'A Night at the Ball Park', 
  Opening Comments by Nicki Lynch, illo by Sheryl Birkhead
Here we are in mid summer, we're in a heat wave and drought, and the thought of getting away for something like Worldcon is very much on our minds. But we still have more of the summer yet to enjoy. The County Fair is coming up before Worldcon and I'd like to enter some quilts, as I did last year. Employee Appreciation Week is coming up at my job the same week as the Fair. The division of my company I work for is in the process of being sold, so everyone is wondering if the usual events will be taking place, such as the ice cream social and an evening at the Frederick Keys game.

It's a pleasure to see a minor league baseball game. The minor leagues are the fun part of baseball, with special events at almost every game and lots of fan involvement. The Keys are the local minor league 'Single-A' team of the Baltimore Orioles. We try to attend a game each season; recently, we had the chance to see a game featuring fireworks afterwards. It was a lively game and not all of the action was on the field.

By the end of the second inning, the Wilmington Blue Rocks had ten runs to the Keys' none. To say the Keys were playing badly would be stating the obvious. They had trouble making double plays and kept missing the cutoff man. Both team's pitchers threw high fastballs that the batters kept popping up or fouling back into the seats.

We were sitting behind home plate, well behind the screen, so I thought we were safe. However, I was wrong; it was almost like being shelled, the baseballs came into our section so often. Baseballs also flew over the roof of the stadium and into the parking lot (to the sound of glass crashing over the loudspeaker) or bounced off the roof and back into the surging crowd. When someone caught the ball in the stands, everyone would cheer.

One baseball came straight down on a woman sitting about three rows in front of us. It bounced off the top of her head and into the hands of the man two rows ahead of her. There was a flurry of activity as a paramedic and what looked to be the team's general manager rapidly descended on her. Another baseball was hit off the edge of the roof and headed straight back towards where we were sitting. A boy was standing in the aisle not far from us and tried to catch the baseball; it glanced off his hands and then knocked him square in the head. With a swiftness that must come from practice, the paramedic reappeared with his kit and the whole ritual with the woman was repeated.

The Keys managed to score two runs while the Blue Rocks scored two more, making it a 14 to 2 game. The game obviously wouldn't go into extra innings, so we didn't have a long wait to see the fireworks display before the long wait to get out of the parking lot. During the wait, we talked about what an unusual game that had been, with all the foul balls, seeing two people sitting near us get hit, and how badly the Keys played. The Keys seemed to lack the communication to make the good plays.

We've decided to make "Communications, Past and Present" the theme in this issue of Mimosa; I can talk to anyone, real-time, on this planet. But there is more to communications than real-time talk. Communications is also about transcending time and space. By transporting us to other times and places, we experience the 'sensawonder' we fans like to talk about. This issue of Mimosa features communication with other times and places, notably, the ninth in Forry Ackerman's series of autobiographical memoirs, where Forry travels to Russia and China. There's also Part 3 of Mike Resnick's "Worldcon Memories," from 1967 to 1996. And besides these, we also have two remembrances of fans who've passed away recently (sadly, an all too familiar theme in the past two years), "Memories of Vin¢" by Ron Bennett and "A Cartoonist Remembers Ian Gunn" by Teddy Harvia. No one who is remembered ever is truly gone. Also noted as a 'passing' of sorts is "Science Fiction Under Martial Law" by Polish fan Malgorzata Wilk, who rightly points out that even in the worst of times, it can also be the best of times.

There's also a lot more I'll let you discover for yourself. We hope you enjoy this 'Communications' issue, and communicate that to us!

Title illustration by Sheryl Birkhead

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