Talkin’ Softball 22 Years Later: Thoughts from the Dugout

The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team posing as champions after a series of unfortunate events befell the players

A lot has happened in baseball of late: Mo’ne Davis proving there’s no crying in baseball … except for the kids she strikes out; Jackie Robinson West advancing to the tops of the Little League World Series; and continuing struggles in the race for October. Starting September, I’ll update every week regarding the playoff race. For now, the new TV station FXX is marathoning every episode of The Simpsons, and the baseball/softball tribute/parody “Homer at the Bat” grabbed my attention, if only for the sterling line-up of major league guest stars. The episode aired twenty-two years ago, either two too many or three too few for a proper anniversary tribute, but I wanted to check in on what the Springfield Power Plant softball team stars have been up to.

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Hooked on “Awesome Mix Vol. 1″: Why the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Soundtrack Resonates

rsz_guardians-of-the-galaxy-prison
They have come to bring us Blue Swede.

Thirty-five years ago, Americans believed a man could fly. Today, they believe a talking raccoon and an anthropomorphic tree can save the universe, and they can accomplish this while listening to songs that ruled the airwaves when Superman was in production.

Guardians of the Galaxy has already become one of 2014’s biggest blockbusters despite being based on Marvel characters almost no one was familiar with except hardcore comics fans. (FYI, a combination of terrific actors, a few stirring emotional moments, and a brilliantly funny script go a long way.) In my opinion, what is even more unexpected than the film’s success is that of its soundtrack. Awesome Mix Vol. 1, the mixtape Peter Quill/Star-Lord constantly listens to as he flies through space, is now in its second week at number one on the Billboard charts. It’s worth exploring both why this success is unusual and why this soundtrack in particular has struck such a chord with people.

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