems to be part of the warp and woof of Mannie's life and language.

In my experience there are two main ways to get into a sport. Either it's something you grew up playing, or just the sense of rooting for your home team (or the home team from where you grew up)*. But for a life-long Loonie like Mannie, neither of these is a possibility. There don't seem to be any baseball teams in the moon. For one, digging a cavern large enough to be a baseball stadium seems daunting, and for two, the gravity issues would make it completely different from Terran baseball. At one point Prof suggests (when pitching Lunar trade and tourism down on Terra) that there could be new and interesting sports in Luna "sports to fit our decent level of gravitation". So Prof and others could have some connection to baseball from their lives before they were sent to Luna, but Mannie doesn't have a "home team", he roots for the Yankees.

Where does this come from? Yes, I get that maybe Heinlein was a big baseball fan, and he was writing a book in America where he could expect his readers to be fans (especially 50 years ago**), so they would get all of the references. But I'm more curious if there is a consistent in-universe explanation.


* It's not like I'm suddenly going to get into something like cricket. I might appreciate the athleticism, and even feel the excitement of a game. For example, I had a roommate who was into Sumo (and he had a connection because his dad had wrestled sumo when he was younger), and it was fun watching with him, but not something I continued to follow at all.
** Side note, not only was baseball more ubiquitous 50 years ago, but the Yankees were even more prominent. Yes, they've always been a leading team, but I just checked and they won the pennant ten years in a row right before Heinlein wrote this (from 1955-1964). Funnily, in 1965, when Heinlein was presumably busy writing this book, they didn't do well, with 77 wins and 85 losses. Complete speculation, but I'm guessing he was frustrated with their performance and put that into Mannie's narration.
Last edited: